Henry Hinton shows the high price of votes in the House
Last week the newest members of the UNC Board of Governors were sworn in. Missing was Henry Hinton, a Greenville broadcast executive and former BOG member who was not chosen by the House for another term on the Board.
Hinton made the news in April for an email he sent to House leaders reminding them of his political activity and encouraging them to vote for him. “I would challenge you to find anyone who has worked harder than myself to get conservatives elected and keep them there,” Hinton wrote. He also mentioned a PAC he planned to set up to fundraise for Republicans, though there are no new nonprofit corporations registered to Hinton in NC as of July 2017.
When asked about the email Hinton did not try to run from his vote-buying. “I sent that email to some of the leaders in the house and pointed out that I intended to continue to do that so they will know that I still share their values,” Hinton told the NC Insider, “I have been involved with candidates at the local state and federal level for many years supporting the conservative cause.”
Despite this, only 37 Republicans and one Democrat, Rodney Moore, decided to vote for Hinton’s re-election to the Board.
Did Hinton just not give enough money?
In total, Hinton only contributed $5,250 to members of the House who voted for him, $4,250 of which went to House Speaker Tim Moore alone. Hinton has never contributed to David Lewis or Nelson Dollar. Maybe House members rejected Hinton because there wasn’t real money behind his email.
Doyle Parrish won re-election. He has given $7,000 to Tim Moore and $3,500 to Dollar among others. Parrish is no stranger to buying votes. In 2013, then-Speaker Thom Tillis said he supported Parrish because “I would estimate he is directly responsible for more than $100,000.00 in financial support through personal contributions to my campaign committee and other candidates and through the Hospitality Alliance.”
And when it comes to contributions by BOG members, Parrish and Hinton are on the lower end in terms of money given to Moore. Current members J. Alex Mitchell and James Holmes, Jr., take the cake with $13,600 and $11,571.90, respectively, in contributions to Tim Moore. Both were appointed in 2015 by the House right after Moore was elected Speaker.