Raleigh – Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest can’t get his story straight on his multiple connections to indicted donor Greg Lindberg. First, he stated the donor who tried to bribe a Republican elected official was his “friend.” Then, after reports showed Forest met with the donor three times in as many months and posted of photo of himself speaking at his house on the same day Lindberg donated $400K to the committee Forest chairs, Forest’s campaign distanced themselves and tried to claim that Lindberg never donated. Now, they’ve been caught in that lie, as a new report shows Forest failed to report a donation from Lindberg.
News & Observer: Dan Forest corrects report to show a donation from Greg Lindberg
By Paul A. Specht
April 22, 2019
Campaign finance reports show multiple financial ties between North Carolina’s lieutenant governor and Greg Lindberg, a political donor recently indicted on conspiracy and bribery charges.
But, at least until recently, those financial reports didn’t show all of their ties.
The campaign for Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican who plans to run for governor in 2020, told The News & Observer that it failed to report what is known as an in-kind contribution from Lindberg in 2017. That is generally required for a contribution of something other than money. The acknowledgment comes less than a month after The N&O reported that Lindberg hosted an event for Forest in August 2017 and that campaign finance reports found no mention of an in-kind donation associated with Lindberg’s property.
In a Facebook photo reported on by the N&O, Forest can be seen speaking at Lindberg’s Durham residence in front of a group of people, some of whom are holding drinks.
Campaign finance laws don’t require Forest to disclose the use of a residence for a fundraiser, Forest campaign spokesman Hal Weatherman told the N&O when it reported on the photo. But, on Monday, Weatherman said the campaign should’ve reported $3,761 in catering services provided by Lindberg.
After this story was published, Robert Howard, a spokesman for the North Carolina Democratic Party, suggested Forest deliberately withheld information about the donation.
“Dan Forest lied about his connections to an indicted donor and then tried to cover them up, only revealing the truth when forced. Forest continues to show he’s unfit to lead our state,” Howard said.
Lindberg, an insurance executive, is one of four people indicted for allegedly trying to bribe N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. The others are Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes, Lindberg consultant John Gray and John Palermo, a vice president for one of Lindberg’s companies. Forest was not mentioned in the indictment.
But none stood to benefit from Lindberg’s donations as much as Forest.
In the last two years, Lindberg gave $1.4 million to the North Carolina Republican Council of State Committee, which Forest chairs. He also gave $1 million to the NC-registered super PAC “Truth and Prosperity,” for which Forest has raised money.
Asked whether Forest plans to repay the in-kind contribution, Weatherman said no.