House Pension Committee Looking At NC Treasurer Donation Changes

Lawmakers who oversee the state's pension system say they favor some restrictions aimed at limiting potential conflicts of interest.

Their interest is sparked by a renewed focus on the campaign fundraising of state Treasurer Richard Moore.

As the sole trustee, Moore has final authority over all decisions affecting the state's 70 billion dollar pension system.

\He has received campaign donations from employees in nearly half of the companies that have contracts to manage the money. And those donations of about 736-thousand dollars, equal about 13 percent of his campaign fundraising since he first started running for treasurer in 1999.

Moore, who is expected to run for governor in 2008, has NOT been accused of breaking any laws.

Responding to reports in recent days about the campaign donations in The Charlotte Observer and Forbes magazine, Moore said he's working within the current rules. He says the only fair change would be to bar the treasurer and any challengers from taking these kind of donations.

But leaders of the House Pensions and Retirement Committee said lawmakers could also consider creating a public financing system for the treasurer's race.