Democracy NC report blasts legislative “shakedown” of special interests

This is just in from the good people at Democracy North Carolina:

Legislative Leaders Are Setting Record for Fundraising from Special Interests; Speaker’s Solicitation Called “Shakedown

Despite efforts to reduce the influence of lobbyists and special interests in political fundraising, the top leaders of the NC General Assembly are on pace to break two records, according to a review of disclosure reports by the watchdog group Democracy North Carolina:

(1) they are raising more money from special-interest political action committees (PACs) than any of their predecessors, and

(2) they are relying more heavily on PACs to reach and exceed the large fundraising totals of past legislative leaders – in the range of $1 million and beyond.

As of July 1, after 18 months of fundraising in the 2012 cycle, House Speaker Thom Tillis had taken in $341,450 from dozens of PACs and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger had raised $320,600 from a similar list of special interests, led by the PACs of utilities, banks, healthcare providers, insurance firms, and various trade groups.

These amounts are over $100,000 more than what the previous leaders – Democratic House Speaker Joe Hackney and Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight – raised at a similar point in their 2010 campaigns.*

Read the rest of the report by clicking here.


  1. Dallas Woodhouse

    August 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    This is an irresponsible quote from Bob Hall.

    . You are letting, Bob Hall, a person and group against all political fundraising, compare the illegal corrupt Jim Black practice of taking unreported cash in the IHOP bathroom, to 100% reportable and legal fundraising activities. How can you let him compare 100% legal and reportable activity, with felonious activity!!

  2. cmckinley

    August 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Dallas. What do you expect from a progressive echo chamber like good ol’ Bob’s liberal slander operation. Good ol’ Bob is quick to talk trash to one side of the coin but is stone silent on the other.

    Take the Lt. Governor’s Democratic primary race. As Eric Mansfiled (Democrat) point out on the Blue nc blog, SEANC poured in over $300,000 into Linda Coleman’s (Democrat) campaign. I guess she needed it since she only raised about $36,000 and spent about $38,000. As Senator Mansfield noted … “I don’t know what SEANC will want for their money”. Didn’t see the press release from good ol’ Bob on that one. I guess that didn’t qualify as a special interest transaction for Bob.

    So here is a straight forward case of blatant special interest money and where is good ol’ Bob’s outrage??????? Oh wait, these guys are on the left side of the coin. Can’t make an issue about left side because that’s where the funding and support comes from.

    Good ol’ Bob was also strangely silent in June of 2011 as trial attorneys pour tens of thousands of dollars into Bev’s campaign right before her veto of the bill they wanted to kill. The silence on that transaction was deafening.

    Where was good ol’ Bob’s outrage when an honorable man like Hugh Holliman saw SEANC (courtesy of Dana Cope) pour tons of money into his Republican opponent’s effort to defeat him because he dared asked them to pay their fair share (If you call 5% of costs fair share). Silence again.

    I believe Democracy NC is not an appropriate name for Bob’s operation. Hypocrisy NC would be far more appropriate.

  3. Rob Schofield

    August 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I love it when people use slander and inaccurate statements to accuse someone of slander and inaccurate statements. And when it comes to this, you guys take the cake. Democracy NC has proved time and again — see Jim Black and Mike Easley — that it is more than willing to fight corruption, whoever is involved and whatever their politics.

    Dallas — You are just wrong. Bob Hall is not against all political fundraising. You know that. And you are unbelievably naive if you think that there’s a significant difference between Black’s shakedowns and the shakedowns that other leaders have enaged in and that the current leaders are perfecting.

    And as for the second comment, the story was not about the Lt. Governor’s race, it was about legislative leaders. If Bob does a story about the Lt. Gov’s race and doesn’t mention SEANC then you can complain. And, as an aside, to claim that SEANC — a group that frequently endorses Republicans and that has worked closely with the current legislative leadership and endorsed its budget — is on the “left side of the coin” is utterly ridiculous.

  4. Dallas Woodhouse

    August 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Rob: I will just point out that the original story was possible because the donations were reported as required by law

  5. cmckinley

    August 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Dang Rob. Your response was fast!

    I stand by my observation that Bob’s biased take on this matter truly represents at best, hypocrisy. At worst, shrill slandering.

    I would also take issue with both NC Policy Watch’s and Hypocrisy NC’s liberal (pardon the pun) use of the term “shakedown”.

    The proper and correct definition (according to every text source I can find) of shakedown in this context is to imply an act of extortion through threats. Yet I see nothing in either the text or the tone of the email in question that would remotely infer such an act. But I guess both NC Policy Watch and Bob have some clairvoyant ability to “read between the lines” and ferret out some secret code that reveals the true evil intent of Ms. Croxton’s email.

    But I don’t need to guess what’s really going on here. It’s pretty obvious to even the most casual observer that the intent is to subtlety imply some illegal action while claiming at the same time that there is, by the letter of the law, not. I guess that’s the have your cake and eat it too strategy.

    What’s really going on here is that Ol’ Bob is very upset with the current party in power because they don’t cater to his, and NC Policy Watch’s, agenda or positions. They have stood for truth in voting, respect for taxpayers who foot the bill for government spending, and reining in the corrosive expansion of government in every aspect of our lives. So having lost the conversation and attention of the majority of the electorate, Ol’ Bob has nothing left to do but resort to name calling, slanderous innuendo, and petty politics.

    P.S. I do enjoy the spirit of debate :)

  6. gregflynn

    August 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    I love how McKinley x-ray vision can penetrate the left but can only scan the surface of the right. After sitting behind Stephen LaRoque in federal court recently it was interesting looking at the list of people who gave him $500.

  7. Frank Burns

    August 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    The problem that I have with Democracy NC and Bob Hall is how they fraudulently call themselves non partisan. How can an organization be non partisan with every member of their board being a partisan Democrat?

  8. cmckinley

    August 24, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Yes Greg. In hindsight that contribution appears to be a mistake given the circumstances now evident which were not back then. Much the same as those who contributed to John Edwards over the years. Nice to know that you have taken such a strong interest in the personal tragedy of a man who seems to have made some really bad choices. I’ll let judge and jury sort that mess out.

  9. david esmay

    August 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Edwards cheated on his wife, Laroque used taxpayer monies to enrich himself, his family, and apparently a couple of GOP NC GA members.

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