Progress NC Action, a left-leaning group which advocates on education and environmental issues, will hold a press conference to calling on Republican state Representative and friend of the Rant Mike Stone to donate $4,000 in campaign contributions from an indicted video poker executive to educational efforts in his district.
The press conference is set for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 8 outside the old Lee County courthouse in Sanford.
Stone has been the target of criticism since it was revealed that he accepted $4,000 in campaign contributions from Chase Burns and refused to donate them to charity after Burns was later indicted on felony charges related to his video poker business. Other legislators who accepted money from Burns – and even Gov. Pat McCrory – donated the money to charity after the indictment.
Stone, for his part, told the Sanford Herald in June (subscription required) that he believed questions about his failure to divest himself of the tainted money was “negative campaign tactics.” He didn’t say why he kept the money.
Now, Progress NC Action is circulating a petition asking Stone to donate the money via Donors Choose, a website which connects donors with educational needs. The petition site states that “there are 11 projects that local teachers have submitted, which need a total of $6,863 in additional funding. With his $4,000 in gambling money, Stone could completely pay for 8 of these projects and make a real impact on the lives of students.”
Today, Progress NC Action circulated an email promoting the petition. Gerrick Brenner, the group’s executive director, closed by promoting the press conference.
“Also – I’m heading down to Sanford on October 8th to hold a press conference at 4 p.m. outside the Lee County Courthouse to put pressure on Rep. Stone to donate the money,” Brenner wrote. “We’ll bring our petition and your signatures – hope to see you there!”
If Mike doesn’t stand up for convicted gamblers, who will?