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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Black arrives at courthouse to plead guilty to corruption charge

RALEIGH (AP) - Jim Black, dogged by a federal investigation for the final two years of his powerful political career, is expected to plead guilty Thursday to a corruption charge that could land the former House Speaker in prison.

His attorney, Ken Bell, has confirmed that Black will plead guilty to one count of accepting illegal gratuities - a felony charge similar to bribery but less serious. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Black arrived at the federal building in Raleigh about 11:45 a.m. Thursday, escorted by two men. Bell soon followed him into the building.

Black, 71, resigned from his House seat in the state Legislature on Wednesday. State law bans felons from holding office until they have fulfilled all the terms of their sentence.

A guilty plea may bring to the end a years-long federal grand jury investigation that has highlighted Black's connections to the state's video poker industry, his campaign finances and involvement in the creation of the state lottery. The investigation corralled several Black associates.


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