Local Politics

Moore Ad Called 'Smear' of Perdue

Posted March 28, 2008 6:31 p.m. EDT
Updated March 28, 2008 7:00 p.m. EDT

— State Treasurer Richard Moore continues to hit Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue with negative ads in their fight for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Moore's latest television ad dredges up two grand jury investigations from the mid-1990s that involved Perdue.

"She's been investigated for corruption by the SBI and the federal grand jury," the narrator says in the ad.

One probe involved a political contributor; Perdue returned his donations and was never charged.

The other involved an investigation of the state Highway Patrol and its handling of a one-car wreck in which Perdue, then a state senator, was involved. Months after the wreck, Moore was appointed secretary of the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, which oversees the Highway Patrol.

"Richard Moore's own spokesperson at the time said that she did nothing wrong. Yet, years later, he's trying to dredge it up and smear her," said David Kochman, a Perdue spokesman. "This isn't just negative. This is a deliberate attempt to smear somebody."

Moore campaign manager Jay Reiff defended the ad.

"That is part of a candidate for governor's resume," Reiff said. "Anyone who wants to be governor deserves to have their record, their resume looked at."

Democratic political consultant Gary Pearce, who was part of arguably the state's nastiest campaign ever when former Gov. Jim Hunt took on former Sen. Jesse Helms in 1984, said he's not surprised by the Moore-Perdue war.

"They spend a lot of time dredging up everything bad that can be said about the other opponent," Pearce said.

Voters will likely see plenty of negative ads in the final weeks before the May 6 primary.

Perdue has already hammered Moore on his contributions from Wall Street financial donors, and her campaign has promised an aggressive response to his latest ads.