Gary Pendleton’s illegal campaign signs around Raleigh are the least of his problems. Pendleton, running for NC State House District 49 against Kim Hanchette has used a facsimile of legislative letterhead to solicit votes in apparent violation of Legislative Ethics Guidelines. Pendleton is a relatively new incumbent, having been appointed 8/18/2014 to the seat made vacant by the death of Jim Fulghum. Official legislative stationery or mailing privileges may not be used to solicit votes and, according to a recipient of such a letter, it did not contain a required clear disclaimer stating that the stationery was not printed or mailed at State expense.
$31,818.36 is missing from the federal election campaign finance filings of the Marcus Brandon for Congress committee. A Pre-Primary report filed 4/24/14 showed a cash-on-hand ending balance of $31,818.36. The subsequent July Quarterly report filed 7/16/2014 showed a zero cash-on-hand beginning balance when it should have shown the $31,818.36 carried over. One $1,000.00 contribution on 5/2/2014 was reported. No expenditures were reported. The report showed a cash-on-hand ending balance of $1,000.00. An October Quarterly report due 10/15/2014 was not filed. While Cecil Antonio Brockman is still listed as the Treasurer, the July Quarterly report filed 7/16/2014 that showed zero cash-on-hand was electronically signed uncharacteristically as “Antonio Cecil Brockman”.
Republican Tom Murry, in an expensive campaign to hold on to his NC House District 41 seat against an effective challenge by Democrat Gale Adcock, appears to have stretched military rules and distorted limited experience in order to solicit votes. Murry’s campaign has been making extensive use of web ads, including Facebook promoted posts. One such ad on Facebook, showing Murry in military uniform, appears to occupy the boundaries of military rules on political activity.
Murry apparently joined the NC Army National Guard in June as a Judge Advocate General (JAG), just 4 months ago, and is now using his uniform in a campaign ad. Military rules allow the use of certain photographs in uniform in campaign literature, which accurately reflect actual performance of duty, and with a specific disclaimer, in the context of other non-military biographical information but not as the “primary graphic representation” as Murry has appeared to have done with his web ad on Facebook.
When Chad Barefoot quit his day job as Skip Stam’s assistant to run for a custom-made State Senate seat, he landed on his feet with a job at the political consulting firm of connected Republican Frank Williams. Campaign finance records show that about that time Stam’s campaign committee started paying a regular fee of $4,333.33 for “campaign consulting” to Williams’ firm Pioneer Strategies spaced about every month until Barefoot was elected. Beginning January 2012 there were 10 payments of $4,333.22 and one final payment of $8,666.66 on 10/17/12 for a total of $51,999.99. Barefoot’s campaign had the help of a lot of direct and indirect money, as thoroughly detailed by the Independent weekly, and he was elected that November.
Campaign finance records don’t show that the veteran politician Stam had ever hired Pioneer Strategies before 2012, or after, or that he ever paid such sums for “campaign consulting”. The closest that Stam’s records show is a one-time $4,200 in 2006 to JN Dollar for “mail service” and several payments totaling about $10,000 in 2000 to JN Dollar for “radio ads”. In addition there was one 2012 payment $1,500 to Pioneer Strategies for “website redesign”. You’d have thought that $52,000 for “campaign consulting” might include a website design, especially as Skip Stam is more likely to be giving campaign advice than receiving it. The coincidence of payments may not amount to a smoking gun, but there’s enough bad optics to raise eyebrows more than shot of botox could.
Campaign committees of Paul Coble have been claiming an apparently non-existent degree as one of his qualifications since as early as 2011 when he first ran for Congress. Coble’s current campaign website for Wake County Commissioner claims he “earned a RHU (Registered Health Underwriter) degree from Northeastern University in 1992”. The Northeastern University Registrar’s office could find no record of Paul Coble as a student, nor of a Registered Health Underwriter degree program at the university:
“We are not having any luck finding information about the student or the program.”
NC House members Tim Moffit and Tom Murry received campaign contributions from two South Carolina men who have since been indicted on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering totalling $386 million.
The campaign committee of Tom Murry, NC House District 41, received a $2,000 check from J Michael Caldwell of South Carolina, listed as “President” of a company simply stated as “Gateway”, on 1/29/2013, one day before the North Carolina State House reconvened (after a 1/9/2013 organizational session). On the same day, 1/29/2013, the campaign committee of Tim Moffitt, NC House District 116, received a $2,000 check from Bobby Mosley of South Carolina, listed only as “Principal” with no employer notation. Caldwell is Mosley’s son-in-law and together they ran a gambling enterprise spanning multiple corporate entities and over 600 internet cafes in multiple states.
On 8/14/2013 an indictment was entered in federal court in South Carolina naming J Michael Caldwell, Bobby Mosley, Sr., Gateway Systems, LLC, Gateway Gaming, LLC, Frontier Software Systems, LLC and Frontier Gaming, Inc, as defendants on one count of conducting an illegal gambling business and one count of money laundering related to the alleged illegal gambling. It has been described as “the biggest gambling ring bust in South Carolina history.”
On July 15th, 2014, primary run-off election day in Wake County, I wrote a post “Voter Integrity Project wanted masked people, cameras at NC polling place” based on information presented at a Wake County Board of Elections meeting on the evening of July 14th and public discussion by staff and board members of the events of that day related to this issue. They were precipitated by a voicemail message left early morning July 14th by Jay DeLancy, Executive Director of the Voter Integrity Project, for Cherie Poucher, Executive Director of the Wake County Board of Elections. I personally witnessed the meeting and elements of the discussion were confirmed in conversation with the Executive Director immediately after the meeting.
On September 13th, some two months later, I received a letter by certified mail from Denise Stetter regarding the post, presented as a “Notice to Cease and Desist”, disputing the account. Stetter, then Chief Judge of Precinct 01-42, was not present at the July 14th meeting and was not a witness to the discussion or presentation of information. The meeting discussion took place between Stetter’s superiors as a public official, Cherie Poucher and Deputy Director Gary Sims, Board Chair David Robinson, and Board Members Brian Ratledge and Mark Ezzell. Stetter’s role as Communications Director for the Voter Integrity Project under Jay DeLancy was also a subject of discussion at this public meeting.
Assuming Stetter’s recent new statements to be factual, I made visible changes to the original post reflecting new information provided by Stetter.