State and Local

Slush Funds Survive Party Change

DOT records obtained by Carolina Journal show former Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, D-Dare, personally authorized at least $50 million for nearly 800 projects over his 18-year tenure as Senate leader. Basnight may have retired in January, but the fund remains active, and his successor, Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, has continued to tap it.

One of Basnight’s 800 projects received funding after he retired. On Nov. 17, two weeks after Democrats lost control of the Senate, Basnight instructed the DOT to spend $350,000 for walkway improvements and lighting fixtures within the Elizabethan Gardens, a privately owned tourist attraction in his hometown of Manteo. DOT engineers signed off on the project, and the DOT board gave final approval in February.  Read more at



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