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Bill, Mary and the OpenCDA.com crowd never fail to amaze. After watching Golden Boy Steve Adams toss in the towel re: his threatened appeal of the sewer treatment plant expansion, I was curious how OpenCDA.com would spin the inglorious defeat. In four words: "Well done, Councilman Adams!" I'm at a loss re: what Adams did well, other than read a prepared statement on two or three different occasions, call the cops on City Attorney Mike Gridley, and remind many of us that he's not ready for Woody TV prime time on council nights. Well done? Adams couldn't find any place for judicial confirmation in his reading of the Idaho Constitution (although the practice was used for sewer expansions in Post Falls and Hayden). And then, after he was roundly criticized for endangering the city's economy with his ploy, he saw the light and celebrated Judge John Luster's wise decision. Well done? What changed between the two divine revelations (other than some hilarious dust-ups on and off camera)? We're going ahead with the sewer expansion without a public vote, which Adams declared only days ago to be unconstitutional. I'd be somewhat impressed if Adams admitted he was wrong rather than offer a smoke-and-mirrors excuse for his second flipflop on this same issue. I suppose the OpenCDAers have to mollify the dwindling number of individuals you can fool all the time, with its proclamation: Well done/DFO. You can read Bill McCrory's full post here.
I'm still trying to figure out the contempt that OpenCDA-dot-Com has for the Coeur d'Alene Press. I thought the Press played things as close to the middle as possible during the failed recall attempt. But Bill McCrory takes after the Press again this week for the Sunday editorial ("Clarify rules for recall") advocating clarification of state recall laws (which you'd think OpenCDA-dot-Com would endorse). Instead, McCrory lambastes the Press ("the propaganda machine of Hagadone Corporation") for being, ahem, MIA during the "the illegal conduct of the 2009 Coeur d’Alene City election." Mr. Bill wonders where the Press was in the 2009 election (which survived legal review) and then answers his own question: "Hiding under the beds with some District Court judges, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Kootenai County Clerk Dan English and Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh who did not want anyone understanding just how FUBAR Idaho’s election administration laws were. Today, those same laws are SUSFU. And that’s exactly the way the aforementioned Press and officials like them." McCrory claims the Press editorial is particularly "insidious" because "it wants to amend Idaho’s Constitution and statutes to limit the people’s ability to recall elected officials." You can read the whole rant here.
Question: Would you like to see Idaho recall laws loosened to make it easier to recall elected officials?
If you thought that OpenCDA-dot-Com was going to leave the failed recall attempt alone, you need to think again. Mr. Bill was busy spinning a City Council encounter between Mayor Sandi Bloem and audience member Charlotte Gherke, whom I thought was borderline rude in her statement to Bloem and the council at the last City Council election. Mr. Bill, of course, dumps everything on Mayor Bloem: "Let’s play make-believe that Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem has changed her ways since the recall effort and has begun being honest with the citizens. We have to make believe, because it certainly isn’t reality." You can read the rest of Mr. Bill's trip through the Looking Glass here. Someone should tell Mr. Bill that his side failed to trigger a recall election despite one of the most intense political campaigns I've seen in almost 30 years in Coeur d'Alene. He's acting as though he represents the majority. Which, fortunately,, he does not.
Question: Isn't it time Mayor Bloem & the council quit listening to the bellyachers who couldn't get enough signatures to recall 4 of them — and move boldly ahead with their agenda?
First, I have to say that Editor Mike Patrick and the Coeur d'Alene Press have done a decent job staying neutral in the Coeur d'Alene recall attempt. Too decent. I wish Mike would take sides and slam the attempted overthrow of our properly elected mayor and three council members. But all the trying by Mike and his news staff to thread the needle on this tough issue has been for naught as far as cranky Bill McCrory and OpenCDA.com is concerned. McCrory grouses in his latest rant that the Recallers have been deceived by a Press editorial defending its neutral stand. The source of his whine? A letter by Ken Burchell in today's Coeur d'Alene Press. Grouses McCrory: "We at OpenCdA were wrong, and we sadly admit today that we, like others in the community, bought into the deception game the Coeur d’Alene Press is playing with its readers." Full McCrory complaint here.
