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Archive for November 9th, 2009

US Airways to Melbourne

As in Melbourne, Florida. Three flights a day. Begins in February. The airline had previously served Melbourne from 1989 to 1997.

Bonus Analysis: US Airways last went on a Florida expansion spree in 2008. Melbourne was the one place that you could make an argument for that the airline didn’t add at that time. Going clockwise, the next logical domestic additions would be in Louisiana, Baton Rouge and/or Shreveport, though both may be just slightly too small markets. There are some other candidates further north (Omaha, Des Moines, Grand Rapids etc.) but the situation with those should become clearer after the LGA/DCA slot swap with Delta.

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Is Charles Bowman the Mystery “charles” in DSS Email?

kkAs the Uptown paper of record still cannot or will not identify the “charles” that Bank of America lobbyist Betty Turner told County Manager Harry Jones she had “alerted” over a what Turner termed “embarrasing” complaints about county management of DSS from a Bank of America employee, allow us to step into the gap.

Bank of America’s North Carolina and Charlotte market president Charles Bowman is a logical candidate. Bowman is BofA’s local point-man for all things charitable. Charlotte Magazine calls Bowman one of Charlotte’s top power brokers noting that he is “the primary contact for local community issues.” The magazine adds: “As one philanthropic leader told us, ‘he’s writing lots of checks.’ And if you’re writing checks, you’ve got power.”

And if you’ve got a network of spies hard-wired into local government, you’ve got power.

Bowman was also on the board of the United Way for the Gloria Pace King firing and fiasco. He has also been front and center for various Charlotte Rent Seekers Guild efforts. Bowman’s Uptown crowd bona fides are unassailable.

So if Bowman is our “charles” let’s run this back a few steps.

The local United Way gets fat for years off of compulsory giving from Bank of Wachovia employees, so fat a board composed of local Charles Bowmans does not notice and/or care that Pace King is being handed obscene sacks of cash. Pace King has the misfortune to overreach at the precise moment the nation’s financial sector craters, creating a huge embarrassment for the Uptown crowd and sucking away millions that local government had been counting on to fund charitable efforts.

Meanwhile, the county’s own chronically messed up DSS finally gets audited, and what do you know, it cannot account for hundreds of thousands from its charitable efforts. This prompts one contributor, BAC employee Harry Lomax, to criticize DSS and county management in an email sent from a private, non-corporate email address. Harry Jones receives the email, deduces by means still unknown that Lomax is a BAC employee, and forwards the email to BAC lobbyist Turner with the notation “Do you know Harry Lomax.”

Turner replies almost immediately, telling Jones that she is “embarrassed” by Lomax’s comments and that: “I am tracking it down. I don’t know him — I have alerted charles. Will be back to you.” If our supposition is correct, Turner has immediately contacted the head of BAC’s North Carolina operations and one of the most powerful players in Charlotte over an email calling for better controls and accountability in county charitable efforts sent by a BAC employee.

Now let’s stop and catch our breath and make some observations.

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