Local Politics

Bash celebrates Perdue's birthday

Posted January 22, 2009 6:46 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Democratic Party sponsored a celebration Thursday night in honor of new Gov. Beverly Perdue’s birthday.

The event has raised questions among political watchdogs.

The party at a private Raleigh home solicited donations from attendees ranging from $500 for a "friend" to $10,000 for a "host."

Individuals are limited to $4,000 in contributions to political candidates annually, but political parties can accept unlimited amounts of money and can give unlimited amounts to candidates or elected officials.

Perdue's campaign finance reports show she and her husband, Bob Eaves, loaned her 2008 campaign more than $900,000 and that the loans are outstanding.

Alexandra Fetissoff, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Party, said the fundraiser is for the party, not Perdue. The invitation, however, told those wishing to attend to RSVP to Perdue's Web site.

“This party tonight is a party for the Democratic party. They’ve been very busy and have worked hard during a hard-fought election cycle,” Perdue told WRAL News before entering the party. “I want to help the party do what they need to do moving forward for the future of the state and the people.”

Perdue said the reason the RSVP was located at her Web site was because she loaned the party her fundraising team for the event.

“The Democratic Party was mighty good to me in the general election. I am part of the party, and I’m honored to loan my team to them,” Perdue said.

Kim Strach, deputy director of the State Board of Elections, which enforces campaign-finance regulations, said a political party cannot earmark donations for a candidate. However, it would be hard to prove a connection if the party were to give Perdue some money after the reception, she said.