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Charlotte Observer: Soles should resign immediately



Senator's maneuvers reflect rot in politics
Soles should resign now and N.C. Senate should kill his bills.
Posted: Tuesday, May. 25, 2010

It's a long way from the corner of Trade and Tryon to the southeastern N.C. Senate district comprising Columbus, Bladen and Brunswick counties - but a short story of old-boy cronyism practiced there paints a vivid picture of everything that's wrong with Tar Heel politics.

As we know by now, the list often includes entrenched Democrats watching out for their pals and quite willing to bend the rules or spend the public's money to take care of their friends. The public is sick of it. Those in the legislature who condone it ought to be ashamed.

Here's the story: Last week, Sen. R.C. Soles, D-Columbus, dropped two bills in the Senate hopper with blatant political overtones.

One would boost the retirement benefit of his longtime friend, District Attorney Rex Gore, who lost a recent race for the Democratic nomination for re-election and who leaves office at the end of the year. Gore recused himself, properly, from a controversial case last year involving Soles, leaving it to the N.C. attorney general's office to decide whether to pursue charges against Soles in a shooting at his home last year. Soles pleaded guilty in February to a misdemeanor charge of shooting someone. He avoided a felony conviction and remained in the Senate, though he did not run for re-election. He leaves office at the end of this year.

Soles' retirement bill allows either district attorneys or judges to collect their pensions starting at age 62 if they have 20 years of service, reports Joseph Neff of The News & Observer of Raleigh. Under the old rules, DAs and judges can collect their pensions beginning at age 65, or when they accumulate 24 years of service. The bill likely affects only Gore, who is 62 and has 22 years of service. The bill means Gore, who admits he helped write the proposal, wouldn't have to wait three more years, though WWAY-TV reported Monday evening that Gore has now asked Soles to amend the bill so it wouldn't apply to him. A better idea would be to drop it entirely.

The other bill would split, at a cost of $248,000, the three-county prosecutorial district where Soles lives in a way that guarantees the next district attorney in his home county will be a Democrat - and not a Republican who might be less friendly to Soles' interests.

Soles has said he's merely splitting the district to mirror judicial districts. But the political angle is obvious. Gore lost his campaign for the Democratic nomination to Harold "Butch" Pope of Columbus County. Pope faces Republican Jon David of Brunswick County this fall. Soles' proposal splits the 13th prosecutorial district in such a way that if Pope wins, he will serve in a new District 13A comprising Columbus and Bladen counties. The bill urges the governor to name a member of the opposite party to be district attorney in District 13B, comprising Brunswick. But if Republican David wins the race, he would be district attorney in 13B and the governor would be encouraged to name a Democrat in 13A. Thus, unless they're amended or killed outright, Soles' bills would reward a longtime ally and keep his own prosecutorial district in Democratic hands.

Soles' legislation smells bad every way you look at it. It is a reminder of what many people of both parties believe - that some politicians stay in office far too long and accumulate the kind of power it takes to pull off these malodorous stunts.

Two things should happen: The Senate should permanently table these proposals. And Soles, who did the right thing when he announced he would not run again, should again do the right thing and resign from the General Assembly. Today would be none too soon.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


i lost count.

after jesse helms there hasn't been anyone worth keeping up with .

so yeah i lost count.

White Trash

This white piece of trash with MONEY needs to resign effective immediately. Your motives are disgraceful. You have absolutely no moral compass.No political party could stand behind such nonsense. You are a case study in corrupt politics that will be talked about long after you have passed.

Time To Go

Hey Mr. Gore and Mr. Soles, can't you get the message?! Get the H--- out of office NOW. Many people in SENC are tired and disgusted with your so called politics. This is not the 60's. You both should have gone to jail when COLCOR was completed.
Mr Gore, you buddies with Mike Easley? Maybe the 2 of you can leave the area together.

Sorry Representative of the people

RC.....You sorry sack of ----. Take that $250,000 that you want to spend to help your political gain and sorry crooked friend that has been ousted by public opinion and apply it where it is needed. Save some of the jobs of school teachers which in return will help benefit education, which in return will reap dividends for our future society.
STOP trying to salvage Rex Gore. The public has spoken and wants him gone.
Do what you are elected to do. REPRESENT YOUR PEOPLE AND NOT YOUR PALS.
We need to do away with DEMS/REPUBs. Officials should represent the majority, not a party. I am sick of party affiliates.


This is wonderful!! I agree with everything you and many others have said. Mr. Gore should have realized long ago that he is NOT well favored in any of our counties. It is just that his allies ran deep. Many in office have went down in the last few years. Mr. Gore tried to act as if he were above them, what a laugh...I believe with all my heart, he is the ring leader. Appears to me that Mr. Gore jumps ship when things get scrutinized. He just proved it even more by involving himself with the bill preparation and of course now asking to be removed from its' benefits if passed. So typical of you Mr. Gore, wonder if the SBI has you in their sights. Down with party affiliations....I agree, majority rule.

R. C. Soles

R.C. Soles is a complete moron and should be kicked out of office. He is a disgrace to the people of NC, and America. We need to clean up politics and keep it clean. It is up to voters to monitor the old boy network and see to it we do not allow it to prosper.

I Guess

they don't keep up with what's going on in Raleigh. The House & Senate are trying to come up with a budget which meets the State mandated requirements and which the Governor will sign.

With his position in the Senate, and all the favirs due him, it is very unlikely the bills will not pass and even less likely he will resign.

Someone in Charlotte must be smoking the funny cigarettes.

To Paraphrase...

Douglas McArthur, who famously said, "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away."

I offer this: " Old politicians never die, they just get paid away.

Caster and Soles Should Retire

" Old politicians never die, they just get paid away."

It's time for career politicians like R.C. and Bill Caster to retire. 20 years, 40 years, is too long in one office, and these guys stay put by taking money from special interests.

Let's retire both Bill Caster and RC Soles this month. I'll host a joint-retirement party for two career politicians who need to go away!

Charlotte Observer

Thank you, Charlotte Observer, for having the guts to say what no media around here will say.

It's an editorial, dear.

It's just one person's perspective.


Have you seen the newspaper editor here say anything? Case closed. Oh yes, The News and Observer agrees, too. That's why I don't subscribe to the newspaper from Wilmington anymore. Anything else you'd like to say?

Soles could be booted out of

Soles could be booted out of office now !Who does he think he is? Mr Gore helped write the bill now wants nothing to do with it?MR soles and Mr Gore both need to be shown the door...get em out now!!!!


Soles is out anyhow. As long as there are people watching what he is doing nothing will go wrong. So just let him finish the year out. I did hear if you ever needed a favor from him he would help anyone but the pay back was not worth it. LOL.