@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Money check: NC Senate leadership

Posted July 30, 2015
Updated August 7, 2015

WRAL Investigates The Money Trail

— North Carolina state lawmakers, statewide elected officials and other state political action committees are in the process of reporting their fundraising and spending for the first six months of the 2016 cycle. The deadline for filing those reports is July 31, although some of the data won't be available until early August, depending on what method was used to file.

There are a number of ways for money to flow into campaigns, so the money given to individual candidates does not tell a complete story. However, it's worth noting who is bolstering their war chests, donating to charity or has debts to pay.

The following is a list of the state Senate's top Republican and Democratic leaders who have reported thus far. We will update the list until it is complete.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Senate President

Raised: $363,494.52
Expenses: $145,257.96
Cash on Hand: $247.632.05
Outstanding Debts: $0
Notable: As Lieutenant Governor, Forest is elected statewide but serves as president of the state Senate. Several of his expenditures went to pay campaign staff, including a bookkeeper, finance director, and a full time campaign worker. Because the lieutenant governor runs statewide and North Carolina is a big state, the campaign keeps a minimal staff even outside of election season, said Hal Weatherman, Forest's chief of staff and campaign manager. "It's not something you want to have to ramp up every four years," Weatherman explained by phone from his campaign office.

Sen. Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore

Raised: $628,671.61
Expenses: $125,067.44
Cash on Hand: $627,452.09
Outstanding Debts: $0
Notable: Contributions to Berger, R-Rockingham, run the gamut from $5 contributions to a number of well-known donors who have maxed out for the primary at $5,100 such as John Fennebresque, a Charlotte lawyer and chairman of the UNC Board of Governors, and James Goodnight, CEO of software maker SAS. The majority of Berger's expenses appear to revolve around office-holding or fundraising. As the Senate's top Republican, Berger is expected to gather a large war chest to help Republican incumbents and aspiring GOP candidates win Senate elections.

Sen. Louis Pate, Deputy President Pro Tempore

Raised: $2,250.00
Expenses: $24,508.94
Cash on hand: $54,176.58
Outstanding debts: $54,642.53
Notable: Pate, R-Wayne, co-chairs both the Senate's health policy and heath budget committees, and his only two contributions for the first six months of this year come from health-related political action committees for drug maker AstraZeneca ($250) and insurer United Health Group Inc. ($2,000). Pate's outstanding debt is money he loaned his own campaign.

Sen. Harry Brown, Majority Leader

Raised: $32,600.00
Expenses: $11,544.00
Cash on hand: $130,331.39
Outstanding debts: $0
Notable: Brown, R-Onslow, is both the Senate's majority leader and top budget writer. His biggest expense for the cycle was a $10,000 contribution to the Republican Senate Caucus, the political organization that helps elect and re-elect Republicans to the state Senate. His biggest contributions came from PACs for the N.C. Health Care Facilities Association ($5,000), a group that represents nursing homes, and Fred Mills Sr. ($5,000), founder of United Property Management.

Sen. Jerry Tillman, Majority Whip

Raised: $12,071.00
Expenses: $19,833.80
Cash on hand: $33,458.87
Outstanding debt: $0
Notable: Tillman's biggest contribution during the first six months of the year came from American Airlines PAC. Tillman is as chairman of the Senate's Finance Committee and American along with other airlines have been pushing for a sales tax break on jet fuel purchases in the state.

Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, Republican Caucus Secretary

Raised: $14,243.06
Expenses: $20,208.85
Cash on hand: "In Dispute"
Outstanding debt: $0
Notable: The reason that Hartsell his cash on hand as "in dispute" is that he has recently been under investigation by the Board of Elections for irregularities in this campaign finance reports. He also lists debts owed to his committee as "in dispute," because part of the BOE investigation involves what expenditures count as campaign or office holding expenses.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, Rules Chairman

Raised: $18,950.00
Expenses: $34,588.96
Cash on hand: $106,375.63
Outstanding debt: $0
Notable: Apodaca, R-Henderson, wasn't exactly cash-poor coming into the new election cycle. All of his new donations for the year came from political action committees, principally for business and industry groups such as Blue Cross Blue Shield ($5,000) and the State Employees Association of North Carolina ($5,000). The bulk of Apodaca's spending for the period went toward phones and campaign office space.

Sen. Kathy Harrington, Appropriations Chairman

Raised: $9,050.00
Expenses: $2,605.47
Cash on hand: $13,141.87
Outstanding debt: $0.00
Notable: Harrington, R-Gaston, received donations from the political action committees for the groups representing nursing homes ($3,000) and the N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association ($500).

Sen. Brent Jackson, Appropriations Chairman

Raised: $79,800.00
Expenses: $19,866.09
Cash on hand: $116,159.78
Outstanding debt: $0
Notable: Jackson, R-Sampson, is one of three budget writers and appears to already be girding for his re-election campaign. Jackson spent more than $8576.09 on fundraising during the first six months of the year. His biggest contribution of the six-month period came from the N.C. Health Care Facilities Association ($5,000), a group that represents nursing homes.

Sen. Bill Rabon, Finance Chairman

Raised: $2,700.00
Expenses: $15,116.11
Cash on hand: $192,972.72
Outstanding debt: $60,000.00
Notable: Rabon, R-Brunswick, a veterinarian, has loaned his campaign $60,000 that he has not yet repaid over prior campaigns. During the past six months, he donated $2,000 to the National Rifle Association and made more than $7,000 in contributions to charities.

Sen. Bob Rucho, Finance Chairman

Raised: $12,750
Expenses: $5,569.38
Cash on hand: $96,457.35
Outstanding debts: $0
Notable: As with his fellow Finance Chairman, Sen. Jerry Tillmnan, Rucho is a recipient of a contribution from American Airlines PAC ($1,000). The company and other airlines have been pushing for a sales tax break on jet fuel purchases in the state. His biggest inidividual contributor during the first six months of the year was John Bryan of Lake Oswego, Oregon, the founder of a chemical company who is known as a major donor to Republican causes. Rucho, a dentist, saw his biggest contribution come from the N.C. Dental Society's political action committee ($5,000). Rucho made a $1,000 contribution from his campaign account to the Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank in Raleigh.

Sen. Dan Blue, Minority Leader

Raised: $7,255.01
Expenses: $43,141.36
Cash on hand: $54,961.01
Outstanding debts: $0
Notable: Blue, D-Wake, is the top Democratic leader in the Senate and contributed $61,000 to the operation to help elect and re-elect candidates to the state Senate, much as Brown contributed to the same operation for the Republican Party. Blue's biggest contributor during the first six months of the year was the N.C. Medical Society PAC ($2,000).

Sen. Terry Van Duyn, Minority Whip

Raised: $11,220.00
Expenses: $18,766.25
Cash on hand: $4,672.93
Outstanding debts: $0
Notable: The biggest contributions of the cycle listed by Van Duyn, D-Ashville, are three, $1,000 contributions by Danny Cameron, who is retired and lives in Laredo, TX, according to her reports. Van Duyn's biggest expenses were $12000.00 in contributions to the Senate Democratic Caucus to help organize and elect fellow Democratic candidates.

Sen. Ben Clark, Democratic Caucus Secretary

Raised: $21,380.91
Expenses: $10,079.95
Cash on hand: $21,468.71
Outstanding debts: $46,000
Notable: Clark, D-Hoke, has loaned his committee $46,000, including $20,000 on June 30, 2015. Clark gave the N.C. Democratic Senate Caucus $10,000.

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