Unsurprisingly, OpenCDA & Co. are celebrating the decision by 2nd District Judge Michael J. Griffin that voided the appointment of Wanda Quinn to the Coeur d'Alene School District Board of Trustees. Quoth Bill McCrory: "Judge Griffin’s decision took three pages. It was elegant in its simplicity, and Judge Griffin applied a concept that would likely be considered unique and innovative (maybe even 'anarchy') by our First District Court judges: He read and followed Idaho law." You can read the rest of Blustery Bill's all-out snark here.
Question: It seems to me that Mary/Bill & sympathizers believe in the justice system only when they agree with verdicts. But they seem to think a judge is on the take when a verdict is rendered with which they disagree. What do you think?
At the Lake City Senior Center this week, Sharon Culbreth, state Sen. Kathy Sims, and Mary Souza line up to bash Lake City Development Corp.
Never one to fail to attack when she smells blood in the water, Bill McCrory of OpenCDA.com is crying for Tony Berns's head over his decision to deal with her and the Coeur d'Alene Press via email. (Side note: How would you like to get up every morning knowing Mary Souza was sticking pins in your voodoo doll in one quarter & Bill was spitting & spewing at his keyboard command post: "Me hatessss him"? Poor Tony Berns.) Bill believes the lack of public access is a firing offense. Reluctantly, HucksOnline agrees with her that it's a poor decision, even though the intent behind the decision is to put some distance between you and a relentless foe who can't be pleased. But Bill wants more than just Tony's head this fine morning: "The Executive Director and some Commissioners of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s urban renewal agency, the Lake City Development Corporation, appear to have enacted and then on more than one occasion followed an official policy which is contrary to the Idaho Code. They have engaged in a pattern and practice of unlawful conduct. They all need to be removed." You can read the rest of the spiel here.
North Idaho College paid more than $152,000 to successfully fight that lawsuit filed against the DeArmond Mill Site purchase by Larry Spencer, Tom Macy (picured), and Bill McCrory. Huckleberries Online has obtained the breakdown of the payments to the North Idaho College Foundation and the attorney firm of Ramsden & Lyons for their legal work in defense of the lawsuit. In their unsuccessful suit, Spencer, Macy, and McCrory alleged unsuccessfully that the original lease agreement for the eventual purchase of the mill site violated Idaho Constitution's restriction of the debt local taxing districts may take on. The men contend that public entities must first win two-thirds voter approval or authorization by a judge before they may legally incur long-term debt. In February, District Judge John Mitchell ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. Legal expense breakdown here.
Question: It'd be interesting to tabulate how much money has been wasted by local governments in Kootenai County fighting lawsuits brought by so-called conservatives fighting their myriad causes?
1st District Judge John Mitchell has dismissed a lawsuit filed against North Idaho College & the North Idaho College Foundation re: the purchase of the future education corridor, brought by Larry Spencer, Thomas R. Macy, and William McCrory. Mitchell ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. Quoth Mitchell: "NIC correctly argues the general rule is taxpayers, such as plaintiffs, do not have standing to challenge government action. … An exception existed earlier in this litigation to allow the taxpayers, plaintiffs, to challenge whether the Lease Agreement was constitutional under Article VIII, § 3. Id. But the constitutionality of the Lease Agreement is now moot, as the lease ceases to exist. This 'repayment of the prepaid rent' now advanced by plaintiffs does not change the fact that the lease no longer exists. No sleight of hand argument by plaintiffs can resurrect the lease that was entirely paid off." You can read Mitchell's 25-page findings here. (SR file photo/Jesse Tinsley, of Judge John Mitchell)
Gotta give Mary Souza props for posting an apology to respected Councilman Ron Edinger today, for calling him “dumb” in a comment under a post about the city voting to underwrite Councilman Mike Kennedy’s legal expenses in Brannon case. Ditto for Dan Gookin, who commented: “It was obvious to me that Ron was under a lot of pressure last night. This hasn’t been a good year for him, and I could see it and hear it during the meeting.” Ron lost a beloved grandson in a crash near Twin Falls earlier this year. However, Bill McCrory & a bottom feeder pseudonymed Wallypog turned the apology on its head by stating that (McCrory) Edinger should step down if he can’t handle his duties and (Wallypog) “Edinger needs to retire. If he can’t contain his emotions over routine business then I expect that he can’t control his bladder either. He’d be right at home over at Beehive where he could be spoon fed and finally earn the title of DEPEND(s)able.”
