Local News

Business Magazine Knocks Moore's Campaign Contributions

Posted February 23, 2007 8:51 p.m. EST

— State Treasurer Richard Moore, considered a likely Democratic candidate for governor, has come under fire again for his campaign fundraising.

Forbes magazine is taking on Moore for doing the state's business with contributors.

An imposing picture of Moore in the magazine that hit newsstands Friday seems to fit the treasurer's image as a crusader against corporate greed, but the headline—"Pensions, Pols, Payola"—shouts hypocrisy.

The national business magazine rips Moore for preaching investment ethics while his campaign takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from managers who handle hundreds of millions in the state pension fund, the North Carolina Retirement System.

“It would be incredibly short-sighted for me to manage the state's money based on political concerns,” Moore said last year when WRAL first found a money trail that led from executives profiting off the state pension straight into the treasurer's campaign account.

“The vast majority of people who haven't given money actually get plenty of state business and there are people who've given who lost state business,” said Jay Reiff, Moore's campaign manager.

The campaign discloses all contributions, Reiff said. Potential conflicts aside, he said, the real issue is performance, and the pension fund's stability is highly regarded.

"The case of Richard Moore is particularly galling, for this man has built his career crusading against conflicts of interest on Wall Street," author Neil Weinberg said in the article.

“Clearly, Forbes has an agenda,” Reiff said.

David McLennan, a political science professor at Peace College says, “There are so many problems politically for him.”

Former House Speaker Jim Black’s corruption scandal focused a lot of attention on money and influence, McLennan says, and although Moore’s contributions are legal, he thinks the fundraising will haunt him.

“Yes, there are legal funds, but that's not really the question. The question is where's the influence going,” McLennan said.