Wayne Goodwin has filed a scathing complaint with the state board of elections that attacks his opponent in the race to become N.C. Insurance Commissioner. Goodwin, the Democratic incumbent, claims wide-ranging violations of campaign finance law related to Republican Mike Causey’s campaign, with four main allegations:
• Causey has not filed campaign reports electronically, as required of statewide candidates receiving or spending more than $5,000.
• A “reverse raffle” that skirted state law governing nonprofit organizations may have been held.
• There was an alleged failure to provide the “paid for by” disclaimer required on political ads, and nonreporting of ads that qualify as an in-kind contribution that were allegedly placed in a trade publication called Collision Expert at no cost to Causey.
• Collision Expert, to which Causey is a contributor, also allegedly ran articles supportive of the campaign that could be construed as advertisements.
If Causey “were a first-time candidate for political office in North Carolina, then I could more readily understand this situation,” Goodwin said in the report. He is, however, “a frequent candidate for state office.”
Asked about the allegations, Causey brushed them away as off base and said his opponent is making much ado about very little. He also pointed out that he ran previously for insurance commissioner “when no one else would step up and run” and hasn’t sought public office for a decade.
“It seems like the commissioner would have something better to do with his time,” Causey said of Goodwin, who is the Democratic incumbent. “I was amazed at the length in which the commissioner went to make some pretty minor things seem huge.”
Causey said Thursday that he is mounting a formal response he will send to the state elections director.
Gambling compact gets OK
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino announced Friday that the federal government gave final approval for North Carolina’s new gambling compact.
The 30-year agreement, approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior, allows the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to offer Las Vegas-style games with live dealers and add two new casinos on tribal lands in Western North Carolina. The state will receive a small portion of the revenue from the new games, estimated at $2 million to $3 million a year.
Harrah’s, which operates the facility in Cherokee, is completing a $650 million expansion and expects the new compact to add 500 jobs at the casino. The tribe had initially hoped to get the games in place just weeks after the state legislature approved the legislation and Gov. Bev Perdue signed it. But the federal approval took two months.
The casino is expected to start offering the new live games – including black jack, roulette and craps, by mid-August with more games to follow.
“We would like to thank the Tribal Gaming Commission for their support,” said Brooks Robinson, senior vice president and general manager, in a statement. “Their attention to the details of amending and updating our internal control and auditing procedures is a regulatory model for others to follow.”
That’s the message the National Federation of Independent Business hopes to send with a recently launched campaign that will hit North Carolina and eight other states.
Gregg Thompson, NFIB North Carolina director, said there is an impending “tidal wave” of some 4,100 new regulations that will affect small businesses around the state and country.
“As I have crossed the state, NFIB members and many others have said there are three main things holding them back,” Thompson said. “One is regulations, one is health care and one is taxes. ... There’s a lot of uncertainty right now.”
Thompson said the focus of the campaign will center on print and radio ads – the exact dollar amount of media buys has not been decided – and on getting small-business owners in front of media to share their perspectives.
Aside from North Carolina, the campaign will have a presence in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Movie screening at museum
Democratic Rep. Brad Miller and Republican Sen. Richard Burr will speak at the screening of “Semper Fi: Always Faithful” at the N.C. Museum of History on Tuesday.
The film chronicles the effort by Marine Sgt. Jerry Ensminger to uncover one of the largest groundwater contaminations in history at Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune. Ensminger’s 9-year old daughter died of a rare leukemia.
The film will be shown at 7 p.m. And Miller and Burr are scheduled to make remarks at 8:30 p.m.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign a bill into law Monday that seeks to provide hospital care and medical coverage for certain illnesses linked to toxic chemicals in the water for Camp Lejeune Marines and their families.
Staff writers Austin Baird, John Frank and Rob Christensen
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