Category Archives: Money

Bill repeals public campaign matching funds

Filed today by House Elections co-chair David Lewis
House Bill 297 Matching Funds Repeal Main Page

Short Title:        Matching Funds Repeal. (Public)
Sponsors: Representative Lewis.
Referred to:  

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to remove the matching funds provisions of the public campaign act and the voter‑owned election act and to make conforming and related changes.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. G.S. 163‑278.62(18) is repealed.

SECTION 2. G.S. 163‑278.66(a) is repealed.

SECTION 3. G.S. 163‑278.67 is repealed.

SECTION 4. G.S. 163‑278.64(d)(2) reads as rewritten:

“(2)      From the filing of a declaration of intent through the end of the qualifying period, a candidate may accept only qualifying contributions, contributions under ten dollars ($10.00) from North Carolina voters, and personal and family contributions permitted under subdivision (4) of this subsection. The total contributions the candidate may accept during this period shall not exceed the maximum qualifying contributions for that candidate. In addition to these contributions, the candidate may only expend during this period the remaining money raised pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection and possible matching funds received pursuant to G.S. 163‑278.67.subsection. Except for personal and family contributions permitted under subdivision (4) of this subsection, multiple contributions from the same contributor to the same candidate shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00).”

SECTION 5. G.S. 163‑278.64(d)(3) reads as rewritten:

“(3)      After the qualifying period and through the date of the general election, the candidate shall expend only the funds the candidate receives from the Fund pursuant to G.S. 163‑278.65(b)(4) plus any funds remaining from the qualifying period and possible matching funds.period.

SECTION 6. G.S. 163‑278.64A(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Participation Provisions Modified. — Candidates involved in elections described in G.S. 163‑329 may participate in the Fund subject to the provisions of G.S. 163‑278.64 as modified by this section. The Board shall adapt other provisions of this Article, including G.S. 163‑278.67, Article to those elections.”

SECTION 7. G.S. 163‑278.65(b)(2) reads as rewritten:

“(2)      Contested primaries. — No funds shall be distributed except as provided in G.S. 163‑278.67.distributed.

SECTION 8. G.S. 163‑278.96(17) is repealed.

SECTION 9. G.S. 163‑278.99A(a) is repealed.

SECTION 10. G.S. 163‑278.99B is repealed.

SECTION 11. G.S. 163‑278.98(e)(2) reads as rewritten:

“(2)      From the filing of a declaration of intent through the end of the qualifying period, a candidate may accept only qualifying contributions, contributions under ten dollars ($10.00) from North Carolina voters, in‑kind party contributions as permitted in subdivision (4) of this subsection, and personal and family contributions permitted under subdivision (4a) of this subsection. The total contributions the candidate may accept during this period shall not exceed the maximum qualifying contributions for that candidate. In addition to these contributions, the candidate may only expend during this period the remaining money raised pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection and possible matching funds received pursuant to G.S. 163‑278.99B.subsection. If the candidate has any remaining money that was raised as contributions before August 1 of the year before the election, the candidate may not expend that money after filing the declaration of intent, except for purposes permitted under subdivision (2), (3), (6), (7), or (8) of G.S. 163‑278.16B(a).”

SECTION 12. G.S. 163‑278.98(e)(3) reads as rewritten:

“(3)      After the qualifying period and through the date of the general election, the candidate shall cease campaign‑related fund‑raising activities and shall expend only the funds the candidate receives from the Fund pursuant to G.S. 163‑278.99(b) plus any funds remaining from the qualifying period and possible matching funds.period.

SECTION 13. G.S. 163‑278.99(b)(2) reads as rewritten:

“(2)      Contested primaries. — No funds shall be distributed except as provided in G.S. 163‑278.99B.distributed.

SECTION 14. G.S. 163‑278.13(e4) is repealed.

SECTION 15. This act is effective when it becomes law.

Reform? What reform?

