The State Board of Elections spent two years looking into possible election-law violations involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from the sweepstakes gaming industry to state candidates and elected officials. After all that looking, the elections board announced, essentially, nothing to see here.
But what’s to see depends on who’s looking. Bob Hall, head of the elections watchdog group Democracy North Carolina, filed the complaint that launched the board’s investigation. He sees aspects of the contributions – and the behavior of a since-resigned elections board member – that merit a deeper look by investigative agencies with broader powers.
On Thursday, Hall sent a letter to Thomas Walker, the U.S. Attorney in Raleigh, and Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman asking them “to launch a comprehensive investigation of the video sweepstakes industry, its lobbyists and candidates in the 2012 elections cycle.”
Hall offered the prosecutors five detailed reasons they should probe possible illegal donations from Chase Burns, owner of an Oklahoma-based sweepstakes software corporation.
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Hall is a watchdog who doesn’t bark up a tree unless there’s something in the tree. Walker and Freeman should go see for themselves.