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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Horace Kornegay, January 11, 1989. Interview C-0165. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Contributions from tobacco companies to political campaigns

Kornegay discusses the nature of fundraising in North Carolina politics. According to Kornegay, major tobacco companies did not contribute directly to the campaigns of North Carolina contributions, in part because of regulations prohibiting corporate contributions. Nevertheless, individuals who worked for tobacco companies were able to donate funds to candidates.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Horace Kornegay, January 11, 1989. Interview C-0165. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BEN BULLA:
In talking to some of our political friends, they say, at one time the tobacco industry played a major role in funding elections in this state. Back in the '30's, '40's and '50's, I'm not sure when it stopped. Everett Jordan, of course, was known as a fund raiser, he was named Chairman of the Democratic Party mainly because he was a fund raiser. Can you comment on that?
HORACE KORNEGAY:
Yes, I can comment on it. My own personal experience, the tobacco companies - I think this is true of the leaf dealers, warehousemen and growers, as well as the companies - made very little contribution to political campaigns. At least this was my experience up until the mid-sixties. The first two or three times I ran I don't think I got any money out of any tobacco interests. Now the last time or two I ran some of them contributed some. That's not to say that individuals employed in companies, executives and all - because campaigns in - contributions in N C have to be individual. You can't make any corporate contributions. R J Reynolds as a company can't contribute - Phillip Morris can't - but individuals employed in the company can, or the individuals can contribute to a fund and that fund can be distributed to political candidates, but I do not believe that the tobacco companies, as such, took too much of a financial position in campaigns. Now in the State, there could have been a different story, however I have no personal knowledge of it having never run for governor nor managed a gubernatorial campaign.