Two years later: STILL no conclusion on probe of Sen. Hartsell

elect logoThe GOP-controlled state board of elections just can’t seem to find time to get to the bottom of nominal-GOP state senator Fletcher Hartsell’s campaign spending issues. We’ve officially passed the TWO YEAR anniversary of the allegations that Hartsell had used $100,000 in campaign funds to pay off TEN personal credit cards.   The board found time to investigate and report on very similar allegations against a ranking Democrat state House member.   The allegations against Rep. Michael Wray (D-Northampton) came to light in December 2013 and the board of elections was on top of it by June 2014.  The info about Hartsell came to light in January 2013, and here we are in January 2015 with absolutely NO apparent action on the case. We can’t find any word about a dismissal of charges, or a finding of no wrongdoing. Nothing on the state board’s web site.  Nothing in Google. No details from board spokesman Josh Lawson. Nothing.  It’s like the whole matter vanished into thin air. 

A February 2014 media report confirmed that the Hartsell probe was still active. Republicans used to scream bloody murder during Democrat rule in Raleigh when one standard was applied to Democrats and one was applied to Republicans.  In 2010, when the GOP took over our state government, they promised change.  This sure looks and smells like the, um, “good ol’ days” of Jim Black and Marc Basnight and Jim Hunt and Mike Easley.hartsell

The fact that the board of elections hopped right on very similar allegations against a leader in the state House’s Democrat minority, but is still sitting on a probe of one of the Senate’s most powerful members is disturbing, to say the least. Hartsell is a prolific fundraiser for the NCGOP and its legislators.  He is also a close political ally of Gov. Pat McCrory and US Senator Thom Tillis.

Using campaign funds to pay off personal credit cards sounds like a great way to launder bribes.  Go out and charge whatever you want.  And then use money donated by THIS PAC and THAT lobbyist to pay your credit card bills.  We’re not convicting Hartsell of wrongdoing.  We just believe that the public — and especially Hartsell’s constituents — need some answers on this whole matter. 

2 thoughts on “Two years later: STILL no conclusion on probe of Sen. Hartsell

  1. Let’s be a bit more specific. Didn’t he pay that $100,000 in personal credit card bills with campaign cash in a year when he was unopposed in both the primary and general election?

    It’s strange that the Democrats didn’t say a peep about this last year when he was up for reelection. My guess is that if the SBOE digs into this then they’ll have to look at other legislators and both parties want to avoid that.

  2. We also have to remember that this ”Republican” SBOE has a history of treating grassroots Republicans on county BOE’s like dirt, and that has happened in both the east and west of the state. The three jerks on this SBOE should never be submitted to the governor for reappointment by the NCGOP, and that is particularly true of its chairman.

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