Wilmington businessman and major fundraiser Rusty Carter said in a sworn affidavit that no one directed him to illegally give more than $330,000 in campaign contributions, and that he never told any campaigns he was doing so.
Carter indicated in the affidavit that someone told him there was broad latitude in what was legal.
"I have been told...," he said in the affidavait, "your wife, kids, dogs and cats can all make contributions."
Carter, a former member of the UNC-Chapel Hill board of trustees, added that he didn't know who told him that.
"I do not know which campaign the individual worked for or in which election time period the statement was made to me."
Carter recently was convicted as part of a plea deal of funneling tens of thousands in campaign contributions to three candidates — Gov. Bev Perdue, Senate leader Marc Basnight and state Sen. Julia Boseman.
But documents from the state Board of Elections provide a detailed listing of other contributions that Carter says were handled the same way.
At the time of the plea, prosecutors noted that the state's statute of limitations on the illegal campaign giving was two years, but that some older ones were part of the plea. Carter was fined $5,000 on the misdemeanor charge and is prohibited from making campaign donations for two years. Since then, some elected officials have said such illegal giving should be a felony.
The listing includes money that Carter gave through his family members or that he gave in bonus money to his employees at the Atlantic Corp., a packaging company.
Only the company reimbursements were part of the plea deal.
Here are the totals for both types of giving, according to Carter's affidavit:
• $92,000 to the campaign of Basnight, a Democrat.
• $68,000 to the campaign of Perdue, a Democrat.
• $42,000 to the 2004 U.S. Senate campaign of Erskine Bowles, a Democrat.
• $39,000 to the campaign of former Gov. Mike Easley, a Democrat.
• $35,900 to the campaign of Bush-Cheney 2004. They are Republicans.
• $30,000 to the campaign of state Sen. Julia Boseman of Wilmington, a Democrat.
• $25,000 to the Republican Party.
• $8,000 to the Democratic Party.
The affidavit and supporting documents are attached.
In the document, the Basnight, Perdue and Boseman donations listed in Attachment C were part of the criminal case plea. The other donations (Easley, Bowles, Bush-Cheney) were not part of the plea deal. In addition, none of the donations listed on Attachment D were part of the plea deal.
— J. Andrew Curliss