fbpx

NC Growers, Men of Mystery

The Truth Squad appeared on the political radar in 2008. The Truth Squad is a 527 Political Committee set up by C. Stan Eury, head of the NC Growers Association which is the nation’s largest employer of legal migrant workers and the largest agricultural employer in NC. The 527’s activity was initially limited to attacking Republican State Senate candidate David Rouzer in a local feud related to immigration law.

On November 3rd, 2008, the day before Election Day, a 1/4 page ad ran in the Raleigh News & Observer obviously supporting Steve Troxler for NC Commissioner of Agriculture, paid for by The Truth Squad. The NC Commissioner of Agriculture election is a statewide race. No reports have ever been made to the State Board of Elections by The Truth Squad.

A report filed with the IRS shows that The Truth Squad took in $19,200 on late October 2008, most of it coming directly from the NC Growers Association ($12,800 10/29) and Carolina Farm Credit, ACA ($5,000 10/21). On 10/29, $14,919 was spent on newspaper ads “to help elect Steve Troxler for NC Commissioner of Agriculture”. (Full page ads in the Winston-Salem Journal and the Greensboro News-Record and 1/4 page ads in the Wilmington Star, Fayetteville Observer, Raleigh News & Observer and Durham Herald Sun). The ad walked right up to the line in election law separating information from vote solicitation. In portraying incumbent Troxler as a farmer and challenger Ansley as a lawyer the ad leaned right over that line, leaving no doubt as to whom you should vote for by saying “Ask a Farmer”.

In the Fourth Quarter of 2008 the NC Growers Association PAC reported to the SBOE initial cash on hand of just $1,827. It reported a 9/27 contribution of $1,000 to the campaign of Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry. It reported a subsequent 10/13 contribution of $2,000 to the campaign of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler when it apparently only had $827 cash on hand. The PAC reported receiving $17,100 on 10/14 comprised of a total of 855 checks each being equal contributions of $20. Reports made by the NC Growers Association PAC show that no other contributions had been made to the PAC since Fall 2005.

It is unlikely that this late spending could influence either election. It is more likely that it was intended to curry favor with Commissioners who have responsibility and influence related to migrant agricultural labor in North Carolina. The contributions to the 527 are troubling because they demonstrate how easy it is to inject corporate cash into a state or local election. The PAC contributions are unusual because they are improbably numerous, identical in amount, type, date, and well below the threshold for reporting of names, occupations and employers and, because no other contributions were reported. Maybe money does grow on trees and is harvested on a single day.

Load More Related Articles
  • Uncategorized

    Frackuccino

    If they won’t tell us what’s in fracking fluid, and it becomes a crime in NC to reveal fracking chemicals, would ...
  • Uncategorized

    John Skvarla’s Happy Teeth

    DENR Secretary John Skvarla grimaced his way through a February 19th press briefing on the Dan River coal ash spill. Only ...
  • Uncategorized

    LaRoque’s voter suppression Hail Mary

    Former state representative Stephen LaRoque appeared in federal court in Raleigh last week to face charges of theft and money laundering. ...
Load More By Greg Flynn
Load More In Uncategorized

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Previous "compliance" issues of Torchlight Academy Schools, LLC leads advisory board to question proposal for Perquimans… [...]

WASHINGTON — When paid family leave was briefly dropped from congressional Democrats’ massive social spending and… [...]

The U.S. Interior Department recommended increased fees for oil and gas exploration on federal lands as… [...]

The new state budget, signed into law by Gov. Cooper, the General Assembly included a raft… [...]

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court, an institution that has upheld the basic right to legally access… [...]

Hint: It has something to do with the realities of a market economy “In less than a… [...]

These are, by any fair estimation, divided times in our country. Especially since the onset of… [...]

The post A Charlie Brown budget for NC’s schoolchildren appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Now Hiring

The North Carolina Justice Center is seeking a Courts, Law & Democracy Reporter for NC Policy Watch, to investigate, analyze and report on the federal and state judicial systems. This position will cover criminal and civil justice issues in the General Assembly and executive branch agencies, issues related to elections and voting, and other topics.

APPLY HERE.