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The newspapers have blasted Richard Moore’s shaking down state pension fund managers for campaign contributions. Moore’s response: He’s pulling the ‘old bait and switch.’

Moore, spewing statistics, claims it doesn’t matter how much he’s raised. All that matters, he says, is how the funds have performed. Which according to him is just dandy. Moore calculated ‘what the market value of pension funds would have been over the last six years if the assets were invested as they were under former Treasurer Harlan Boyles’ leadership.’ Voi-la, he says, we made $4 billion.

But what’s to say Boyles wouldn’t have changed his investment strategy over six years as market conditions changed? If Boyles were here to defend himself he might say, Voi-la, we made six billion.

Worse from Moore’s perspective, according to the News and Observer, his investment strategy has resulted in lower return for North Carolina than the average of pension funds nationwide. So much for hoo-doing the numbers.

Can’t Richard Moore see just an itty-bitty conflict of interest in paying money managers $116 million, then soliciting $700,000 in campaign contributions from them? No. Is he going to stop? No. What consequences does he face? None.

The only elected officials with the power to hold Moore accountable are Democrats and Moore’s version of pay-to-play doesn’t seem to bother the Governor anymore than Jim Black’s did.

But there’s a silver lining in this cloud. If Moore’s fellow Democrats remain silent long enough, he may actually win the Democratic primary for Governor – then Republicans will have plenty of fodder for TV ads in the next election.

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