By | March 1, 2020
Michael Dean Hager, current Board of Education appointee and candidate, lives on Walking Horse Trail in the Green Hill area of Rutherfordton (District 1) and is affiliated with the Republican Party. Hager, after being ousted from his legislative position by his OWN Party at 60 years old, then started a career as a lobbyist. His company offered its services for free to Rutherford County, and many of the local municipalities (Rutherfordton, and Spindale are among them.) but was refused. His main lobbying success within Rutherford County appears to have come from his association of former Cleveland County Senator Debbie Clary.  Clary has had her own questionable ethical issues investigated with a LaRoque loan. From the Observer online:

LaRoque is the executive director of East Carolina Development Co. and Piedmont Development Co., which has received more than $8 million through a U.S. Department of Agriculture small-business lending program, according to the group North Carolina Policy Watch. He received annual compensation as much as $195,000 through one of the nonprofits, according to the group.

In August, he (LaRoque) defended having family members on the board of directors and making loans through the nonprofits to two lawmakers — Sen. Debbie Clary. R-Cleveland, and Hilton.

Now Hager, (ethics in question here-self-admitted liar in his failed development Highlands of Lake Lure Property Owners Association lawsuit, sued for major construction issues on his one completed home, and subject to several foreclosures and court judgments due to his failure to pay bills) according to statements he made at a polling place last week, had “his” new PAC- [political action committee] (Drain the Swamp Conservatives) send out mailers in order to influence “Conservative Voters” on WHO TO VOTE FOR.”

Hager and others in the Republican party appear to feel that Conservatives cannot decide on their own and need their “PAC” to tell them how to vote or is using this PAC to promote his (Hager’s) campaign for a seat on the board of education.

The following exchange was again brought to our attention about how Hager truly feels about students, public service and education. This exchange was between Hager and one of his constituents, a student, Tyger McSwain on April 28, 2016 near Rutherford College, NC. In it is appears that Hager’s opinion shows he obviously could not serve the county residents, its students, or even his party with respect for the diversity of their constitutional rights of speech and opinion.

“Last night I had a conversation with my current representative of the North Carolina State House of Representatives (Mike Hager). Last night he told me to tell him the concerns I have. During the conversation, his level of professionalism was minimal and he began to insult me. He began to tell me that I will have no future because of my opinions. He said that he would have no use for people with my beliefs and that he will never respect me. As an elected official, I believe that he should listen to his constituents when they have concerns. He should not judge me because we disagree on many things. I have many friends who hold different political beliefs. But we treat each other with respect and don’t demean each other. He does not know me personally, so who is he to judge my future?As a high school senior, I have had opportunities that have been a blessing. Things are not handed to me, and I work hard to get a quality education. I am attending one of the best public universities in the nation (UNC-Chapel Hill). I can’t believe a leader of a legislature insults a high school student who tried to have a respectable conversation on issues I feel strongly about.”
The question voters must ask is “Is this truly the person we (regardless of party affiliation) want not only representing but making decisions for the students of Rutherford County as a Board of Education member?”