RALEIGH – North Carolina Democratic lawmakers keep making a stellar case for voters to help them ‘Break the Majority.’ First it was Rep. Duane Hall (D-Wake) facing sexual harassment allegations and refusing to resign, and now a former Democratic House leader Rep. Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg) is failing to cooperate with official state requests for bank records related to $10,000 in previously undisclosed campaign contributions.
“The Charlotte lawmaker, a former Democratic House leader, has refused to turn over records despite at least eight requests from the state, elections officials said Tuesday.
Officials said Tuesday they found two more political action committee contributions to Moore that the candidate failed to report. That brings to at least 19 the number of unreported contributions, which total $10,200.
The Observer reported in November that Moore had failed to report 17 PAC contributions since 2013. The figures come from a public records request with the N.C. State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement and an Observer analysis that checked dozens of PAC reports against Moore’s.
On Feb. 20, Moore missed the most recent deadline to disclose his bank records, according to state elections officials. He was asked at least four times by phone and four times by email or mail, including a certified letter Dec. 18, according to election officials.”
So not only does Moore have a habit of hiding campaign contributions, he now is thumbing his nose at the oversight institutions that are tasked with keeping politicians accountable when it comes to reporting donations.
It will be interesting to see where that money is coming from. The State seems to be taking the matter pretty seriously with their request for bank records, something that is not typically requested according to this report.
“Though elections officials routinely audit campaign reports, it’s rare to seek bank records.
“There’s a very clear line in North Carolina of what’s supposed to be reported and when it’s supposed to be reported,” said Jane Pinsky, director of the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform. “And we do that so that citizens can understand from whom their elected officials are taking contributions…
“You can’t be someone who makes laws and then doesn’t follow the laws you make.”
Until November, Moore was a House Democratic whip. House Minority Leader Darren Jackson of Raleigh said Moore stepped down from leadership until questions about his finances were resolved.”
Well making the laws and then failing to actually follow them is something lawmakers tend to do quite often.
After earlier discrepancies, Moore said he must be a bad bookkeeper and suggested that some checks may have been lost. Those that made the contributions, however, confirmed that the checks had indeed been cashed. Uh oh.
If Moore so much as signed off on a campaign finance report that he knew to be false, he could face felony charges.
That fate befell former Republican N.C. senator Fletcher Hartsell after he racked up lots of unqualified expenses, such as haircuts and paying off personal credit cards, on the campaign dole. He was convicted and sentenced to 18 months of probation for improper spending and reporting.
The state board could subpoena Moore’s bank records, but Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision to sue the General Assembly over reform of the board is again proving an inconvenience for enforcing the law.
“…there currently is no board because of a power struggle between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
A three-judge panel Monday kept in place a recently merged State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. But they voided a portion of a 2017 law that dictated how members would be appointed to that board.”
By ‘power struggle’ they must mean a petulant Democrat in the governor’s mansion that refuses to except the clearly defined role of the legislature in making laws and reforming state agencies.
Moore face three primary challengers in 2018. At this point, he’ll be lucky to merely lose a primary instead of earning himself handcuffs.
Read more here.