Local Politics

Group Presses Battle With Moore in Ads

Posted February 13, 2008 6:29 p.m. EST
Updated February 15, 2008 6:32 p.m. EST

— The State Employees Association of North Carolina stepped up its campaign for information on state pension funds Wednesday with full-page newspaper ads.

SEANC filed suit two weeks ago against State Treasurer Richard Moore, demanding documents that would provide insight into management of the state's $90 billion pension fund. The suit followed two records requests in the past year that SEANC officials said didn't produce the documents they're seeking.

A Forbes magazine article last year that criticized Moore for accepting campaign contributions from employees of the investment banks that manage the pension fund initially piqued SEANC's interest in the records.

"We're just making sure we get the records that we want," said Erica Baldwiin, a spokeswoman for the group.

SEANC took out the full-page ads – the headline reads "Where are our pension fund documents?" – in newspapers across the state.

"This is a letter to treasurer Moore, a public plea to him after almost a year of requests," Baldwin said.

Jennifer Cohen, Moore's deputy chief of staff, called the ads "really, really disappointing and disconcerting."

"No one has any reason to be worried about the funding or the status of their pension," Cohen said.

The State Treasurer's Office has provided SEANC with more than 900 pages of documents over the past year in response to the records requests.

"I've been through every one of those documents, and it may just be a question of they don't know what they're looking at or they don't really know what they're looking for," Cohen said.

Instead of going to court, Cohen said, the State Treasurer's Office would prefer to sit down with SEANC, review the documents and answer the group's questions.