Every day, scores of motorists heading to downtown Raleigh look up and say to themselves, "What is the question?"
That's because the N.C. Republican Party spent $1,400 on a billboard on southbound Capital Boulevard that reads: "Answer the question BEV."
The party put up the sign for a month. It's part of a concerted effort to tar Democratic
Gov. Bev Perdue with the same type of ethical and legal issues that have been swirling around her predecessor, Democrat Mike Easley.
So far, the party's efforts have been focused on news conferences. The billboard is a new front, although it's unclear how effective it has been since most people have no idea what it means.
Party Chairman Tom Fetzer said the billboard refers to a series of questions that essentially ask whether Perdue's campaign engaged in practices meant to skirt campaign finance law.
The questions, Fetzer said, include whether Perdue asked Wilmington financier and N.C. Board of Transportation member Lanny Wilson to give money to the N.C. Democratic Party with the understanding that the money would be funneled back to
Perdue. Wilson, in an elections board hearing on Easley's campaign, testified that he funneled money through the party for Easley.
The questions further ask if Perdue's former chief of staff, Zach Ambrose, announced his decision to leave Perdue's office because of what Fetzer said were Ambrose's close ties to Wilson. Ambrose announced his departure on the same day Wilson quit the transportation board, which was also the day a federal indictment against former Easley aide Ruffin Poole became public. Wilson's dealings with Poole figured prominently in the indictment.
When asked by Dome to produce evidence supporting the allegations against Ambrose, Fetzer declined.
A spokesman for Perdue's campaign said the allegations were absolutely false.
"Fetzer continues to use this campaign of innuendo to draw associations. It's like McCarthyism," said Marc Farinella, a spokesman for Perdue's campaign. "Nothing like that transpired, and Fetzer should be embarrassed that he would malign somebody without a shred of evidence to back it up."
When reached Thursday, Ambrose, who was also Perdue's campaign manager, said: "There's no truth to any of that. It's hogwash."