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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trail of Ethical Lapses, Donation Irregularities Emerges at Easley Hearings

Free flights and cars, furtive campaign donation methods discussed

RALEIGH (By David N. Bass, Carolina Journal Online) - Six witnesses subpoenaed to testify Monday in the North Carolina Board of Elections' probe into former Gov. Mike Easley's campaign finances highlighted slipshod record-keeping of contributions, promises from Easley staffers that money from maxed-out donors would be diverted from Democratic Party coffers to the governor’s campaign, and accounts of services provided to the governor that were not disclosed in a timely manner and not reimbursed, as the law requires.

The testimony ranged from free flights and cars given Easley and his family to furtive contribution schemes that appear to bypass contribution limits. The witnesses, who were under oath, often gave accounts that conflicted with explanations already provided by Easley.

The four-hour hearing sometimes degenerated into a finger-pointing contest. At one point, Easley’s lawyer questioned the honesty of McQueen Campbell, a Raleigh real-estate broker and long-time Easley friend, suggesting that Campbell had lied to the media when he resigned under a cloud as chairman of the N.C. State University board of trustees.

The first day wrapped up in late afternoon with testimony from a developer who said that he donated money to the state Democratic Party with the understanding that it would be funneled to the Easley campaign, possibly bypassing campaign finance limits.


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