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Democracy NC report blasts legislative “shakedown” of special interests

This is just in from the good people at Democracy North Carolina [1]:

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 [2].