The head of the State Employees Association of N.C. is planning a news conference Thursday to attack a fundraiser for Senate Democrats hosted by Capstrat co-owner Ken Eudy as an example of "pay to play."
Eudy, who knows a thing or two about communication, fired a blast himself.
"It's pathetic and defamatory," Eudy said of allegations by SEANC head Dana Cope that a fundraiser at Eudy's home is connected to a $375,000 contract his agency won in April with the N.C. State Ports Authority. "I don't blame SEANC leaders for trying to change the subject. They deserve 'As' for getting in the newspaper and on TV. They deserve 'Fs' for getting better pay, benefits and working conditions for state employees."
Dome previously told you about the fundraiser, scheduled for next week at the home of Eudy and his wife. Senate leader Marc Basnight, Majority Leader Martin Nesbitt, Raleigh Sens. Josh Stein and Dan Blue are billed to attend along with former Gov. Jim Hunt.
A database of state contracts shows that Capstrat has been awarded three, including a $13.5 million gig running a campaign to curb tobacco use among teens.
"What I would hope is there wouldn't be this McCarthy-esque suggestion and innuendo that because I personally have made a contribution to some elected official who is 10 steps away from a decision on a state contract that something smells bad," Eudy said.
Cope's news release Wednesday mentioned that the fundraiser would not have been permitted under a provision cut from an ethics bill during the last legislative session. The provision would have placed fundraising restrictions on contractors with state business.
Eudy said he would have no problem with such a provision becoming law.
UPDATE: Nesbitt said he sees no problem with the fundraiser.
"We can't get out here and start telling people they can't participate in the political process," he said. "What the Supreme Court has said is that is free speech. You can't deny someone the right to participate in politics simply because they do business with the state."