Local News

Governor Returns From Europe to Controversy

Posted October 15, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Governor Hunt is back from a European trip where he was trying to drum up business and jobs for North Carolina. Now that he's back, he faces another kind of job crisis-- his staff is accused by some of selling state jobs for big-bucks campaign contributions.

"North Carolinians expect me to do everything I can to help them have good jobs," Hunt says, "and I am willing to go to any corner of the globe to do that."

But are taxpayers willing to pay for such trips? The five-country European tour Governor Hunt and his delegation of politicians and businessmen just returned from cost taxpayers an estimated $518,000.

"That's how you get new jobs," Hunt explains, "by being aggressive. And that's what we did, and we're going to have thousands of new jobs coming as a result."

When asked what he would say to people who question such trips, Governor Hunt told WRAL's Bret Baier the trip is one of the best investments of public funds, since the largest growth in new jobs is from overseas.

While the Governor was overseas, headlines focused on an apparent campaign controversy. Columbus County businessman, James Cartrette, says he paid thousands to Governor Hunt's re-election campaign after he was promised a seat on the Department of Transportation Board. That's a promise the Governor says his administration never made.

Photographer:Terry Cantrell