Question: Are you satisfied with the job Councilman Ron Edinger is doing — and has done — for the city of Coeur d’Alene?
Since several of you have been discussing Bill McCrory’s latest broadside against all things involving the city of Coeur d’Alene, I figure I’ll post a link to his latest toxic screed, lambasting the request by Councilman Mike Kennedy to pay his legal bills for the 2009 municipal election. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Jim Brannon, pictured, is still pursuing his lawsuit to over turn his bitter 5-vote loss to Kennedy more than a year ago. Now, he and attorney Starr Kelso have appealed Judge Charles Hosack’s adverse decision against them to the Idaho Supreme Court. Meanwhile, OpenCDA.com ally McCrory explains why the city shouldn’t pay the $105,000 Kennedy accrued for making the mistake of beating sore loser Brannon. You can read McCrory’s OpenCDA.com thoughts here. Interestingly, a poll being conducted by the Coeur d’Alene Press overwhelmingly opposes the city paying Kennedy’s legal bills.
Question: Do you agree with any of McCrory’s points?
You may know that Christa Hazel demanded a witness fee and mileage when she was subpoenaed by attorney Arthur B. Macomber to testify in the contempt-of-court case against Bill McCrory. But did you know that Christa refused to give the $21.27 back after charges against Macomber’s client were dismissed by Judge Charles Hosack? The contempt case was a sideshow during the long-running legal circus starring disgruntled City Council election loser Jim Brannon and his attorney, Starr Kelso. On Oct. 19, Macomber sent a letter to Christa asking that she return the fee because she didn’t have to testify or drive to the courthouse. And Christa, through attorney hubby Joel, told Macomber to pound sand/DFO, Huckleberries Online. More here.
- Boise: Large voter turnout predicted at polls/Betsy Russell
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Sisyphus: The “real” point is that McRory’s attorney exercised the authority of the court by issuing a subpoena (a court order to appear) to assure Christa’s attendance at the hearing. The rules required he provide a witness fee to cover travel expenses. Had she failed she would have been held ….wait for it….in contempt. Mr. Hazel’s comment doesn’t make a case that it was a mistake, but that it was a boneheaded mistake. The cost in attorney time to request the refund is far more than the amount requested. It ain’t about the money.
Question: What is the attempt by Bill McCrory’s attorney to get back the witness fee from Christa Hazel really about?
As you may recall, Christa Hazel demanded a witness fee and mileage when she was subpoenaed by attorney Arthur B. Macomber to testify in the contempt of court case filed against Macomber’s client, Bill McCrory (as a side show in the long-running Jim Brannon lawsuit against Mike Kennedy). Judge Charles Hosack dismissed those charges. Now, Macomber has sent a letter to Christa asking that she return the witness fee because she didn’t have to testify or drive to the courthouse. And Christa, through attorney husband, Joel Hazel, is telling Macomber to pound sand. Responds Joel Hazel to Macomber: “It is certainly not my wife’s fault that you mistook a 4 p.m. status conference for a trial (Never in my 16-year law practice has a court set a trial at 4 p.m.)” Joel goes on to say his wife endorsed the witness fee check and turned it over to Mike Kennedy’s defense fund. So she doesn’t have the $21.46 to turn over to Macomber. “As such,” writes Joel, “the $21.46 will not be returned.” I’ll have links to letters in a few moments.
Question: Should Christa return the witness fee?
