State commerce officials say Gov. Beverly Perdue's upcoming trip to Asia, which is being paid for in part by private benefactors, does not violate state ethics rules that forbid elected officials from receiving gifts.
Kathy Neal, spokeswoman for the state Department of Commerce, said in an e-mail to Dome that all travel costs for the state delegation will be paid for with an estimated $76,700 in taxpayer money. State funds will also be used to provide a van and driver, interpreters and business cards in both Japanese and Chinese.
Private donors, meanwhile, will pick up the $94,730 tab for hosting five functions in Japan and China, along with other promotional and entertainment expenses.
First Gentleman Bob Eaves, who is accompanying his wife on the trip, will pay his own way.
The delegation is scheduled to depart Thursday. For the record, the governor is flying commercial.
UPDATE: A spokesman for Gov. Perdue on Wednesday clarified a statement from earlier in the week, saying that the travel expenses for the state's first gentleman will be covered by the N.C. Democratic Party. Document(s):AsiaCommercebudgetestimates10109.pdf