Beverly Perdue wants to set up an endowment for gubernatorial campaigns.
The Democratic gubernatorial candidate proposed creating the Endowment for Positive Gubernatorial Campaigns — a $50 million trust fund that would pay for campaigns that avoid negative ads, address "major issues" and agree to a series of debates.
"The people of North Carolina, like the rest of the nation, are losing trust in the political system," she said in a statement. "The perception of corruption and a 'pay to play' environment has led to the belief that ordinary citizens do not have as much influence in politics as the rich and powerful."
The proposal is based on former state Sen. Wib Gulley's 1995 bill, which was praised by Common Cause and the League of Women Voters, and a similar endowment for Congressional campaigns proposed by U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold and Vice President Al Gore.
A bipartisan board of 12 individuals appointed by legislative leaders would run the endowment, select the major issues and determine if candidates had qualified with signatures and small donations.
Participating campaigns would not be allowed to use personal wealth or spend additional money on advertising.