Now, Sen. Dan Clodfelter (D – Mecklenburg) files a bill (S420) to redirect half of North Carolina's tobacco settlement funds from the Golden LEAF foundation to the General Fund in order to help fill the budget hole – an idea I wrote about months ago in this article, and expanded upon in this article for Civitas Review magazine.
Even though I call for completely dissolving Golden LEAF, and Clodfelter's bill would merely redirect the annual payments over the next couple of years – I say it is more than just coincidence. Purdue and Clodfelter are obviously closet Civitas fans – don't worry guys, you're secret is safe with us!
On a serious note, Golden LEAF should be dissolved because it mostly spends state funds on the same type of projects already funded through the General Fund (mostly Commerce Dep't). There is no reason to have an unelected, unaccountable group of political cronies deciding how to handle such a big pot of money. Better to divert the funds to the General Fund and have the money compete with other spending priorities in a more transparent manner, avoiding duplicative effort and saving millions in administrative costs required to operate the Golden LEAF.