Raleigh, N.C. — A former state director for Americans for Prosperity, Dallas Woodhouse, has launched a new 501(c)(4), Carolina Rising.
According to a release Monday morning, the new group will promote "free market, education and government reform policies," such as those enacted by GOP lawmakers in Raleigh.
"To ensure continued success, it is vital to implement a robust social and digital media strategy that evolves with new media trends to not only communicate North Carolina’s successes, but publicize the policies that led to those results," the release said.
501(c)(4)s, like 501(c)(3)s, are organizations under the federal tax code that can engage in political campaigns as independent spenders. While the political spending of 501(c)(3)s is highly regulated, 501(c)(4)s – so-called "social welfare organizations" – have fewer tax benefits to donors and thus fewer restrictions on spending on candidates' behalf.
Like super PACs, 501(c)(4)s can accept unlimited donations, but unlike super PACs, they are not required to disclose their donors. It's not unusual for these groups to be used as conduits to give money to super PACs and other groups while hiding the identities of the contributors.
It's not clear how the group will differ from several other conservative groups already operating in North Carolina, including Americans for Prosperity, Civitas Action, Crossroads GPS, Renew North Carolina (the former Foundation for North Carolina), which promotes the policies of Gov. Pat McCrory, or the NC House Legislative Partners, which promotes the policy positions of the House Republican caucus.
Woodhouse did not immediately respond to an inquiry from WRAL News about how his new group will differentiate itself. The release seems to imply, however, that it may take on an attack role.
"As we watch North Carolina’s key economic measures improve, we know these new polices are working. However, we can no longer count on just passing good policies,” said Woodhouse in the release. "We must do a better job of scrutinizing the policies from proponents of big government and remind citizens that these plans will return us to an era of crushing taxes, over-regulation and corruption. We must be vigilant to secure the advances we’ve made across the state to ensure continued growth and sound government.”
"A key mission of Carolina Rising aims at providing common-sense analysis of proven policies and contrast them with the increasingly radical political agenda of the liberal left, the release said.
UPDATE: Woodhouse responded Monday afternoon that the group will be more "aggressive" than other third-party groups "in defending polices that now clearly are working."
"In general, our side has been too defensive," he wrote in an email to WRAL News. "85,600 new positions in 2013, Fantastic job creation in March of this year. Tax relief and reform is working, teacher raises are on the way for the second time in 3 years, and the other side only has complaints, protests and lawsuits to offer."
"We will aggressively promote and defend the policies that are getting North Carolina working again and contrast that with that what the other side has to offer, which is mostly higher taxes and more regulation, leading back to the double digit unemployment we finally have gotten rid of," he said.