Former gubernatorial candidate Richard Moore is hot with the N.C. Board of Elections about omissions to a recent report about campaign flights.
The section about Moore in the report, written by campaign finance investigator Kim Strach, said that the former state treasurer's campaign had destroyed all of its records, in violation of state rules requiring that those records be kept until at least January 2011.
But Strach's supervisors edited out two key passages about Moore from the final version of the report, according to a copy her original draft. Strach wrote that Moore's campaign treasurer said she believed the campaign had properly reported all flights taken by the candidate on private aircraft.
Strach also reported the Moore's campaign manager had sough advisory opinions from staff at the elections board about how to properly report in-kind donations of travel on private aircraft and that the investigator found no evidence that Moore's campaign had failed to do so.
A copy of a letter from Moore's campaign about air travel was also removed from the exhibits provided with the board's report.
Efforts to reach Moore for comment Thursday were unsuccessful. But Moore apparently did call the elections board to complain about how information about his campaign was portrayed in the report.
In an e-mail exchange between Strach and deputy elections director Johnnie McLean released through a public records request, the investigator makes clear that Moore was not happy.
"I was berated for a significant amount of time on the phone by Richard Moore yesterday," Strach wrote McLean on July 2. "He was extremely angry about an editorial in the News and Observer critical of him that was based on the report that was released by our office. He explained to me that the report did not address the fact that his treasurer had been responsive to the inquiry and had provided the information that was the subject of the February 4, 2010 letter. Further, he explained that the report gave the impression that he just simply destroyed records and was no better than others that had not disclosed travel. He questioned my motives and understanding of the impact of reports such as the one released."
Strach also questioned why her supervisors had deleted the additional information about Moore from the final report, without the investigator's approval. "The report that was released does not reflect the fact that the response from his treasurer did answer the questions in the letter," Strach wrote to McLean, who had helped edit the report. "I was baffled when I saw that that language had been removed. It was not an opinion. It was factual information from the treasurer’s response. That one statement showed that the letter they submitted advised that they believed that all flights had been reported and no in-kind travel was utilized."
Copies of the elections board report, showing the changes made by Strach's supervisors, is attached below.
BOE report on flights.pdf