Meanwhile, in present-day South Carolina, state law enforcement has been investigating a town councilman and perhaps others for ties to the video gambling underworld after sources leaked audio recordings of the public official explaining how local law enforcement and politicians were providing cover for the industry.

I hope North Carolina reporters can benefit from Scoppe’s explanations of how the state press corps across the border missed opportunities to expose an under-the-radar story about the power of money in politics until it was too late. It’s a story recent headlines show is still far from over.

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Corey Hutchins is CJR's correspondent for Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia. A former alt-weekly staffer, he has twice been named journalist of the year in the weekly division by the S.C. Press Association. Hutchins recently worked on the State Integrity Investigation at the Center for Public Integrity, and he has contributed to Slate, The Nation, and Medium, among others. Follow him on Twitter @coreyhutchins or email him at