Campaign finance reports normally make news for dubious reasons like a controversial donor or questionable spending by candidates. It’s rare they make news for blunt honesty. Rare, but it does happen.
Last Friday was a big day for North Carolina politicians, whether they’re running for office this year or not. Anyone actively raising money for a campaign of any type had to file their finance reports for the first half of this year. They show amount of cash raised, amount of cash spent and what’s known as cash on hand.
Most reports were pretty basic affairs. Senator Fletcher Hartsell’s was not.
His cash on hand was list not as a number, but with two words. "In-Dispute." And that is the honest truth.
You see the state Board of Elections spent two years investigating how Hartsell spent his campaign cash.
Less than two months ago, the board released a scathing report which found Senator Hartsell, a Republican who represents Cabarrus and parts of Union County, used between $100,000 and $300,000 of campaign cash to finance his personal spending.
His case has now been referred to both state and federal prosecutors.