Local Politics

Moore, Perdue Trade Shots Over Donor Info

Posted February 14, 2008 6:56 p.m. EST

— Political influence in the state Department of Transportation has become the latest point of contention between Democratic gubernatorial candidates Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and State Treasurer Richard Moore.

Several of the candidates running for governor have issued plans to reform the DOT, and Moore reiterated Thursday his proposal to eliminate political fundraising by members of the state Board of Transportation.

Moore released information showing that DOT board members Alan Thornburg and D.M. Campbell had raised more than $48,000 combined for his campaign. He called on Perdue to do likewise.

"When I am governor, my DOT members will be out of the fundraising business," he said. "We don't have room for DOT board slots to represent ATMs for any governor."

Perdue, who called for full disclosure of DOT fundraising activities a decade ago when shepherding reform proposals through the state Senate, released the names of four DOT board members who have raised money for her campaign – Lanny Wilson, Marvin Blount, Louis Sewell and Thomas Betts – but she didn't provide details on how much was raised and who contributed.

Betts resigned last month after it was revealed that he asked people connected to the controversial Randy Parton Theatre project in Roanoke Rapids for $20,000 on behalf of the Perdue campaign. Perdue has denied any knowledge of his activities.

"We're calling on her to stop saying one thing and doing another," Moore said.

Perdue's campaign fired back that they would release information about DOT fundraising when Moore provides more details about his Wall Street contributors.

Moore has been criticized for raising money from investment banks that help manage the state pension fund. He maintains he has followed the rules and disclosed everything.

"I think I have not hidden from anyone's questions about anything," he said.

"I think the key for us in North Carolina is to have one standard for everybody," Perdue said.