Wayne Goodwin has filed a scathing complaint with the state board of elections that attacks his opponent in the race to become N.C. Insurance Commissioner.
Goodwin, the Democratic incumbent, claims wide-ranging violations of campaign finance law related to Republican Mike Causey’s campaign, with four main allegations:
• Causey has not filed campaign reports electronically, as required of statewide candidates receiving or spending more than $5,000;
• A “reverse raffle” that skirted state law governing nonprofits may have been held;
• There was an alleged failure to provide the “paid for by” disclaimer required on political ads, and non-reporting of ads that qualify as an in-kind contribution, that were allegedly placed in a trade publication called Collision Expert at no cost to Causey;
• Collision Expert, to which Causey is a contributor, also allegedly ran articles supportive of the campaign that could be construed as advertisements.
If Causey “were a first-time candidate for political office in North Carolina, then I could more readily understand this situation,” Goodwin said in the report. He is, however, “a frequent candidate for state office.”
Asked about the allegations, Causey brushed them away as off base and said his opponent is making much ado about very little -- he also pointed out that he ran previously for Insurance Commissioner "when no one else would step up and run" and hasn't sought public office for a decade.
“It seems like the commissioner would have something better to do with his time,” Causey said of Goodwin, who is the Democratic incumbent. “I was amazed at the length in which the commissioner went to make some pretty minor things seem huge.”
Causey said Thursday that he is mounting a formal response he will send to state elections chief Gary Bartlett, but offered a response to some of the complaints.
Causey said he was informed just a few days ago of the need to file future statements electronically rather than by paper, as candidates with less than $5,000 in donations are allowed.
He also said he knew little of a June reverse raffle that may have been organized on his behalf by supporters of the campaign, and is looking into that issue more.
To the questions related to Collision Expert, Causey said the magazine is a "mom and pop" operation based in Charlotte that he has contributed to since 2000. He deflected
"I didn't realize until the report that John Ogden (the magazine's publisher) had placed a couple ads that he paid for," Causey said. "Since the commissioner brought it to my attention, I was told the total value was $1,020. ... I plan an addendum to my last campaign finance report."
Goodwin wants Bartlett and the state elections board to consider his claims at its Aug. 7 meeting.