Moving to “Greenerer” Pastures Fertilized by “Specialer” Interests – Sen. Tom Apodaca has Resigned from the NCGA

Sen. Apodaca is going to “greenerer” pastures fertilized by more “specialer” groups. In other words, he will become a lobbyist for the very entities that he already lobbies for as a state senator.

State Senator Tom Apodaca resigned his seat in the NC General Assembly last week shortly after the summer session was ended in a state of “Sine Die”. (If you have no idea what Sine Die is then you can look here – https://caffeinatedrage.com/2016/07/02/you-need-to-know-this-term-sine-die-or-how-the-ncga-will-not-let-bad-bills-die/.

As reported in the Raleigh News & Observer by Colin Campbell on July 15th in an Under the Dome blog post entitled “Sen. Tom Apodaca steps down early, might become a lobbyist” (http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article89801667.html),

“Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca resigned his Senate seat Friday, a few months before his term officially ends.

Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican, has said he’s considering taking a job as a lobbyist. Resigning early means he can start the clock on a six-month “cooling off period” required for lawmakers who become lobbyists. The legislature won’t return to Raleigh until January.”

It would make sense that Apodaca stay in the political arena. He is after all ranked 2nd in “Legislator Effectiveness” according to the NC Center for Policy Research.

According to Votesmart.org, Apodaca does have strong political ties with many whose policies are still to be enacted in Raleigh that would create profit. His ratings with entities that are rather conservative is very high, but on issues that seem very relevant to the upcoming elections he is not rated highly by those who lean to the democrats. Of course he will become a lobbyist.

Here’s a slight summary of that report from Votesmart.org.

  • 93% rating from the NRA – think of all the debate about gun control
  • 91% Lifetime rating by the American Conservative Union – this is one of the oldest right-wing lobbying groups in the nation and founded by William F. Buckley
  • 100% rating by Civitas Action – think of Art Pope, the former budget director for McCrory
  • 17% rating by the ACLU – these are the people fighting against HB2
  • 0% rating by the NC League of Conservation Voters – think of the Duke coal ash spills and fracking

However, when I think of a politician who has served the very conservative faction of the state in such a way as Apodaca has, I can’t but think that his transition to becoming a lobbyist is really not a transition at all.

Think about it. He has been called the “Bull Moose” by many Western NC newspapers because he is considered the muscle for the GOP in state politics. And while the “Bull Moose” may be going to “pasture,” it really is not retirement but a move to a “greenerer” pasture that is being fertilized by more “specialer” interests.

And I even have a special interest license plate made for him now. It actually is available from the NC DMV.

Apodacatag

We’ll make Charlotte pay for it. Or at least Sen. Apodaca would.

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