Monday, January 05, 2009

Old stories, new charges haunt David Balmer

Remember David Balmer?

He's a one-time wunderkind of N.C. politics, elected to the state House in 1988 at age 26 and minority leader four years later. In 1994 the Charlotte Republican ran for Congress and forced a primary runoff with Sue Myrick.

But his resume -- playing varsity soccer in college, graduating in the top of his law school class and clerking on the state Supreme Court -- raised questions. Turned out, none of the claims was true. After first blaming the embellishments on a GOP rival and later an overzealous campaign worker, he admitted adding the lies himself. He apologized but was trounced in the runoff.

He kept a low profile for a year, until police found his bloodstained car in east Charlotte. Seventeen hours later, he turned up on a street far from home, battered, disheveled and soaking wet. Police never learned why. He moved to Colorado, remarried and in 2004 was elected to the state House out there.

Last month trouble found Balmer again.

He's running for the minority leader post in the Colorado House, the same job he had here. Last month the current Republican minority leader filed an ethics complaint against him. He alleges, according to the Rocky Mountain News, that Balmer "may have worked with a lobbyist to offer campaign donations and a future committee chairmanship to another legislator in exchange for supporting Balmer."

Balmer and the lobbyist both say they've done nothing wrong. Last week a legislative panel was appointed to look into the complaint.

When the complaint was filed, Colorado reporters got anonymous emails with news stories (including one from the Observer) about Balmer's earlier problems in North Carolina. The subject line read "The Sordid Tale of David Balmer."

The lobbyist in question, by the way, represents the Colorado Chiropractic Association. It was some N.C. chiropractors whom prosecutors said handed former N.C. House Speaker Jim Black wads of cash in restaurant bathrooms.


Anonymous said...

"None of the claims was true?" Oops.

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