Perdue can spend $2M in campaign funds on Democratic party

Perdue can spend $2M in campaign funds on Democratic party

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by STUART WATSON / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @stuartwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on February 1, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 1 at 11:15 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue is not running for re-election, but she retains control of a $2 million campaign fund and she has lots of options for that money.

The Governor may repay loans to her campaign from her husband and herself totaling $826,500 and still have more than $1 million left over.

Under North Carolina General Statute 163-278.16B that took effect October 1, 2006, Perdue may not use the money for personal expenses, but she may make donations of up to $4,000 to individual campaigns or donate an unlimited amount to the Democratic party.

She may also give the money to charity.

The Democratic party, or for that matter the Republicans, may then donate an unlimited amount to individual candidates. However, candidates may not direct money to individual candidates by using the Party as a conduit.

"She could give a million dollars to the Democratic party," said NC Campaign Finance Director Kim Strach. "She can't tell them how to spend it."

"It's a giant loophole," said Bob Hall, Executive Director of Democracy NC, a campaign finance reform group. "It's a problem."

The Governor may also use all or part of the money to pay any legal expenses she might incur while holding office or as part of campaigning.

Campaign Finance Director Kim Strach says Perdue or any other elected official who leaves office with a balance in their campaign accounts may maintain the fund indefinitely, provided the campaign treasurer files routine updates as the law requires.

Perdue campaign manager Marc Farinella e-mailed NewsChannel 36 to say, "No decision has been made yet" of how to spend the $2 million balance.

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