State News

Perdue Wants Auditor to Look Into Records Requests Tied to Moore

Posted September 18, 2007

— Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue wants state auditors to investigate whether her expected rival in the Democratic gubernatorial campaign has been using state computers to collect information to use against her.

Perdue's general counsel wrote to Auditor Les Merritt, saying public records requests to Perdue's office have originated from a state computer system used by Treasurer Richard Moore's office. The requests seek information about a task force created by a health care commission led by Perdue.

The records request was made using the e-mail address of Michigan resident Cliff Bennett, who is the brother-in-law of a top Moore adviser.

Moore said Tuesday afternoon that Julie White, an employee of his office, sent the requests using a private e-mail account from a state computer.

"To our knowledge, no laws were broken. However, Ms. White has violated departmental policies. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken,” Moore said in a statement.

Still Jay Reiff, Moore's campaign manager, called the request for an audit politically motivated.

"The lieutenant governor's attack ... is the height of hypocrisy and phoniness. Everyone knows Beverly Perdue's chief of staff has been running her unofficial gubernatorial campaign for the last two-and-a-half years," Reiff said in a statement.

A Perdue spokesman said the office works to keep politics separate from official business, although Zach Ambrose, her former chief of staff, was recently named her campaign manager.

This is the second time in two years Moore's camp has been accused of blurring politics and state work. In the previous complaint, Moore admitted a former staffer was wrong to have campaign work on his state computer.

"There's a long tradition of fuzzy, mixed-up politics between who's getting ready to run for governor and who's on who's staff," Democratic consultant Brad Crone said. "There's going to be more attention on transparency in politics simply because voters are demanding it."

But Crone said he wonders when the contenders will fight over issues instead of e-mails.

"What all the candidates for governor should be doing is talking about how we're going to fix our roads, how are we going to improve our schools," he said.

22 Comments

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  • RonnieR Sep 19, 2007

    The NC Democrat Party and the NC GOP, too, need to do what the
    national parties do for their elected officials. Provide
    phones and computers to them in their offices, so they can
    use those for political purposes. GOP also provides crackberries to some elected and Presidential appointees.
    That way there is no problem, except the occasional I picked up the wrong phone.

    Elected officials can and do politic on the job, heck, everyone knows that they're politicians. The problem is their employees,
    they need to be sure they're not on the state guvment clock when they're doing political work.

  • HughBlueJorgan Sep 19, 2007

    Richard Moore needs to resign as State Treasurer if he wants to run for Governor. He is not doing the State's business as State Treasurer when he is running all over the State campaigning for Governor.

  • richard2 Sep 19, 2007

    Another case of the POT calling the KETTLE black.

  • djofraleigh Sep 18, 2007

    Bev Perdue has yet to be thoroughly investigated for what SHE got as she and JIM BLACK got the lottery passed (by HER VOTE breaking the tie). She needs a real investigation, as does Garwood of Wilkes County, who was "sick" and 'couldn't' vote, allowing the tie to happen so Perdue could break the tie. It isn't about the lottery, but about WHY she voted, HOW the one day session after the General Assembly closed happened. She and Black, and Basnight were the ring leaders. WHAT did THEY get out of it? I'll never vote for Perdue until an investigation clears her from wrong doing. I just don't believe she lead one of the dirtiest days in NC politics FOR NOTHING. The Education Lottery beneficiaries, the NCAE, the quasi-union, came out for Perdue before Perdue was out. This was all politics at its ugliest self. Looks like the election is going to be in the same vein.

  • beachboater Sep 18, 2007

    I would hope that Moore's staffers are both voters and citizens of North Carolina. Get over it.

    As far as Moore himself. His tactics to this point with his cute little ads on t.v. and putting a 4x8 glossy of him in EVERY state mailing, he reminds me so much of our current Governor Mr. Sleazey. That will be a hard mold to shed Mr. Moore. Better play it clean.

    And Ms Perdue has her work cut out for her as well. The first woman anything is always the hardest.

    I will vote, don't know who for as yet. Too far ahead.

  • Fun Sep 18, 2007

    And they destroy June Atkinson in the process from the Education Dept. She's another one

  • Fun Sep 18, 2007

    Yes,hopefully they all will destroy each other. met Bev Perdue at Wing Over Wayne Air SHow...she has just has a terrible demeanor. Holier than thou attitude.

  • hpr641 Sep 18, 2007

    People, the article does NOT say
    1) If any state employee did this on the state's time or their own personal time.
    2) That the records requests DID come from a state computer, only that Bev wants Les Merrit to investigate IF a state computer was used, and if so, by whom and from which division.

  • La_Grange_Dude Sep 18, 2007

    I totaaly agree with naturegirl, all she is aking is why is he collecting information about her on the taxpayers time and computers. A very reasonable request it seems. Has not said she ahs anything to hide and not release to the public.

  • blueridgerunner Sep 18, 2007

    Bev Perdue or Richard Moore not much of a choice either way. With any luck they'll destroy one another in a political shoot out.

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