The man at the center of a national gambling scandal that caused Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll of Florida to resign last week played a surprisingly large – and mysterious – role in financing North Carolina politicians in 2012, according to new research by the election reform group Democracy North Carolina:
● Chase E. Burns, owner of International Internet Technologies LLC of Anadarko, OK, is the single biggest individual donor to General Assembly candidates in the 2012 election cycle, giving a total of $172,500 to 63 current members of the legislature and four other legislative candidates who lost. In addition, Burns donated $30,000 to the NC Republican House Caucus and $25,000 to the NC Republican Senate Caucus committees within the NC Republican Party. The top legislative recipients of Burns’ donations are Senate leader Phil Berger ($8,000), House Speaker Thom Tillis ($6,500), and 21 legislators who each got $4,000 (19 Republicans and 2 Democrats).
● Several of the donations are identified as being delivered or otherwise tied to lobbyists with Moore & Van Allen, the law firm where Gov. Pat McCrory was employed throughout 2012 and the firm Burns retained to lobby for IIT. Burns and his wife, Kristin, each donated $4,000 to McCrory’s campaign, bringing their total donations to $235,500 for NC’s 2012 election.
● The variety of ways that Burn’s contributions are identified on disclosure reports by different candidates suggests they were written from a separate bank account which may have included company funds, not just the personal money of Burns or his wife. It is illegal in North Carolina for business funds to be used to make contributions to candidates or political parties.
Read much more at the link.