Allegations of Campaign Finance Scheme in Race For Coble's Seat

GREENSBORO, NC -- Pastor and North Carolina 6th Congressional District Candidate Mark Walker did everything but indict his GOP primary opponent Phil Berger, Jr at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Walker says he's filed an official complaint with the U.S. Attorney office and the North Carolina State Ethics Commission to launch investigation into what he calls a campaign finance scheme.

In short, Walker says his opponent, and his father, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, Sr., are trying to use their political power to "buy this election".

"These actions are politics are usual for this family and shows how they manipulate the system for political gain," Walker said at the news conference.

Walker is in a GOP run-off for the seat being vacated by Congressman Howard Coble.

The election is scheduled for July 15th.

Berger, Sr. is the immediate past-chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee and is still on the executive board.

Walker's campaign is alleging Berger, Sr. used the RSLC to funnel money to a SuperPAC called Keep Conservatives United. The SuperPAC received $75,000 from the RSLC.

The communications director, in an email to WFMY News 2 said, "The RSLC is a national organization that contributes to hundreds of groups across the country to further right of center candidates and causes. The RSLC does not accept or contribute earmarked funds. The elected officials on our honorary committees have no say in where contributions are directed and funds are used at the sole discretion of our political staff."

The SuperPAC which received the funds has been running ads in support of Berger, Jr. and against his Republican candidates.

The founder of the SuperPAC said in an email to WFMY News 2, "Senator Berger's done more than anyone since Helms to advance conservative ideas in NC. Berger Jr. is the only candidate in the race who has done anything effective for improving government or advancing the cause. Sixth district was only competitive race."

Walker also alleges that two big donors to Keep Conservatives United are linked to Berger Sr. because they have bills pending in the state senate.

"In this process, the Bergers may have skirted North Carolina state campaign laws, misdirected campaigns funds for other state-level candidates and potentially violated federal election laws prohibiting coordination between campaigns and SuperPACS," the candidate said.

In an interview about Walker's allegations, Berger Jr. shot back saying, "We're on the verge of having a good night on July 15th, our campaign operation is very successful, we're running on all cylinders and this is a last ditch effort by a desperate politician who is unfortunately not tethered to the truth."

Berger's campaign News 2 they are not disputing any of the public records information Walker has revealed, but say it's wrong for him to take that to mean there's been wrongdoing or laws have been broken.

Berger says Walker's claims that his father is using his power and influence to help funnel money to his campaign are "nonsense."

At this point, Walker says he doesn't know what specific laws the Berger family might have violated. He says the connections are a concern and he has lawyers who are investigating.


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