What the ad says: “Some decisions say a lot about character. Like the time Bev Perdue voted against tougher laws to investigate hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan. It’s true. Perdue was one of only two Democrats to vote against Dan Blue’s law that gave the SBI more powers to investigate the KKK. A law supported by most Republicans and the entire black legislative caucus. Is Bev Perdue a Democrat we can trust?”
The background: As a member of the N.C. House of Representatives, Perdue voted against a bill that authorized the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate possible hate crimes without being called into the case by local law enforcement. Before the bill became law, the SBI entered such a case only at the request of police or sheriffs’ departments.
Perdue was one of two Democrats in the legislature to oppose the bill. It passed the Senate unanimously. In the House, there were seven no votes: five Republicans, Perdue and Rep. Gerald Anderson, another Democrat.
Perdue’s campaign said she did not recall the vote and that, given the context of other votes she cast, it must be a “misvote.” She would have been voting against her party leadership, which would have been unusual for a freshman. Legislators who push the wrong button when voting can, and often do, ask to have their vote corrected afterward.
Perdue spokesman David Kochman said other votes at the same time better reflect her record on civil rights, such as voting in favor of making Martin Luther King Day a paid state holiday.
Otherwise, the campaign contends, she would not have gained the endorsements she has received from black leaders such as former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt.
Is the ad accurate? Yes.