From Robert Pittenger of Charlotte, a Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional District, in response to Land deal criticized, but Pittenger denies any conflict (July 1):
Serving in the N.C. legislature and owning a successful business is a challenge, but I have always been diligent with compliance and ethics requirements. I sought always to ensure that my legislative responsibilities did not cross my business interests and recused myself many times. I was disappointed that much of the information (six documents) and statements by others that I gave to Jim Morrill were not included in the article, while credence was given to those who appear to have a political agenda as supporters of my Republican primary opponent, Jim Pendergraph.
As a member of the Union County delegation, which unanimously supported the annexation process, then-Sen. Fern Shubert had already pledged her support. There was no need to request her support. She had also already acknowledged her support to developer Steve Pace when he met with her. Sen. Shubert lost her election to Sen. Tommy Tucker, who supports me.
Former candidate Dan Barry supports Pendergraph because I called Barry out in the primary for serving on a PAC Executive Committee that funded Barney Frank. Dan was in my office several times on real estate matters last fall and never had a problem with me. Also, the property was originally purchased from Pendergraph supporter and former Weddington Mayor Nancy Anderson and her two siblings, and later resold for a profit to Steve Pace. Ms. Anderson appears to have some regret over that.
Mr. Morrill made a sweeping assertion that all of the 17 Union County officials support Pendergraph because of the annexation issue, yet many clearly had personal reasons for their support for Pendergraph. The reporting is that of a prosecutor, twisting certain facts and omitting other relevant information.
In short, the Observer article could have brought some fairness and accuracy by adding the following.
1. A quote from any other Senate member which would confirm that I did not approach them for their vote.
2. A statement from Rep. Curtis Blackwood, whose district was home to the property in question. Without his critical support, there never would have been a bill. He would say I never discussed it with him.
3. Waxhaw Mayor Jack Hembys statement conveying that the Town of Waxhaw initiated and pursued the annexation and I had nothing to do with it.
4. An email from Councilman and Waxhaw Town Administrator Mike Simpson to senators requesting their support, with no reference to me.
5. Two emails from developer Steve Pace to Sen. Shubert as a follow-up to their meeting, where she had offered support to him for annexation.
Those you have quoted appear to have their own personal or political agendas, while you omitted documents and statements that would have conveyed a different story. Former Gov. Jim Martin was correct when he said Jim Morrill should be chided for indulging in the same negative attacks that your editors pretend to despise.