RE: Contempt charge dropped: McCrory, attorney ask judge not to dismiss suit/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press
At OpenCDA.com, Mary Souza can barely contain herself re: the grave injustice suffered by her sidekick, Bill McCrory, Tuesday afternoon. Seems she’s in a huff that Judge Charles Hosack simply dismissed contempt of court charges against Bill when she was planning to make a reappearance in his courtroom. Well, there’s a bit more. By dismissing the charges as he did, the judge blocked “the evidence compiled at great effort and cost by Bill’s attorney and the witnesses they arranged to testify.” Mary conjectures that Hosack did not want to hear ” … why the charges were not grounded in law and why the complaint was frivolous. The judge did not want to assign fees.” Seems Mary, who admits she’s holding herself back, sees a great wrong in all of this — McCrory being forced to pay beaucoup bucks for an action she blames on Mike Kennedy and “close supporter and HBO commenter Christa Hazel.” But she continues to say nothing of the approximate $60,000 that Mike Kennedy has to pay simply by having the misfortune of beating sour-grapes challenger Jim Brannon. Amazing. Mary’s comment here.
Question: Shouldn’t Mary be happy that the contempt charges against McCrory were dismissed?
Update: Judge Charles Hosack dismissed contempt of court charges against Bill McCrory this afternoon. No further details at this time.
Huckleberries hears … from Christa Hazel that her subpoena to appear in court today in the Bill McCrory contempt of court case has been excused by McCrory attorney Art Macomber. Seems the hearing today is just a status conference, not a trial. So she won’t be needed to testify this afternoon. And Huckleberries won’t be following the activity, unless something interesting pops up.
Update: McCrory’s contempt of court case will be heard by Judge Charles Hosack at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Christa Hazel’s decision (below) to donate her witness fee to Mike Kennedy’s legal defense fund was originally posted Saturday morning.
Christa Hazel, pictured, has been subpoenaed to testify in the court case involving a contempt charge against Bill McCrory, springing out of the Jim Brannon election lawsuit. Christa signed an affidavit in the case. The case will be heard by Judge Charles Hosack next week. Christa received her subpoena Friday. She emails: “(Friday) I was served a subpoena to testify in the upcoming court trial for the contempt issue involving William McCrory. The process server with Confidential Investigations hand delivered the subpoena to my door but failed to provide the witness fees per Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure. He returned later in the day with a check from the law offices of Arthur Macomber in the amount of $21 and change. I will promptly be endorsing this check and donating it to Mike Kennedy’s legal defense fund.”
- Christa Facebooks: Witness fee = $20, Mileage to the court house = $1.27, Aggravating the process server by forcing to make two trips to my house? Priceless. ;)
Question: What do you think of Christa’s spunk in demanding the witness fee?
Mary Souza, who with Bill McCrory, seems to be the official spokesman for Jim Brannon (who rarely speaks for himself) has broken her silence in a comment below today’s OpenCDA post about the ha-huge election loss to Mike Kennedy & the city of Coeur d’Alene. She said she’d have been shocked had Team Brannon prevailed. Intones Mary: “The judge made his true feelings very clear when, during a legal hearing before the trial, he went off on a long, dramatic rant about how the Election Challenge was threatening voters’ rights to privacy. His remarks were highly prejudicial. (and very inaccurate).” Then, she begins the inevitable dot connecting that OpenCDA cranks are famous for. Hosack is “highly connected to the community.” He’s in the Tubbs Hill Association with Scott Reed. He’s — omigosh — “known as a Democrat.” Blah, blah, blah. You can read the rest of this nonsense on comment No. 13 here.
Question: Should Mary be haranguing Judge Hosack with her character assassination while McCrory still has to face him next week on the contempt charge?
I’ve always suspected that the end game for Team Brannon was a challenge of the 2009 Coeur d’Alene City Council election before the Idaho Supreme Court. (Who knows … mebbe in the collective minds of the Team Brannon Brain Trust Jim Brannon’s 5-vote loss to Mike Kennedy is worthy of U.S. Supreme Court consideration.) Now, none other than Bill McCrory, who has been seen regularly hobnobbing with Brannon attorney Starr Kelso this week, may have finally revealed the end game for the Brannon challenge when he commented under Mary’s OpenCDA.com blast at City Attorney Mike Gridley today. After praising Team Brannon for its courageous fight against “government laziness, incompetence, and corruption in Coeur d’Alene,” McCrory says, “Regardless of the outcome of
the election contest, this is almost certain to end up in the Idaho
Supreme Court, hopefully on a rocket docket.” See McCrory’s full comment (6:53 a.m.) here. (SR file photo: Starr Kelso and son, Matt, who has been helping his father during the court trial.)
