Local Politics

Perdue calls for tougher campaign finance rules

Posted May 5, 2010

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— Gov. Beverly Perdue on Wednesday called for stiffer sanctions on campaign finance violations, one day after a major fundraiser pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to her campaign.

Wilmington businessman Rusty Carter pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors for funneling $176,000 in contributions through employees at Atlantic Corp., a packaging company that he owns. Perdue's campaign received $64,000, Senate leader Marc Basnight's campaign received $84,000 and Sen. Julia Boseman's campaign received $28,000.

Carter gave the employees bonuses, with the understanding that some of the money would go to the campaigns.

State law prohibits one person making a campaign contribution under someone else's name. It also bars corporations from making donations to candidates.

Perdue didn't know the contributions were illegal, spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said, but she believes such violations of campaign finance laws should be felonies, not misdemeanors, to deter similar acts in the future. Pearson said the governor also would like to see an extra line added to campaign contribution forms where donors attest that they are giving their own money.

Such a change could open violators up to perjury charges as well.

Basnight agreed that campaign finance violations should be felonies under state law, and he said that the General Assembly would consider such changes when it reconvenes next week.

House Speaker Joe Hackney said the issue should go before a legislative panel that is studying changes to campaign laws. He declined to comment on whether campaign finance violations should become felonies, saying he was reserving judgment.

Carter was sentenced to 30 days in jail, which was suspended to two years on probation, and was fined $5,000. He also is barred from contributing to political campaigns for two years.

His attorney, David Long, said he also made $25,000 to $30,000 in illegal donations to the campaign of former Gov. Mike Easley and to other candidates. Those cases weren't prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired on the charges, Long said.

Perdue's campaign already forfeited $48,000 to the State Board of Elections to offset some of the Atlantic Corp. employee donations. A campaign spokesman said a check for the remainder would be turned over to elections officials Wednesday.

Basnight's campaign wrote an $84,000 check to elections officials Tuesday.

45 Comments

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  • McLovin May 6, 2010

    I dont think Bev would have won if it wasnt for the illegal campaign funds - polictics is so full of corruption, its not funny

  • prn13norm May 6, 2010

    The November election will be our last chance to save the America we grew up in!

  • wildcat May 6, 2010

    Bev will look good in A Orange jump suit of good ol ncn

    I would love to see that. She won't have that smirk on her face then.

  • wildcat May 6, 2010

    We sure do need a new governor. She is going to ruin us.

  • jgriffith3792 May 6, 2010

    That's funny! One of her handlers get busted and now its time to start getting tough on campaign finance reform. That's just like Obama starting the deficit committee after spending billions of dollars we don't have. Clueless. Totally clueless.

  • Steven May 6, 2010

    Yep, pretty much the comments I expected around here.

  • dewnit4fun May 6, 2010

    sure ... just find other ways to get the money .. bev get out!!! ..

  • alwayslovingu30 May 6, 2010

    Bev will look good in A Orange jump suit of good ol ncn will never put A Polilician in jail for long look At Nifong he tried to put these 3 boys away for Along time.then it was all found false.He pulled one day an had his evey whim waited on this is not justice.North Carolina the entire state has Benn Easley/Perdue/Nifonged/Roy cooperd

  • alwayslovingu30 May 6, 2010

    Look into some old news papers Obama was one of the biggest winners in the past years getting more than anyone form Big Oil companies.BP being the biggest obama supporter.Listen to wtsb am radio.He will tell you alot you will not see on the six oclock news an tell you where to find the info he gives out.Carl Lamm Is one of the best watch dogs alive

  • alwayslovingu30 May 6, 2010

    ol yea they can just give the money back no problems at all but if you robbed A bank an gave the money back you would be in jail.what is the difference Answer none.she has done enough to be empeached many times over now but she is still in there tossing away our hard earned money an wanting more crooked politics

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