Local Politics

State employees group plans to protest fundraiser

Posted August 19, 2010 5:20 p.m. EDT
Updated August 19, 2010 5:45 p.m. EDT

— An organization that represents thousands of state workers on Thursday called on leading Democrats not to attend a state contractor's fundraiser next week in Raleigh.

Dana Cope, executive director of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, called the Aug. 24 event at the home of Capstrat Chief Executive Ken Eudy an example of "pay-to-play" politics.

“This fundraiser gives state employees and the public the impression that this is a 'you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back' event,” Cope said in a statement.

One of Capstrat's clients is Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which SEANC has repeatedly criticized for its contract to administer the State Health Plan. The company has government contracts to work with the State Ports Authority, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and on campaigns against teen tobacco use.

The Senate stripped a provision from the state's new ethics rules that would have prevented contractors from contributing to officials who have influence in awarding state contracts.

Cope said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight, Senate Majority Leader Martin Nesbitt and former Gov. Jim Hunt should boycott the event, and he said SEANC members would protest outside the Eudy's home.

He also has requested copies of correspondence between Eudy and Basnight, Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake, and House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman dating to the beginning of 2008 to determine if Eudy, who isn't a registered lobbyist, has been lobbying lawmakers.