Question: Can you imagine Brannon’s 5-vote loss to Kennedy being fare that’s worthy of Idaho Supreme Court attention?
Dan of the County: To follow up on the original post, I had several friendly folks including Republicans stop by the D’s booth and visit yesterday. Tom Malzahn was working his booth during the same time and we both went to each other’s “territory” to say hello. I even had Bill McCrory stop and take my picture! Although I did jokingly tell him that I wondered if he should read me my Miranda rights before he took my picture … All in all a good time and good company, I’ll be out there again most of the afternoon and evening.
Question: Do you think the Kootenai County clerk’s race between Democrat DanOTC and Republican Cliff Hayes will be the nastiest one locally?
Strangely, Bill McCrory, who is quick to point the finger at others from his keyboard commando spot in the OpenCDA.com swamp, has yet to mutter a word re: his appearance in Judge Charles Hosack’s 1st District Courtroom (re: a contempt of court allegation) on Wednesday. In fact, nothing has been written out front at OpenSewer.com in the last two days (although I haven’t taken time to read the comments). Has the cat got McCrory’s tongue? Or is he being a little more cautious after donning suit-and-tie to face the possible legal music (at a trial scheduled for mid-September) ? Inquiring minds want to know.
Item: Contempt charge on hold: Judge wants to wait until election challenge is decided/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press
More Info: McCrory pleaded not guilty to the contempt charges on Tuesday. That trial has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 17, a day after the election suit is scheduled to wrap up. If he’s found guilty on the two accusations, he could face up to $10,000 in civil fines.
Update: McCrory denied that he was in contempt of court, at the hearing this afternoon. Now, Judge Charles Hosack will set a date in September to hear the case.
A contempt of court hearing involving Bill McCrory, a supporter in Jim Brannon’s long-running suit to overturn the 2009 Coeur d’Alene City Council election results, is scheduled for 3 o’clock this afternoon in 1st District Judge Charles Hosack’s courtroom. Scott Reed, the attorney for Councilman Mike Kennedy, wants McCrory held in contempt of court for allegedly violating a confidentiality agreement in the case. According to an Aug. 13 Coeur d’Alene Press story, Reed complained that voter information pertaining to the recently-reviewed absentee envelopes wasn’t supposed to be shared outside the courtroom and Bill McCrory violated that privacy agreement. Stay tuned.
- You can read Scott Reed’s contempt motion against Bill McCrory here
- You can read Scott Reed’s brief asking for summary judgment in this case here
Question: How do you think this’ll play out?
COEUR d’ALENE - The attorney representing City Councilman Mike Kennedy wants a document reviewer held in contempt of court for reportedly violating a confidentiality agreement.
Voter information pertaining to the recently-reviewed absentee envelopes wasn’t supposed to be shared outside the courtroom and Bill McCrory violated that privacy agreement, a complaint filed Thursday by attorney Scott Reed states.
“Information he observed in the examination of election documents … he swore he would keep to himself as confidential,” the complaint says. McCrory’s envelope findings were filed as a court affidavit, and later posted on the website, Opencda.com, along with a newspaper article about the affidavit. Both the affidavit and article revealed voter identities. Tom Hasslinger, Cda Press Read more.
Yikes! Persons found guilty of contempt of court face fines or jail time. How do you this think latest sally in the never-ending saga of Brannon v. Kennedy will turn out?
Councilman Mike Kennedy re: banner front-page story re: discovery by Bill McCrory of “many ballot irregularities” in today’s Coeur d’Alene Press: “I could write volumes about this story (and its placement on the front page) and the ridiculous affivadit which spawned it, but the bottom line is the claims are completely and totally irrelevant to the electoral lawsuit in the slightest. Aside from which they are false, defamatory, and politically motivated. Other than that, what’s not to love?”
Question: Am I the only one who wonders when the Coeur d’Alene Press will begin covering Rep. Phil Hart’s tax troubles with as much fervor as it does Jim Brannon’s never-ending election challenge?
