Local Politics

More flights reported by Perdue campaign

Posted January 29, 2010
Updated January 30, 2010

— Gov. Beverly Perdue's campaign committee has reported another eight flights aboard private aircraft dating to 2000, according to information filed Thursday with the State Board of Elections.

Jack Trabucco, a retired Air Force officer who manages an aviation firm in New Bern, provided five flights between November 2000 and October 2005 totaling $1,878. All five were treated as in-kind contributions.

Perdue's campaign reimbursed donors for three other flights:

  • DM Farms of Rose Hill, owned by hog baron Wendell Murphy, provided a March 2004 flight valued at $326.
  • Shearin Companies Inc., an Enfield-based firm that sells manufactured housing, provided a flight in October 2004 valued at $338.
  • Fulenwider Enterprises Inc., a fast-food franchisee based in Morganton, provided a November 2006 flight valued at $1,993.

Since last summer, the campaign has uncovered a total of 31 flights aboard private planes that were previously unreported. The donors who provided 21 of the flights have been reimbursed, while the others were included on amended campaign finance reports as in-kind contributions.

The combined value of the 31 flights was more than $25,400.

State campaign finance laws forbid corporate donations to candidates and limit individual contributions to $4,000 per election cycle.

Campaign treasurer Oscar Harris said that campaign officials have been auditing Perdue's campaign finances after the campaign shifted to a new software program. The officials have come across the previously unreported flights in the process, he said.

"We've been working with the state board for many months now," Perdue campaign spokesman Marc Farinella said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press. "We (felt) an obligation to do it."

The elections board in October ordered former Gov. Mike Easley's campaign to pay $100,000 for flights he took on private planes. The board also turned its findings over to prosecutors to determine whether Easley should face any criminal charges in the case. A decision is expected by February.

Republicans argue the disclosures aren't much different from Easley's flights, which also have been investigated by federal prosecutors. A local district attorney is also examining elections board evidence to determine whether Easley or others should face criminal charges."

"This is yet another case of Governor Perdue breaking the law and then, with the political protection and financial resources of a seated governor, reporting the violations," state GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer said in a prepared statement.

Bob Phillips with Common Cause North Carolina said the number of flights previously undisclosed by Perdue bothered him but believed the governor had been deliberate in her first year in office to make state government more open and transparent.

"I don't think it's a hollow gesture on her part to be proactively examining her campaign finance reports ... even in the wake of the Easley scandal," Phillips said.

23 Comments

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  • herinbonetwil Feb 1, 12:23 p.m.

    She's paying it back, although cents on the dollar, but paying it back. It's more than most policticians do when they're caught!

  • affirmativediversity Jan 29, 5:44 p.m.

    Did Kay Hagan enjoy any FREE flights on PRIVATE JETS?

  • affirmativediversity Jan 29, 5:43 p.m.

    How did Bev not notice she was on a PRIVATE JET?

    How did her Campaign Treasurer not notice THEY WERE FREE?

    AND, finally where do I get a flight on a PRIVATE JET for $336.00?

  • joshmon Jan 29, 4:35 p.m.

    I had no idea that the operating cost for an Astra jet were so low. $326 for the flight. I don't think your paying your pilot enough.

  • G-man Jan 29, 4:26 p.m.

    Why haven't Fed's gon e after??? Why hasn't AG gone after her? Oh, never mind, he's a democrat too.

  • gcmann Jan 29, 4:23 p.m.

    I flew Bev and her family all over the country.

    Now where's my money ?

  • concerncitizen Jan 29, 4:07 p.m.

    Some of us feel duped. We voted for her in good faith. Personal I'm very disappointed in her actions. To me it's a real lack of leadership.... If you're a real die hard integrity type person, than the people under you know this any they don't do the shade things that done in the campaign or since her win. But it doesn't appear to be the case with our Governor, it's business as usually...... I'm so sorry my single vote went to elect her. Let me say he that I'm not kidding myself the other party would probably have done the same thing. It just seem to be the state of what it means to have integrity in the country today!

  • dogluvr26 Jan 29, 4:06 p.m.

    What I don't understand is how these people think, in this time of intense public scrutiny and press access to records, that they'll actually be able to get away with some hidden activity. For some with no scruples, I suppose it doesn't matter and they're fooled into thinking it won't happen to them, but it seems to me that the smatter move would be to implement this novel idea commonly referred to as "honesty", since it would further someone's career much faster than engaging in shady (at best) practices.

  • whatusay Jan 29, 4:06 p.m.

    Dr Dataclerk....Perdue was elected, not because people actually voted for her, but because NC has the stupid ability to vote a "STRAIGHT TICKET". Many states do not have straight ticket elections. It is my opinion that the candidates should be on the ballot with no party affiliation noted. If you don't anything about the person you are voting for you should not even be voting.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jan 29, 4:03 p.m.

    And WHY haven't the Feds gone after her

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