Author photoCarolina Journal Print Columnists
Don Carrington


Vice president at the Locke Foundation and Associate Publisher of Carolina Journal, the monthly newspaper of the John Locke Foundation. He joined the Foundation in late 1994, having previously written articles for Carolina Journal and participated in Locke activities. His duties at the Foundation include investigative reporting, research, and public speaking. He writes articles and newspaper columns for the Foundation and in 1995 co-authored Changing Course, Locke's first proposal for rightsizing state government and cutting taxes. Carrington's previous work experience in North Carolina includes economic and employment research in state government, private-sector marketing, economic development, and political consulting. He received his degree in business administration from East Carolina University and is a native of the Washington, D.C. area.

Articles by Don Carrington

(3.31.15) Tax Preparer Exposes Rampant Refund Fraud
RALEIGH — A Charlotte-area tax preparer who conducted an undercover operation with a friend, found that tax preparers catering to Hispanic customers are urging clients — typically using federal taxpayer identification numbers rather than Social Security numbers on IRS documents — to pocket fraudulent refunds by claiming on their income tax returns children as dependents who may not exist or who live outside the United States.

(3.30.15) Spirit’s Job Numbers Far Below Expectations
RALEIGH — Although the Spirit AeroSystems facility at the Global TransPark will not receive all the incentives it could have, critics call any purported "savings" beside the point. They say it's impossible to predict how a company will perform, calling into question whether economic incentives really are the key to landing out-of-state companies.

(3.09.15) Quietly, Government Stops Counting ‘Green’ Jobs
RALEIGH — As a candidate for president in 2008, Barack Obama said he would create 5 million green jobs, and in 2009 the U.S. Department of Labor had developed plans to define and count them. Officials in the N.C. Department of Commerce received nearly $1 million allocated by the federal government to survey companies across North Carolina. But the BLS programs measuring green jobs and reporting on green-job activities ended in March 2013.

(1.12.15) DENR, Commerce Reviewing Stimulus Grants
RALEIGH — Officials at two state agencies are reviewing issues raised by news reports on federal stimulus grants made to a Yancey County resident and to relatives of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan. Following news stories in various media, in October DENR Secretary John Skvarla and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker asking state Auditor Beth Wood for help auditing the treatment of all funding from the federal stimulus law that was awarded through the State Energy Office.

(12.02.14) Commerce Lets Failed Expo Center Slide
MICAVILLE — Yancey County resident Melissa Graham’s stimulus-funded project converting a former blue jean factory into a mixed-use commercial facility failed, and Graham did not pay tens of thousands of dollars to a subcontractor, but a report from the N.C. Department of Commerce viewed the project as a success, and Commerce says it “met its responsibilities in evaluating the satisfactory completion of all projects and the awarding of the associated grant.”

(10.28.14) Hagan Contractor Applications Raise Questions
RALEIGH — U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband Charles “Chip” Hagan, a Greensboro attorney, certified to the North Carolina licensing board for electrical contractors that their son Tilden Hagan worked 3,500 hours installing electrical wiring and equipment over a period of 324 days in 2012 — requiring Tilden to work consecutive 76-hour weeks over that period.

(10.25.14) Hagan-Nominated USDA Official Scrubs Grant Documents
RALEIGH — A copy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s file on a 2011 $50,000 solar energy grant to JDC Manufacturing was missing key documents that would clarify the roles of various family members of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan. Hagan family members own JDC Manufacturing, along with a solar company that claimed to have performed work on the project.

(10.24.14) Hagan Stimulus File Shows Significant Family Involvement
RALEIGH — A Carolina Journal examination of the JDC Manufacturing grant file at the N.C. Department of Natural Resources revealed that Tilden Hagan and William Stewart, Sen. Hagan’s son-in-law, had significant involvement in the project. Records from the stimulus file show direct payments to Tilden and Stewart of $12,785. They may have additional compensation that was not reflected in the public records.

(10.16.14) USDA Office Blocks Access To Hagan Grant Records
RALEIGH — After first agreeing to allow Carolina Journal to inspect the documents relating to a taxpayer-funded U.S. Department of Agriculture energy grant to a company owned by family members of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, the USDA Rural Development office in Raleigh later said the matter was being handled in Washington — implying the USDA’s headquarters in the nation’s capital.

(10.15.14) Hagan Firm Received Second Federal Solar Grant
RALEIGH — JDC Manufacturing, a company co-owned by Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband Charles “Chip” Hagan, received a $50,000 renewable energy grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in July 2011, less than a year after it got a $250,444 stimulus grant for a related project. The two grants were used for the installation of rooftop solar panels on a 300,000-square-foot building in Reidsville owned by JDC and leased to another Hagan family business.

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