Ethically challenged House speaker should resign

by Jim Longworth

Until recently, Black & Decker referred to a power tool. But here in North Carolina, Black & Decker is a power team.

House Speaker Jim Black, former legislator Mike Decker and other power team players are now under investigation by the State Board of Elections.

Decker, a Republican, switched parties so he could be the swing vote in making Black the speaker. Then, when their mission was accomplished, Decker switched back to the GOP.

Mike understandably lost his bid for re-election, but not to worry. Black gave him a patronage job, and contributed money to Decker’s failed campaign, which Mike kept after his defeat.

Meanwhile, Black’s former political director, Meredith Norris, was paid by Scientific Games to help them secure Lottery business.

Now, Black is in trouble for taking money from his fellow optometrists in return for sneaking in a new law that requires all pre-schoolers to have a complete eye exam.

Democrats and Republicans alike are calling for Black to resign, and I agree with them.

But Black is in denial and doesn’t think he has done anything wrong.

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that an eye doctor is the only person in the state who can’t see the handwriting on the wall.

Jim Longworth is host of ‘“Triad Today’” which can be seen Friday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7), and Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on UPN48 (cable channel 14).