Local Politics

Elections board to address Perdue, Easley cases

Posted August 23, 2010

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— The State Board of Elections is expected to address the campaign finances of two North Carolina governors during a Tuesday meeting in the western North Carolina mountains.

The board on Friday released a 10-page investigative report that showed how Gov. Beverly Perdue's campaign tracked her travel aboard private planes and donations that paid for the campaign flights.

Perdue's campaign a year ago began amending campaign finance reports to reflect flights she took aboard donors' planes, saying they discovered the flights hadn't been reported previously while auditing finances after switching to a new software program.

The campaign reported 41 flights during the 2004 and 2008 campaigns. Some were treated as in-kind donations, and the campaign repaid other donors for flights because they had already given the maximum allowed to her campaign.

In a report released in June, the elections board found that most gubernatorial candidates didn't properly account for campaign flights, but Executive Director Gary Bartlett said there was no evidence that anyone tried to skirt campaign finance laws.

Now, elections board Chairman Larry Leake says he's troubled by the findings in the new report, and he has questions about who knew what and when.

"The new report is the most damaging yet for the Perdue campaign' s assertions that this (lack of reporting) was just sloppiness," said Joe Sinsheimer, a political watchdog and former Democratic consultant. "This report seems to contradict almost everything that the Perdue campaign has said last eight months."

Marc Farinella, a spokesman for the Perdue campaign, said no one tried to conceal the campaign flights.

“It is what we said it is, and all the evidence shows it is what we said it is. We had a flawed system for tracking and reporting this information," Farinella said.

North Carolina flag, NC flag, state flag, N.C. flag Elections board to address Perdue, Easley cases

The campaign flights investigation has heightened tensions within the elections board and elicited partisan sniping from both Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans have alleged that Leake and Bartlett interfered with the investigation to protect Perdue, and Democrats contended that Kim Strach, the lead investigator, was biased because her husband worked for the state Republican Party.

Leake said any discussion of internal strife would take place behind closed doors at Tuesday's meeting.

The elections board could fine the Perdue campaign for violating state law, schedule a public hearing into the matter or close the case without action.

Last fall, the board ordered the campaign of former Gov. Mike Easley to pay $100,000 for not reporting dozens of campaign flights.

Easley's campaign is expected to appear before the board Tuesday to admit it's liable for not reporting the flights. But the campaign is also out of money and cannot pay most of the fine, and state law doesn't allow the board to seek the rest from Easley. 


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  • pappybigtuna1 Aug 24, 2010

    Don't believe I have wanted anyone more than election promising, do nothing knuckle dragging queen of NC chopped off at the knees. We are not in control of our own lives she is, we eat soy beans while she entertains, travels, eats steak. She should do real time to see how real people live. T-Necks roamed the earth 1 million years ago

  • curiousgeorgia Aug 24, 2010

    Hi, sidekick, you don't have that quite right. Meg Scott Phipps, Jim Black and others have done or are doing time for the crime...Yay for Kim Strach! Hang in there!

  • cwood3 Aug 24, 2010

    If Colin Willobey(DA WAKE CO) had b-no wait-he's a Democrat too. Gee, where do we turn for someone who can realy chase down these corrupt men and women?? We can't go to the SBI-everybody they could tell is involved!! We can't go to the FBI-they report to Comrade Obama-and he loves blue eyes(or the money would stop). Come to JoCo -Susan will go after them(wonder if any flights originated in JoCo-probably not). See the problem-corruption appoints more corruption!!!

    We MUST start cleaning Raleigh up in November-unless you folks don't object to what's happening. This mess is bought and paid for by the Democratic Party of North Carolina.

    Oh-please notice there are no Republicans envolved. Tom Setzer has been really quiet lately-I guess he's enjoying watching the Dems imploding without a word from The NCGOP! HOW WONDERFUL!!


  • superman Aug 24, 2010

    Try telling the IRS that your record keeping is sloppy and that is the reason you didnt report winning the lottery on your taxes. Does the IRS have a list of excuses they accept when you dont pay your taxes?

  • the people Aug 24, 2010

    FBI should be in the Meeting!!!!Maybe then we can get some arrest made!!!!FBI ---where are you on the subpoena's?????? Bugs in meeting???? Wiretaps!!!!

  • the people Aug 24, 2010

    Recomendations is mostly all they can do,refer to DA,,,What a waste of money!!!! should donate money to Moore Square clean up,food BANK!!!!!

  • the people Aug 24, 2010

    Pope Paul for Lab director...RECtor!!!! Why this mess???Too many good old groups covering!!!!!!!! The party at the FRAT house continues!!

  • tommys5 Aug 24, 2010

    Bd of Elections always has these 'investigations' but nothing is ever done. No fines, no jail, nothing. Lots of hoopla and then fizzle.Sidekick

    With 3 Demos and 2 Republicans on the board I'm betting the vote will be 3/2 for accepting Bevs apology.

  • the people Aug 24, 2010

    Really feel sorry for Kim;;;don't even know her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • the people Aug 24, 2010

    Cover up!!!!!After Cover up;;;;When will it end!!!!?????? Chris SW..For Gover---nor!!!!! Somebody...Barry Schect...SBI meetings are interseting today ,I bet!!!! Appoited Lobbyist to head this SBI!!! You got to be Kidding>?????? No we NOT!!!1 Brave SOULS ...I say!!!