Under the Dome

Allegations of campaign violations persist in insurance commissioner race

Mike Causey, who wants to unseat Wayne Goodwin and become state Insurance Commissioner, has responded to Goodwin’s allegations of campaign violations.

Goodwin previously informed Gary Bartlett, state elections chief, of potential violations – a lack of electronic filing of campaign reports, a series of ads placed in a magazine to which Causey is a contributor, and a “reverse raffle” that may have skirted state law governing nonprofits – and the Democratic candidate has added details to bolster his claims.

Causey admits some mistakes but says they were not intentional and denies some of Goodwin's claims outright.

Candidates receiving less than $5,000 are allowed to file reports by paper, and Causey previously used that method. He acknowledges his campaign briefly lapsed when it crossed that threshold, but he insists all reports were filed on time and said in a letter to Bartlett that the problem was quickly addressed when brought to his attention by a state auditor.

The advertising controversy centers on ads placed in Collision Expert, a Charlotte-based trade publication for auto body shops, for which Causey has written and edited articles since 2001.

Causey said in his letter to Bartlett that no laws were knowingly violated and that all expenditures have been properly reported. Causey does, however, concede that he failed to report a $1,020 in-kind contribution, which was the cash value of ads placed on his behalf by Collision Expert owner John Ogden.

Ogden has run the publication since 1989, and he and his wife are the only employees. Ogden said in an interview the problem was the result of an oversight on his part – he copied and pasted the ads from another source as a favor to a friend, he said, and was unaware of campaign law requiring a “paid for by” disclaimer on political ads or the need to provide the campaign with a receipt.

Ogden said the publication is distributed at no cost to subscribers and gives body shop owners news about the industry, business advice and motivational articles. He said his corporation that operates the publication is not capable of funneling cash to a campaign – as Goodwin questions in his complaint –  even if so inclined.

“We weren’t even able to draw a salary last year,” Ogden said. “We don’t have funds to funnel anywhere. ... I don't know Wayne Goodwin from Adam. He never called me, but he could certainly advertise in my paper. We'd love to have his ads.”

A question that remains unsettled is whether a raffle was held on Causey’s behalf. That would likely violate state law, which prohibits political campaigns from hosting raffles under most circumstances.

Goodwin questions whether a raffle was held on Causey's behalf at a restaurant in Cary on June 23. Causey denies the event was held, but Goodwin submitted to Bartlett a few Facebook posts by apparent organizers touting the event and tickets as well as email invitations.

Bartlett said in an interview Wednesday that staff and counsel has reviewed all of the complaints but has not been able to meet and discuss whether disciplinary action will be necessary.

“We will be establishing that very shortly, but there’s no way to speculate what will happen until we have a chance to evaluate the claims,” Bartlett said.


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get the facts

If anybody wonders what kind of shananigans have been going on at the Dept of Ins.  just email and ask to be put on the email list.  This will open your eyes.  I got the first installment today.  I knew about some of it, but found out more.   Apparently goodwin is too busy paying attention to politics and hiccups by his opponent to take care of the duties of his own elected office.


socastee are you from SC or NC?  I am guessing you are a friend of wayne goodwin, or a minion at his dept scared for your job.  You are the apparent mouthpiece for goodwin in all your posts for how great the commissioner is.  Maybe you are goodwin himself.  Has anyone looked at goodwins blog?  There you will see postings of all sorts talking about goodwin in third person...then look down at the small print and it was posted by wayne himself!  Too funny.  I do not have much good to say about goodwin or how he oversees his  agency, but I will say he is a great self promoter.  He loves talking about himself and pictures of himself.  He even called himself the 'capeless crusader' .  No kidding.  We need someone down to earth with no Napoleon complex who can forget about his own ambition and try to straighten out all the apathy, incompetence and oppression at the Dept of Insurance.  It might not be Causey, but he is the only choice for change in the race.

Causey admits to violations, therefore Goodwin isn't nitpicking

@Btusha -- you are assuming that Mr. Causey and his magazine supporter are accurate on the the true market value of 15+ advertisements attached to the Bd of Elections complaint (some full page, some color, some black and white) as $1,020.  I don't know about you, but 15 or more ads of this nature in a multi-state magazine, with ads side-by-side bought by some big corporate advertisers, is surely worth more than $1,020. Is that body shop/professional interstate magazine trying to sell one over on us that it only charges $100 or so for an advertisement????   Is Causey getting a special deal because he was the contributing editor of the magazine for ten years???

The magazine owner says that he didn't make cash contributions to Mr. Causey's campaign.  Surely he didn't do that!  He must not get the point of the complaint, at least as I read it as a lay person, and that is the magazine owner provided something of value that equates with money and is a contribution.  And he did it a bunch of times.

And @Btusha, at least Godwin has reported all of his contributions and expenditures transparently and legally and in a timely manner, unlike Mr. Causey's campaign which would never have been caught on this had the Goodwin team's keen eyes not discovered it.

Given that Mr. Causey admits to errors and violations, unintentional or not, he did confirm Mr. Goodwin's allegations as mostly accurate.  And, by the way, Mr. Causey just this week replaced/fired himself as campaign treasurer and named a new person as his campaign treasurer, according to the published records of the N. Carolina Board of Elections.  The way I see it is that our state insurance commissioner, Wayne Goodwin, isn't nitpicking. 

Goodwin is nitpicking over

Goodwin is nitpicking over small donations.  Looks like I have to wonder why Goodwin has gottne several thousand dollars from folks in Boca Raton Florida.

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