State News

State elections board dismisses campaign complaints

Posted October 14, 2008

— The State Board of Elections has dismissed complaints filed against two national party groups seeking to influence the fall elections in North Carolina.

Tuesday's dismissal came after about three hours of hearings before the board involving the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and the Republican Governors Association. The board voted 3-2 against a motion that would have found the groups violated state law.

Board investigator Kim Strach testified earlier Tuesday that she believed the groups were breaking the law by how they raised money on behalf of sister organizations registered in North Carolina. The groups disagreed.

Board director Gary Bartlett proposed a compromise that would have required more disclosure when money from the national groups was funneled to a state organization, but objections were raised.

"I think the allegations were an attempt to squelch people's free speech," said Glenn Willard, an attorney for the Republican Governors Association, which has spent $3 million to support GOP gubernatorial candidate Mayor Pat McCrory. "That's all it was."

Peace College political science professor David McLennan says political action committees – private groups organized to elect political candidates – like the two involved in Tuesday's hearing, become more powerful and influential as the election draws near, having raised millions of dollars in funding.

"The difficulty is they have produced some of the most controversial, negative ads, and there's a lot of controversy about who controls (them)," McLennan said.


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  • ThinkChick Oct 15, 2008

    Worland: Don't forget the $800,000 the Obama campaign gave to ACORN earlier in the year for 'get out the vote' activities.

    Another interesting group to investigate "Vote from Home '08" a group which moves temporarily into a state and votes illegally. Set up by um...Dems...

  • Myword Oct 14, 2008

    This election can't come soon enough...

  • SANDHILL Oct 14, 2008

    Make rules and pass laws and politicans will find the smallest of loop holes to get around them. If a loophole does not exist make one up.

  • Worland Oct 14, 2008

    Considering ACORN tried to register Micky Mouse in Florida, someone needs to take a better look at election groups. You have to wonder how unbiased ACORN is since Obama defended them against a Federal lawsuit in 1995 and has since endorsed Obama for President.