The Locker Room

Board member questions practice

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:00 PM

After a half dozen optometrists testified about using blank checks to help finance political campaigns, a Republican member of the N.C. Board of Elections raised his concerns about that practice.

Each speaker testified about turning over series of checks with signatures and dollar amounts -- ranging from $25 to $100 -- but no date and no name for the "payee."

Each speaker spelled out a process in which the checks were turned over to a leader of the N.C. Optometric Society's political group. The speakers said they entrusted the money to the political group.  The money was designed for use in political campaigns.

Testimony today shows some of those checks ended up heading to former state Rep. Michael Decker -- outside the context of his campaign committee.

During one exchange, Republican elections board member Charles Winfree expressed surprise that the optometrists turned over the money and paid little to no attention to its use.  "You gave them carte blanche with no accounting?"

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