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House Republicans setting up nonprofit

Posted January 10, 2013

House Speaker Thom Tillis speaks during the opening day of the 2013 legislative session on Jan. 9, 2013.

— House Republicans are setting up a new nonprofit to help them talk to voters about the work they are doing and the challenges they are facing.

North Carolina House Legislative Partners filed its paperwork to incorporate earlier this month, although the original filing does not offer a lot of specifics. 

Roger Knight, a lawyer who works for a number of Republican causes, declined to talk about the specifics of the group, noting that they were still getting organized and that a first board of directors had not yet been established. 

However, Jordan Shaw, a spokesman for House Speaker Thom Tillis, confirmed Thursday that the nonprofit was being set up on behalf of House Republicans and with input from Tillis. 

"We've been frustrated during the last couple years about trouble getting our side of the story out there," Shaw said. He said that the idea is modeled on a 501(c)4 set up by allies of Gov. Pat McCrory that will help bolster the Republican governor's message.

"We wanted something to get our story beyond Raleigh," Shaw said.

The group is still in its organizational phases, Shaw said. He could not answer questions about how the nonprofit would be funded, who would sit on its board or other organizational issues. 

"We're hopeful that this is the kind of model that future Speakers, future House leaders, can use," Shaw said. "As we move forward, this is about generating public discussion of issues." Shaw added that the group would be aimed at ensuring discussion of issues wasn't "simply a matter of what the press reports.... We think it's going to be useful for the public." 

In some respects, the group might do work similar to what a party's legislative caucus operation does to trumpet accomplishments and draw attention to the success of members. But a nonprofit structured as a 501(c)4 would have more latitude than a traditional campaign finance organ. 

Such a nonprofit could, for example, raise money while the legislature is operating, something that lawmakers are prohibited from doing for their individual campaign accounts. It could also spend money on work that's not strictly campaign related. And donors to the group would likely never have to be disclosed in the same way that donors to political campaigns are. Also, donor limits that apply to candidates would not apply to such a group. 

A search of the North Carolina Secretary of State's corporation records database did not find a similar nonprofit for the Republicans affiliated with the state Senate. 

9 Comments

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  • Grand Union Jan 11, 3:55 p.m.

    'Non Profits are evil."

    wrong.....Credit unions are non profits and they are anything but evil.

    " If it serves a good cause let people donate to it."

    Charities are non profits......so they already do just that

    " Usually a non profit is given tax money to keep it going"

    like which non-profit????? They are given money by Gov. for services provided.

    ".....there's the problem....forcing me to pay for something I might not agree with. If private donations support the cause....fine, but if one dollar of taxes are used it should be illegall."

    Nonsense. Gov. are elected to make decisions, not to please individuals......you don't like it then your recourse is to vote them out...thats it.
    In fact I'd rather Gov. gave to non profits....likely to be better value for money.

  • Grand Union Jan 11, 3:50 p.m.

    In the old world this was called a "slush fund"

  • davidgnews Jan 11, 2:57 p.m.

    "Nonprofit" + politicians = big cash flow.

    All the money in the world won't change the truth.

  • lessismore Jan 11, 1:47 p.m.

    PROBLEM.....A non profit exists for only one reason....someone will be paid lots of money to administer it, usually the ones that set it up. Non Profits are evil. If it serves a good cause let people donate to it. Usually a non profit is given tax money to keep it going.....there's the problem....forcing me to pay for something I might not agree with. If private donations support the cause....fine, but if one dollar of taxes are used it should be illegall.

  • wmsb63 Jan 11, 1:43 p.m.

    Such a nonprofit could, for example, raise money while the legislature is operating, something that lawmakers are prohibited from doing for their individual campaign accounts. It could also spend money on work that's not strictly campaign related. And donors to the group would likely never have to be disclosed in the same way that donors to political campaigns are. Also, donor limits that apply to candidates would not apply to such a group.

    Yeah, sounds like they are trying to get around the rules that are on the books. Typical for the republicans, will do whatever it takes to make sure they look honest when all the time they know they are playing dirty and not looking out for the interest of the people or the State they are only looking out for themselves. I agree with ttc248 and scottfree123, this is very unethical and a sorry excuse for honesty. Sad time for North Carolina with a Republican Gov, and a Republican controlled Legislature.

  • garyspear Jan 11, 11:40 a.m.

    With the recent elections, NC has no where to go but up!!
    After all, as WRAL reports it has taken 20 yrs of democratic control to get in the mess we are in.
    That means the republicans have to produce positive results.

  • ttc248 Jan 11, 11:10 a.m.

    Sounds like the Big Money fellas looking for another way to buy their way into government. Sorry excuse for honesty.

  • scottfree123 Jan 11, 10:26 a.m.

    Who in their right mind and is looking for the truth would look to this so-called non-profit for facts about the NC Legislature? This is no more than a partisan mouthpiece of the ruling party, is unethical, and should be illegal--a PAC by another name. We already have enough political propaganda; we need FACTS!

  • jmtalley Jan 10, 10:42 p.m.

    I wonder if Art Pope feels compelled to pay for his appointment? This ought to do it. If we cut more unemployment benefits his savings just might cover his potential donation.