Elections board: McCrory campaign, bond committee didn't collude
Posted September 9, 2016
Updated September 10, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory's re-election campaign has been cleared of accusations that it colluded with the committee promoting North Carolina's $2 billion bond referendum this spring, state Elections Director Kim Strach found in a memo released Friday.
In February, the liberal nonprofit Progress NC Action filed a complaint alleging the Connect NC Committee illegally coordinated production of a video advertisement with McCrory, who was then running in the GOP primary. Such coordination could have constituted an illegal contribution to McCrory.
The same memo dismisses the complaint against Rep. Ken Goodman, who like McCrory, sat down to answer questions for the media company working on behalf of the bond campaign. Those interviews and other activities by the bond committee, Strach said, followed guidance issued in late 2015 and early 2016.
"After a thorough investigation, we find no evidence that the Pat McCrory Committee or the Committee to Elect Ken Goodman coordinated with Connect NC on the ads identified in the complaints," Strach wrote. "All evidence indicates that the guidance provided in the advisory opinion of Dec. 4, 2015, and the response to Steve Long on Dec. 18, 2015, was followed in compliance with North Carolina campaign finance laws."
Asked for a comment on the dismissal, McCrory spokesman Ricky Diaz used the occasion to accuse McCrory's Democratic opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, of refusing to help pass the bond.
"Thankfully, the voters could see right through Roy Cooper's political games and passed Governor McCrory's historic higher education and infrastructure bond by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority," Diaz said.
Cooper attended rallies in support of the bond but asked that his name and image not be used as part of the campaign.