San Diego County Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife are indicted on campaign finance violations – Los Angeles Times

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) and his wife, Margaret, were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges they used $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use and filed false campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission to mask the spending.

The 48-page indictment details lavish spending from 2009 to 2016, including family vacations to Italy and Hawaii, home utilities, school tuition for their children, video games and even dental work. The San Diego Union-Tribune first identified the improper spending.

To conceal the spending, family dental bills were listed as a charitable contribution to “Smiles for Life,” the government alleges. Tickets for the family to see Riverdance at the San Diego Civic Theater became “San Diego Civic Center for Republican Women Federated/Fundraising,” according to the indictment. Clothing purchases at a golf course were falsely reported as golf “balls for the wounded warriors.” (Read more)

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Gardner leads money race for sheriff – Wilson Times

Republican sheriff hopeful Joey Gardner will begin the general election campaign with a bigger war chest than whichever candidate emerges as his Democratic opponent.

Gardner doesn’t have a primary on Tuesday, but he still edged out both Sheriff Calvin Woodard Jr. and his Democratic primary challenger, Charles Harris, in fundraising. The GOP candidate raised $12,355, and he still has $8,881 in the bank, according to campaign finance reports.

Woodard raised $12,111 in the first quarter of 2014, but he’s spent about 91 percent of that cash on the primary. Harris reported $11,449 in campaign contributions and has spent 93 percent in hopes of winning the Democratic spot on November’s ballot.

In the Republican primary for the Wilson County Board of Commissioners District 7 seat, challenger Bill Blackman has raised nearly 10 times as much as incumbent Commissioner Tad Piner. Blackman, a former Wilson city councilman, reported $6,410 in contributions to Piner’s $655.

Political heavyweights, prominent businesspeople and elected officials are backing different candidates in the sheriff’s race, disclosure reports filed Tuesday at the Wilson County Board of Elections show. (Source: Read more)

Bibbs outspends Farmer-Butterfield 3-1 – Wilson Times

State House candidate Mark Bibbs tripled state Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield’s campaign spending this year despite raising about 40 percent less, figures show.

Bibbs supplemented the $18,000 he raised from donors with a $25,000 loan for total first-quarter proceeds of $43,000. He’s spent $70,000 on the House District 24 race, according to campaign finance reports released this week.

Beginning balances gave Bibbs the financial advantage — he opened his account with $61,643 in cash on hand, while Farmer-Butterfield started with $2,383.

The six-term Democratic state lawmaker raised $30,516 in the first quarter of 2014 and took out a $2,000 loan for total receipts of $32,518.

Former sheriff Wayne Gay and retired county manager Ellis Williford are backing Bibbs, while U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield and a consortium of state political action committees buoyed Farmer-Butterfield’s campaign. (Source: Read more)

FEC rules that John Edwards presidential campaign must repay $2 million in matching funds – Source: The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Federal Election Commission says former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign should repay the treasury $2.3 million. (Read more)

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With Reports Of An Imminent Indictment, John Edwards’ Attorney Issues Defiant Statement – Source: TPM

After reports that Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) is on the verge of being indicted for using campaign funds to cover-up an extramarital affair, his attorney Wednesday issued a defiant statement impugning the legal underpinnings of the government’s case. (Read more)

Easley pleads to campaign finance violation–Source:

RALEIGH (WTVD) — Former Governor Mike Easley walked into a North Carolina courtroom Tuesday and entered an Alford plea to a felony campaign finance violation.

An Alford plea means he does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the evidence against him could lead to a guilty verdict.

"As the candidate, I have to take responsibility for what the campaign does. The buck has to stop somewhere. It stops with me," Easley told the court. (Read more)

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