Local Politics

Critics continue to question Perdue's campaign finances

Posted March 29, 2010

— State Republican Party leaders are continuing to ask questions about Gov. Bev Perdue’s campaign finances.

Earlier this month, Perdue’s campaign forfeited $48,000 to elections officials, saying they suspected a Wilmington businessman paid his employees to make political contributions to Perdue.

State law prohibits people from making contributions in the name of another person.

State GOP questions Perdue's campaign finances State GOP questions Perdue's campaign finances

State Republican Party leaders have clamored for months for an elections board investigation into Perdue's campaign finances similar to the one the board conducted last year on former Gov. Mike Easley.

GOP officials even paid for a billboard along Capital Boulevard in Raleigh calling for Perdue to be more forthcoming about her campaign finances. The billboard says, "Answer the Question, Bev."

State Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer said Monday that contributions from employees at nursing home giant Britthaven and its parent company, Hillco Ltd., and contributions from Pennsylvania-based Dilsheimer, a real estate company, are questionable.

Campaign finance records examined by WRAL Investigates show employees of Britthaven and Hillco gave more than $175,000 to state political candidates during the 2004 and 2008 elections, including donations to Perdue, Easley and Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Robert O. Hill Jr., the son of Hillco's and Britthaven's founder, accounted for $65,000 in political contributions, records show.

Britthaven President Randy Uzzell gave $4,000, the maximum allowable individual contribution, to three 2008 gubernatorial candidates – Perdue, former State Treasurer Richard Moore and former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory.

"I hope that my involvement helps qualified candidates present a clear message to the voters, allowing an informed choice," Uzzell said earlier this month. "I take issue with the notion that making political contributions, even to people of different parties, equates to anything improper."

Dilsheimer operates two developments in North Carolina – The Villages at Turtle Creek in Surf City and The Villages at Goose Marsh in Brunswick County. Documents provided by the state GOP show the Dilsheimer family donated $25,000 to Perdue’s campaign.

State democrats say Fetzer is on a political fishing expedition.

“He’s just pulling names off of a report and saying we think people should investigate this, but he’s not offering any evidence as to what he thinks the problem may have been,” State Democratic Party executive director Andrew Whalen said.

Government reform advocate Jane Pinsky said the latest dispute shows a systemic failure.

"I can't fault the governor because it really is one of those things that happen routinely in politics, in the country and in North Carolina, but it really is time for a higher standard,” Pinsky said.

Perdue has announced campaign report adjustments four times since August. Three times she filed amended campaign reports to add a combined 31 previously unreported private flights valued at more than $25,000.

The elections board is currently looking at the campaign reports of all Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates from 2004 and 2008 to see whether anyone else took flights on donors' planes.


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  • affirmativediversity Mar 30, 2010

    How was your trip to Hollywood Bev?

  • affirmativediversity Mar 30, 2010


    The Republicans are not the party in power. They can't enact anything!

    Oh and by the way...during the last election wasn't it Obama who promised to abide by the finance reform rules/fund raising limits THEN BACKED OUT...as in BROKE HIS PROMISE!

    I believe only THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE stuck to his word!

  • dmarion2 Mar 30, 2010

    Just another case of the pot talking trash to the kettle. If the Republicans were serious about campaign finance reform, they'd do it BEFORE the election, not after they LOST the election! I've said it before; they are no longer the GOP (Grand Ole' Party), they are now just the SGP - the Sour Grapes Party! They're not interested in leading or representing or getting anything done; they're just interested in trying to undermine everyone else.

  • superman Mar 30, 2010

    Poor lady-- never heard of computers. They could keep track of her finances. There should be at least one or two people in her organization that can read and write and do computer stuff.

  • fatchanceimwrong Mar 30, 2010

    Funny how most every case of political corruption revolves around money and sex. Seems there are very few in politics who conduct themselves according to the moral & ethical standards that the public expects from elected leaders. I don't care for Governor Purdue but she's by far not the only one crooked. Both the Democratic party and the Republican party are full of liars, cheats and thieves to some extent.

  • Southern Girl Mar 30, 2010

    And, they should continue questioning and digging until the truth comes out.

    She was a part of the Easley years and learned well.

    Recall - hopefully.

  • tatermommy52 Mar 29, 2010

    Recall Bev Perdue.

  • Southern Girl Mar 29, 2010

    Bev, it's time to tell the truth. You know the Easley investigation is making you a nervous Nelly. We are waiting!

  • affirmativediversity Mar 29, 2010

    What about the SEIU contributions via the State DEM Party...for Bev's executive order allowing SEANC to "Affiliate"????

    How can the Board of the SEANC even be eligible to be "UNION REPS"...they are ALL MANAGEMENT???

  • geosol Mar 29, 2010

    I guess Fetzer, who is not gay, chooses to ignore that the same donors gave money to his little buddies. Oh well.