You may have recently read that Marc Basnight has had to return $84,000 in illegal campaign contributions.  Basnight, along with Governor Perdue and Senator Julia Boseman, received contributions from employees of Atlantic Corp that were actually donations from Rusty Carter, the owner of Atlantic Corp, who funneled the money to his employees as bonuses with the expectation that they would contribute the funds to these honorable politicians.  Click here to read about Rusty Carter’s conviction.  The story, I believe, does not end there.

It does please me to no end to know that a little old blogger can ferret out wrongdoing and people will be brought to justice.  You’ll remember that I blogged about these campaign contributions here, long before they were made public.  Now let’s see if we can get the State Board of Elections to take a look at the donations to Basnight from Hobbs Upchurch & Associates.  I blogged on this last fall.  You can read more of the details here.  But I am doing so again in light of Mr. Carter’s conviction.   I think there may be more to the story than just a couple of rogue businessmen.

Hobbs Upchurch & Associates (HUA) is an engineering and survey firm owned by former NC State Senator Fred Hobbs and David Upchurch based in Southern Pines, NC.  In a nutshell, the donation patterns of Hobbs Upchurch mirror the donation patterns of Atlantic Corp. Between 1998 and 2008, HUA employees, excluding Fred Hobbs, David Upchurch and their family members, donated $75000 to Marc Basnight.  These employees range from engineers and surveyors to the bookeeper and the corporate pilot.  Many of the donations are max donations.  In 2008, all of the donations from the various employees occurred on the same two dates, April 24th (donations for the primary election) and October 22nd (donations for the general election).  This is the exact same donating pattern as the employees of Atlantic Corp.  You may remember from an earlier post that I called one of these big-time donors, Mr. Gary Culp, a surveyor, and asked him about the donations.  You can see his response here.

In my earlier posts, I made an erroneous connection, connecting HUA empolyee Wes Carter to Rusty Carter, owner of Atlantic Corp and now convicted election law violator.  Rusty Carter does have a son named Wes but the HUA employee Wes Carter claims that Rusty is not his father.  We’ll take his word for it.  Him not being related to Rusty Carter actually adds another dimension to this story.

Basnight claimed to have not been aware of the scheme that Rusty Carter hatched to get around campaign financing laws.  Is it just a coincidence that a completely unrelated company, Hobbs Upchurch, is found to have donation patterns very similar to Atlantic Corp which made illegal donations?  If, and this is a BIG IF, HUA is violating campaign finance law, wouldn’t it seem odd that Basnight would be unaware of the same scheme being played by two of his major donors who are not related in any way?   IF the donations from HUA are not legal, did they both just cook up the idea on their own?  Again, this is a BIG IF.  I do not know if any laws have been violated.  I’ll leave that up to the State Board of Elections to decide.  I’m merely pointing out the patterns.

Let’s hope that Mr. Tom Fetzer will press this issue with the State Board of Elections like he did with the Rusty Carter donations.  This kind of pattern calls for an investigation.

Marc Basnight recently called for tougher penalties for campaign finance violators.  Mr. Basnight, be careful what you wish for…