Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sheriffs' Association agenda clarified in shady fundraising & prior featherbedding by its chief lobbyist. Don't let NCSA kill HB 937!


Involvement of $290,000/yr unelected North Carolina Sheriffs' Association (NCSA) Executive Director Eddie Caldwell in opposition to eliminating the discriminatory and obsolete, but potentially lucrative, pistol permit system becomes clearer after GRNC has learned that fully 50% of funds raised by that group are used for further fundraising. Of the remainder, a large proportion are used to pay Caldwell's generous salary and benefits.

According to a 2007 WCNC interview with Better Business Bureau representative, Tom Bartholomy, this breakdown is “...way too high. If we had done an evaluation of this charity they would not meet our standards”.

Additional evidence of inappropriate, myopic NCSA focus on financial support for Caldwell is their prior pressure on the NC Assembly to grant a special exemption to enroll him, a non-state employee, in the State Employees Retirement System. Said the NC Police Benevolent Association: "Long known LEO operative, Eddie Caldwell, seeks to pad his own wallet on the backs of [a] disabled cops bill."

Based upon Caldwell's current salary, this would have resulted in a yearly retirement salary of about $135,000. Fortunately for NC taxpayers, this effort was shot-down.

Non-profit NCSA using YOUR money to lobby against you!

So why would Caldwell guide sheriffs to retain a Jim Crow-era law under which sheriffs issue untraceable, irrevocable paper permits, good for 5 years, which let felons bypass computerized background checks, also known as the "arming felons loophole?"

Specifically, as a not-for-profit, tax exempt organization, why is NCSA using your own money to lobby against you?

Money and power: Caldwell's money (he got blindsided in the Senate and wants to protect his cozy gig), and sheriffs' power. For their own part, sheriffs want the ability to deny permits to whomever they want. In communications with constituents, they admit wanting to deny permits to people:
  • With "pending violations" for infractions which would not be a bar to owning guns under federal law;
  • To people with unspecified "mental health issues," despite utter lack of mental health training and qualifications;
  • And to limit the number of firearms you can buy to as few as 5 per year -- WORSE THAN 1-GUN-A-MONTH LAWS; and far more.

NCSA and Eddie Caldwell are more interested in maintaining their cash cow than in closing this “armed felon loophole” once and for all.

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