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Watchdog Bob Hall raises new questions in Moore poultry deal

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore

Public watchdog Bob Hall is raising attention about House Speaker Tim Moore’s land deal with a poultry company in Siler City owned by one of his major political donors.

Hall wrote a letter and memo this morning to Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman and Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement Director Kim Westbrook Strach raising new questions for consideration as they continue to investigate the situation and examine the merits of the complaints filed by the Campaign for Accountability.

“To summarize and make the situation clear: The public is rightly suspicious when prominent politicians or their partners appear to profit handsomely from business deals with their major political donors,” Hall wrote. “In this case, Speaker Moore’s Southeast Land Holdings LLC bought a piece of property for $85,000 and three years later sold it for $550,000 to Mr. Cameron’s poultry company — and the only value added in those three years appears to result from Speaker Moore and his staff pushing state regulators to bypass standard procedures and reclassify the property to benefit SLH and Cameron’s company. The $465,000 price increase for the property seems excessively generous and even corrupt because it’s paid by a major donor to the Speaker’s House caucus and it’s tied to government favoritism resulting from the Speaker’s official status and staff actions.”

The Washington D.C.-based Campaign for Accountability filed a complaint recently calling on state officials to investigate whether Moore acted improperly to seek preferential treatment from state regulators. You can read more about that here.

Hall’s memo to investigative leaders includes a list of prior political donations from Ronald Cameron, of Little Rock, Ark., to Moore. Cameron owns Mountaire Corp., the nation’s seventh largest poultry company.

“Cameron has been a prolific donor to Republican candidates and causes for many years,” Hall explains in the memo. “His company has had operations in North Carolina since it purchased the Piedmont Poultry processing plant in Lumber Bridge in 1996, but Cameron only started making substantial political donations in the state in 2014. From July 1, 2014 to December 31, 2018, he contributed nearly $1 million to influence elections in North Carolina.”

Read the full memo below.

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