This month’s Exile on Jones Street column in the Indy is the result of a long slog through the campaign finance reports of various players in the General Assembly by Democracy North Carolina, myself and others.

During the 2010 election, Tillis and other Republicans used the Jim Black and Meg Scott Phipps scandals to illustrate the need for a clean break from Democratic rule, vowing that once in the majority they would clean up Raleigh. But recently released campaign finance reports paint a much different picture of what happened once the gavel changed hands.

The reports came out in the last week of January and sifting through them was not an easy chore. Not many of the records are in electronic form and there are obvious bits of missing information and, in some cases, misleading information about who is giving.
On the flip side is the legislation that comes either before or after the contributions. The cases cited in the article are just a small sample, but that doesn’t mean they’re not insignificant in themselves. In each case the business interests got law written to accomplish their aims and in each case – consumer loans, municipal wifi, bail bond rules – the people of North Carolina got the short end of the stick.
The system is in dire need of fixing. There were several reforms passed during the last decade that allowed a little clearer view of the world where money and public policy mix. But there seems to be little interest in taking up any further reforms despite promises to the contrary. We are left with an opaque reporting system that stifles feedback. The time that lapses between when money is contributed and when it shows up in a public document is far too long. We shouldn’t have to wait for the finance reports to come in to fully understand why something became law.

Links, reports and more on campaign money and its influence on public policy in North Carolina to follow.

Morning Post Jan 12

Drrrty money everywhere. Three examples:
- Politico: Meet the three billionaires who will drag out the GOP primary.
- And from WRAL take a look at the really awful powerpoint (pdf) from the Battleground group, which explains how the GOP managed to takeover the NC legislature. It really is worth a scroll. Note the wonderful ads they managed to come up with. I don’t know what is worse: knowing that someone produced these awful, deceitful ads or knowing that some people believed.
- Newt can’t help himself and Romney says the 99% are just practicing the politics of envy. He has a nice house, ya know.

Indicted

Another governor’s office, another indictment.
Via the N&O:

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby has said that Perdue, a former lieutenant governor and state lawmaker, is not a target of the probe, but today’s indictment reached into the campaign’s inner circle.

The key phrase in this story:

The new charges, all felonies,

Perdue responds (sorta) in a statement. Via WRAL:

At the District Attorney’s request, while those matters are pending, I will not comment on the specific charges or any aspect of the investigation. I will, however, reiterate what I made clear at the beginning of the investigation, and what the investigation has confirmed: as a citizen, a candidate for public office, and an elected official, I have strived to follow the rules and laws. I am proud of my record, and I remain sharply focused on strengthening our schools, creating jobs and moving North Carolina forward.

Morning Post: Spotlight on the NC

Politics in North Carolina is drawing quite a bit of interest this morning thanks to several pages of daylight in the New Yorker. Reporter at Large Jane Mayer laid out the influence and operation of Art Pope and Co. in this week’s Money issue.

Art Pope Citizens United and North Carolina Politics

Yet Pope’s triumph in 2010 was sweeping. According to an analysis by the Institute for Southern Studies, of the twenty-two legislative races targeted by him, his family, and their organizations, the Republicans won eighteen, placing both chambers of the General Assembly firmly under Republican majorities for the first time since 1870. North Carolina’s Democrats in Congress hung on to power, but those in the state legislature, where Pope had focused his spending, were routed.

This is not big news among progressives. Pope’s effort to shape the GOP and the state has been pretty obvious and was spelled out in great detail by the Institute for Southern Studies and the Indy earlier this year. But Mayer uses Citizen United to spell out the consequences of the very wealthy unchecked and unfettered in the political arena and how politics and as we have most recently seen public policy now has a price.

The article, which opens with a very perceptive look at the losses by Democrats Margaret Dickson and John Snow in 2010, is a cautionary tale for every state in the country. Each one has its own Art Pope or two or three and each one is vulnerable to what has happened here in the Old North State.

Go read it.