- Associated Press - Monday, October 6, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - The North Carolina Republican party filed an ethics complaint Monday against Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, charging that Hagan’s husband improperly benefited from the 2009 economic stimulus law that she voted to approve.

A Democratic group immediately fired back, announcing plans to file a complaint against Republican Thom Tillis for his support of a green energy tax credit program that benefited a bank in which Tillis holds stock.

The dueling complaints were being filed less than a month before a hotly contested election between Hagan and Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina House. The winner could help determine which party controls the Senate.

North Carolina GOP Chairman Claude Pope formally requested that the Senate Ethics Committee examine whether Hagan used her positon to steer taxpayer dollars to her husband’s company after voting in favor of the $787 billion stimulus law. A company co-owned by Hagan’s husband, Chip, received nearly $390,000 in federal grants and tax credits created by the stimulus law.

Hagan has denied any wrongdoing. A campaign spokeswoman called the GOP complaint “frivolous” and said Tillis was “grasping at straws.”

“Kay has been completely up front that she had absolutely no part in helping” her husband’s company, JDC Manufacturing, apply for or receive grants, said Sadie Weiner, a spokeswoman for Hagan’s campaign.

Weiner said it was hypocritical for Tillis and the GOP to attack Hagan’s family while refusing to answer questions about a bank he owns stock in that benefited from tax credits created by the stimulus law.

Tillis voted to support state participation in the federal program. He has denied any involvement in actions by Aquesta Bank of Cornelius, North Carolina, which financed renewable energy projects that received tax credits under the stimulus law. Tillis owns at least $50,000 stock in the bank.

Daniel Keylin, a spokesman for Tillis, attacked the complaint by a Democratic group called North Carolina Forward.

“I think it shows that the Hagan campaign is really desperate,” Keylin said. “They are basically making things up to try and avoid answering questions about how Kay Hagan’s family benefited from the stimulus.”

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