Tom Bullock


Tom Bullock decided to trade the khaki clad masses and traffic of Washington DC for Charlotte in 2014. Before joining WFAE, Tom spent 15 years working for NPR.  Over that time he served as everything from an intern to senior producer of NPR’s Election Unit.  Tom also spent five years as the senior producer of NPR’s Foreign Desk where he produced and reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon among others.  Tom is looking forward to finally convincing his young daughter, Charlotte, that her new hometown was not, in fact, named after her.

Ways to Connect

Tom Bullock/WFAE News

Monday we brought you the story of an alleged pay-to-play scheme involving Charlotte Douglas International Airport and taxi companies.  In 2011 the City Council slashed the number of companies that could pick-up at the airport from 12 to 3. The allegations were that only companies that paid $5,000 to join The Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance, or HTA, were given the coveted slots. Those who did not were cut out of the most lucrative market in the city for cabs.

In our earlier report, Diamond Cab owner Obaid Khan said, "We feel like you shouldn’t have to pay to play. That’s exactly what took place at the airport."

Last night, Khan addressed the Charlotte City Council about another side of the controversy. 

Charlotte Observer

There’s a phrase that now hovers over the Charlotte city government:

Pay-to-play. An arrangement where political influence is for sale. Mohamed Moustafa says he was offered the chance at pay-to-play.

"The way they did this process was 100 percent pay to play scheme."

What’s interesting about his quote is it’s from July of 2011 - 2.5 years before Patrick Cannon was arrested and resigned. That was Moustafa then. This is him now:

"What I said then in 2011, it is proved itself now in 2014. It is proved."

Tom Bullock / WFAE News

Wednesday, Dan Clodfelter was sworn in as Mayor of Charlotte. 

There was the pledge of allegiance, an oath of office and prayer…more or less the standard affair.  Of course how Clodfelter became mayor was anything but. WFAE's Tom Bullock sat down with Charlotte's new mayor just after the ceremony.

David T. Foster, III - / Charlotte Observer

Later today, Democratic State Senator Dan Clodfelter will resign the seat he’s held for 8 terms so he can become the next Mayor of Charlotte. Last night, Clodfelter was appointed by the City Council to serve what remains of Patrick Cannon’s term.


Later today, the US Senate is expected to vote on extending long term unemployment benefits.  If passed, the bill will move to the House of Representatives. And if it becomes law, it would affect North Carolina more than any other state. 

Tom Bullock steps in for Ben Bradford on this week's show. Greg, Lisa and Tom discuss the race for Charlotte mayor and Patrick Cannon's recognition on the The Daily Show. Plus, the production assist that some candidates are giving third-party interest groups, and a charter school in Charlotte that shuts down before the school year ends.

Tom Bullock/WFAE News

Many of the political ads you see and hear are produced by independent third-party interest groups. They are called “independent” because it’s illegal for these groups and candidates to coordinate their campaigns.

But this year it’s harder to distinguish between these groups and some candidates in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate Race.

This year the campaigns of Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan are pushing the boundaries of election law.

Tonight, Charlotte City Council may have an answer to this question – who is the next mayor of Charlotte?

But no matter what happens at tonight's meeting, Council will undoubtedly try to reassure the public the city is moving on from former mayor Patrick Cannon.

How The FBI's Case Against Cannon Went Down

Mar 27, 2014
Michael Tomsic

On Wednesday morning, Patrick Cannon was Mayor of Charlotte and a rising political figure in the state. Less than 24 hours later he’s out on bond, no longer in government, and facing a host of federal charges. The story of his fall is one of undercover cops, multi-million dollar investments, bugged apartments, and feminine hygiene products. WFAE’s Ben Bradford and Tom Bullock bring us this report.

James Willamor

A request for $51 million of city money to rehab the Bojangles Coliseum was a bit surprising. The city has already approved $25 million to renovate the site. This new proposal is still just that, a proposal. But it left us wondering just what this additional money would be used for.  So we turned to a real person and a talking document to find out.