Should the State Treasurer of North Carolina take campaign contributions from firms he hires to manage assets in the state's pension fund? Should any state official be soliciting contributions from industries he or she does business with or exercises authority over? Those questions are at the root of The News and Observer's editorial in favor of public financing for statewide races so as to avoid this apparent conflicts of interest.
Without an alternative, statewide candidates have to seek out contributions where they can -- surely many would prefer a route that allows them to avoid even a suggestion of favoritism. Public financing, in the Clean Elections model as North Carolina has for its Appelate and Supreme Court judicial races, would be that route.