Sisyphus: (Bill McCrory’s allegations of voting irregularities in Coeur d’Alene are) the same minor and inconsequential issues exist in every election. In just about every election there are large quantities of folks of all backgrounds and experiences and education levels volunteering their time to be involved in a collective, common and essential process of a democracy. This is the EXACT issue for Kelso’s election challenge centered upon against Jim Risch 10 years ago. Kelso alleged there were 190 or so of these same issues with absentee ballot envelopes in that case. The District Judge and the Idaho Supreme Court said a collective (my words) “so what?” and denied Kelso’s challenges. Kelso is re-litigating what he lost 10 years ago costing the Kootenai County taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Bill McCrory, a supporter of seat 2 challenger Jim Brannon and a man who recently attempted unsuccessfully to intervene in the election challenge lawsuit, signed a court affidavit claiming he found around 900 irregularities after reviewing the absentee ballot envelopes. Examples of the irregularities include ballot return envelopes that were not signed by the elector, or did not have the date and time receipt written or stamped after they were returned/Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.
- Update: Dan of the County reports: “(The Brannon case is) now set for trial the week of September 13th.”
At 3:30 p.m. today, Judge Charles Hosack will hear five motions in the long-running attempt by challenger Jim Brannon to overthrow the Coeur d’Alene City Council election results. Brannon has asked Hosack to reconsider the ruling he made May 14 that Brannon hasn’t made a claim that’s sufficient to overturn the results in his five-vote loss to Councilman Mike Kennedy or the three other races on the municipal ballot last November. Also, the judge is being asked to rule on the request to intervene in the lawsuit by Bill McCrory and his wife. Also, Attorney Scott Reed, who represents Kennedy, and Mike Haman, who represents the city of Coeur d’Alene, have asked the judge to set a date for the trial.
Question: Am I being a bit cynical when I consider that a Sept. 13 trial will push this case into the heart of the next election cycle, possibly benefitting some of the individuals running for various local offices?
Councilman Mike Kennedy: Jim Brannon filed this suit — no one else (though Bill McCrory has incurred liability by seeking to enter the lawsuit on Jim’s side). Brannon sued the county, the city, and me, after rejecting the free opportunity he had to follow the state legislated process and do a recount before considering legal options. Writing as a private citizen being sued, here, regardless of whether he loses or wins this court case, because of this willful and admitted plan of suing me individually first without pursuing all legal steps in the process, I would assume that Mr. Brannon has been preparing himself personally for the time when I as a private citizen seek to recover every penny of all applicable legal costs, personal costs, and damages in this lawsuit through full discovery in the courts. And I would certainly assume that preparation doesn’t include (hypothetically speaking, of course) diverting or shielding personal assets, inheritances, or family trusts in the names of any other individuals or family members. Full comment here.
Question: Some would say that MikeK should grin & quietly bear the costs and personal hassle of being sued individually by the loser in his narrow council victory last fall — that his post at HucksOnline provides fodder for Brannon and the Kennedy haters who follow him. I wouldn’t. Would you?
At OpenCDA.com, Bill McCrory is taking aim at one of his favorite pincushions, Dan of the County, by blaming him for that flap in the Senate District 3 race, involving incumbent Mike Jorgenson and challenger Steve Vick. Seems Vick lost his Idaho voting privileges when he moved to Montana and then didn’t get them back, as he should have done, when he moved back to Kootenai County and tried to re-register. Seems Idaho law cancels voting rights when you register elsewhere. However, when Vick attempted to re-register, the clerk’s office said he was already registered and didn’t need to do so again. The clerk’s office hadn’t been notified of Vick’s move to Montana. Vick voted in the 2008 primary and general elections without problems. Now, Jorgenson is claiming he isn’t qualified to be a candidate for Idaho Legislature. And McCrory is blaming English for not being omniscient.
Question: Who do you think is to blame for this snafu?
In the Coeur d’Alene Press today, a letter from Bill & Lisa McCrory explains the reasons why they’re asking to be involved in Jim Brannon’s attempt to overturn his 5-vote election loss to Councilman Mike Kennedy. As pointed out here a few days ago, Bill McCrory, of OpenCDA.com infamy, contends that mistakes were made — and possibly encouraged by election officials, such as County Clerk Dan English — and that the original lawsuit seeking to overthrow the results of the entire election should be reinstated. You can read the letter here.
Question: What do you make of the letter from McCrory and his wife?