NC GOP calling out Board of Elections

NC GOP Chair Tom Fetzer

June 17, 2010 6:52:38 PM PDT
The North Carolina's GOP is calling into question the scope of the State Board of Elections' work and its ability to get it done.The North Carolina Board of Elections is in place to make sure candidates are honest and elections are fair, but the GOP has been hammering the agency lately, saying it does too little, too slowly.

"It's time the state Board of Elections did their job and quit making the NC GOP and the media do it for them," NC GOP Chair Tom Fetzer said.

Fetzer says it's been state Republicans who have shed light on recent illegal campaign contributions, which he says should be up to the Board of Elections.

However, Board Director Gary Bartlett says that's not necessarily the case.

"What you see is the process working out," he said.

Bartlett says the system is largely self-policing and notes that violators are being held accountable, even if it is the GOP is reporting the problems. Bartlett admits, he'd like to do more, but says he doesn't have the resources.

"I do believe that we should be able to come up with some type of system that looks for patterns that are suspicious and act on them," he said.

In the meantime, the GOP is most interested in the board's investigation into flights taken by Governor Bev Perdue when she was a candidate. Her campaign didn't report dozens of flights until long after the fact, blaming it on a computer glitch.

More than a month ago, ABC11 Eyewitness News filed an open records request for those documents and has not received anything ,which Fetzer says violates state law.

"North Carolina law is very specific," Fetzer said. "They have two options, they can close the file and call it a criminal investigation or they must release everything."

Bartlett says it's not criminal, but defends the decision not to release the information, saying it would cause a chilling effect on the investigation.

However, Bartlett says their report on Governor Perdue's campaign flights will be ready next week.

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