Sweepstakes Donor Scandal: McCrory Must Answer Questions

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Who did he meet with? When? And what did they talk about?

RALEIGH—Progress North Carolina Action today demanded that Gov. Pat McCrory answer questions regarding the growing scandal of bundled donations from the sweepstakes gambling industry. McCrory received $82,000 in campaign donations from the sweepstakes industry and his former employer, the lobbying firm Moore & Van Allen, is implicated in the affair that has led to an investigation by the State Board of Elections.

According to the Associated Press, McCrory initially denied meeting with the sweepstakes industry, but his spokeswoman later changed his story, saying that McCrory, “met with representatives both for and against the sweepstake issue.”

That vague answer leads to some important questions. Among them: 

1) With whom did McCrory meet regarding the sweepstakes industry?

2) When did McCrory meet with sweepstakes people?

3) What did they talk about? 

“Gov. McCrory must answer questions regarding the growing gambling donations scandal,” said Gerrick Brenner of Progress NC Action. “The public deserves straightforward, not evasive, answers from their chief executive. Silence implies a scandal which runs deeper.  Gov. McCrory needs to come clean.”

The scandal originated in Florida where sweepstakes operator Chase Burns was arrested for using a charity as a front to launder $300 million in gambling money. The scandal led to the resignation of Florida’s Lieutenant Governor.

Burns is one of many sweepstakes operators who want North Carolina to reverse its ban on internet sweepstakes cafes and he was the largest individual donor to North Carolina candidates in 2012. Watchdogs at Democracy North Carolina found irregularities with Burns’ and other sweepstakes operators campaign donations and have called for an investigation into suspected violations, including bundling by lobbyists and corporate campaign donations.

Burns’ company had hired McCrory’s former firm, Moore & Van Allen, to lobby while McCrory was employed at the firm. According to Democracy NC, Moore & Van Allen lobbyists appear to have distributed Burns political donations illegally.

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