Questions abound over Phil Berger’s shady campaign-funded mortgage

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A North Carolina Republican lawmaker doing something unethical? Say it ain’t so!

Senate leader Phil Berger continues to face statewide criticism for using campaign cash to pay the mortgage on his Raleigh townhome. Berger claims the State Board of Elections has twice approved the mortgage payments, but that doesn’t make it okay for Berger to use campaign cash for personal profit. 

  • Berger bought the townhome in 2016 for $250,000, and his campaign has funneled at least $55,000 in mortgage payments through an LLC that Berger also manages.
  • Berger’s campaign is essentially paying his mortgage, which allows Berger to convert campaign donations to personal profit. When Berger finally leaves office and sells his townhome, who do you think is going to benefit? Certainly not his campaign donors. 
  • As the Winston-Salem Journal put it, “Whether it is legal or not, it is wrong for the most powerful politician in the state to use campaign funds to buy a house. It’s a misuse that should concern taxpayers — especially those who contribute to the campaign.”

If the State Board of Elections really thinks it’s legal for lawmakers to treat their campaign accounts like personal piggy banks to invest in real estate, then either the law needs to be changed -- or the SBE does.

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