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North Carolina: Gov. Easley received campaign contributions immediately after state bought land from the donors

The News & Observer reports: Gov. Mike Easley's 2004 re-election campaign got a financial boost from 13 people connected to the state's multimillion dollar purchase of more than 5,000 acres of land in the Caldwell County foothills, according to a report in The Charlotte Observer. ...

Easley's staff strongly rejected the suggestion there was a connection between the land sale and the donations. His office said the governor didn't learn about the deal until it was considered by the Council of State, only a few days before North Carolina took ownership of the land, and he knew none of the campaign donors with a connection to the sale. ...

After the sale closed, 13 donors with direct or indirect connections to the Mingo Tribal Preservation Trust donated to Easley's campaign. Each donor gave $4,000, the most allowed for a single election. Two of the donors were 19 and 20 at the time, and none had contributed reportable amounts to the Democratic governor in previous elections. More than half are registered Republicans. ...

Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina, a campaign-finance watchdog group, said only two of the 13 had given more than $100 to a candidate for statewide office in the past decade. -- newsobserver.com | Donations flowed after land deal

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