What’s obvious in N.C. is the power Senator Marc Basnight (D-Dare) exerts in the General Assembly. Our intuitions should also lead us to an, at least, partial explanation of that power in the accretion of transportation funds around his constituents’ counties (courtesy of John Hood and especially this pdf):
What leaps right out at you is the color-coded graph, which appears to demonstrate conclusively that the counties getting the best transportation deal are located mostly in the northeast corner of North Carolina – which happens to be the domain of longtime Senate leader Marc Basnight – and in some pockets of the western mountains.
I wonder: if one were to scrutinize Marc Basnight to the degree they scrutized Jim Black, would they find more paper bags, cash and quid pro quo patronage? You bet your driveway they would. It’s time bloggers and savvy journalists started looking more carefully at this man’s activities — past and present.