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GOP: No ethics hearing on lawmaker's sweepstakes games

Posted February 15, 2011

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— House Speaker Thom Tillis said Tuesday that he has no plans to hold any ethics hearings on a state lawmaker's ownership of Internet sweepstakes games.

Rep. Mike Stone, R-Lee, said Monday that he planned to remove the games from his Sanford store to eliminate all questions of his objectivity on any House gaming votes.

State lawmakers have tried for years to ban video poker and sweepstakes games in North Carolina.

Stone last week led a closed-door Republican House caucus meeting on gaming, but he said Monday that he didn't pick the lobbyists who spoke both for and against a ban.

The North Carolina Democratic Party on Tuesday called for an ethics investigation of Stone, saying he also has taken campaign money from gaming interests.

“They've been screaming for years about transparency, but the Republicans have already shut the public and even those who voted for them out of their meetings,” Democratic Party Chairman David Parker said in a statement. “Two weeks after taking office, Rep. Stone has let gambling lobbyists into his office and told them to lock the door behind them.”

Tillis dismissed the Democratic clamor for a hearing.

"This is a partisan, frivolous request that does not merit a response. We are focused on getting North Carolina’s fiscal house in order, not on partisan politics as usual,” he said.

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  • protestthis Feb 16, 2011

    as long as the machines were changed to stay legal and he did not give himself a personal exemption on something (which by the sounds of it - he did not) I don't see a problem with it.
    It equates to the same thing in this scenario - maybe he owns a tobacco store - does he violate ethics since the legislature routinely regulates/taxes cig? - i don't think so.

  • 6079 SMITH W Feb 16, 2011

    Those inquisitions are only partisan and frivolous when they knock on a republican's door......and we're all shocked, of course. ;)

  • GWALLY Feb 16, 2011

    ..."This is a partisan, frivolous request that does not merit a response...." BINGO!!!!

  • usnret Feb 16, 2011

    You are trying to change the subject again. This is about Rep. Stone. Closed door meetings, campaign donations, lobby representatives; ring any bells?

  • Libandproud Feb 16, 2011

    Tip of the iceberg. This story will not go away, nor should it. If nothing else it will halt any aspirations Stone may have for higher office, and will likely make him a one-term representative.

  • flemingjt Feb 16, 2011

    I think with Mr. Black helping push a law that required eye examinations for kindergarten aged children prior to enrollment, he was supporting his original line of work. At least this man did not offer a bill to require all parents of a child living in Sanford to stop by his store and play his machines. (I see the conflict of interest issue with both....but, Mr. Black attempted to legislate people in support of his business. Until he offers sweepstakes as an amendment, I doubt he has violated the law.)

  • 6079 SMITH W Feb 15, 2011

    Oh, TOUCHE! That'll learn 'em! Nothing like a good old deflection to help underscore the fact that your stock is FLAT. AGAIN. ;)

  • usnret Feb 15, 2011

    Nice move, change the subject.

  • alx Feb 15, 2011

    there needs to be ethics investigation into the governor & her highway patrol "buddies"

  • blackdog Feb 15, 2011

    ...oh. Glen Beck is on...

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