State News

Senate panel strips public campaign financing from ethics bill

Posted June 24, 2010

— A Senate committee on Thursday dropped a proposal from an ethics reform bill that would provide public financing of campaigns for more statewide office-seekers.

The judiciary panel voted to delete the proposal from the larger bill after opposition by Republicans and 100,000 automated calls by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity that targeted voters in districts of several Democrats.

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate addressed people in the automated calls, saying the public campaign financing would be a burden to businesses statewide.

"With double-digit unemployment in North Carolina, we should not be raising taxes to fund political campaigns," McCrory said in calls.

Senate Majority Leader Martin Nesbitt wanted to keep the expansion. The committee has delayed a vote on the bill until next week to gain bipartisan support.

"We want to make sure we have it right, and I firmly believe that there has to be bipartisan support," said Sen. Steve Goss, D-Watauga.

Republican senators have suggested amendments to the ethics bill calling for limits to donations to state political parties, more disclosures from appointees to state boards and commissions and equal representation on the State Board of Elections.

North Carolina flag, NC flag, state flag, N.C. flag GOP opposition kills public campaign financing

"I hope that we'll be able to hear as many of those as possible in the time that we have here," Goss said.

"I don't care how long it takes. I think there's flaws in this bill that need work," said Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph.

Campaign reform advocates say expanding public financing would reduce the perception that elected officials who regulate industries aren't beholden to campaign contributors. They acknowledge that more can be done, but they're concerned a lengthy debate will result in no action.

"We've got to figure out how to get from here to there, and we will," said Nesbitt, D-Buncombe.

The committee chairs plan to bring the ethics bill up again Tuesday morning and hope to have something wrapped up next week. If passed by the committee and the full Senate, the amended bill would head back to the House for debate.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jun 25, 2010

    retroconsultant, do you really believe that "lobbyists" (that's the nice word) don't influence politicians? Wow...I guess they're just wasting their billions of corporate $$.

    And, why not explain why Repubs don't want people to even KNOW that these deals are taking place? You know, transparency. Hiding the source of revenue serves what purpose to the people?

  • North Carolina Home Jun 25, 2010

    This being touted as "Ethics Reform" is just a hoot! The arrogance of these Democrats that own state government is just never ending. They just keep on and on because know they are untouchable as long as they keep feeding the biggest organized Union in this state: NCAE-the North Carolina Association of Educators plus the ever growing state employee legions whose salary depends on the Dems continuing to own the purse.

  • chfdcpt Jun 24, 2010

    Senate Pro Temp Marc Basnight, 13 terms in the senate.

    Senate Deputy Pro Temp Charlie Dannelly, +8 terms in the senate.

    Majority Leader Martin Nesbitt, 11 terms in house, +3 in the senate.

    Majority Whip Katie Dorsett, 4 terms in the senate.

    Minority Leader Phil Berger, 5 terms in the senate.

    Deputy Minority Leader Harry Brown, 3 terms in the senate.
    Deputy Minority Leader Peter Brunstetter, 2 terms in the senate.
    Deputy Minority Leader Neal Hunt, 3 terms in the senate.

    Minority Whip Jerry Tillman, 4 terms in the senate.

    And we still send them back so they can flaunt their corruptness. Worst part is that we keep falling for their lies.

  • whatusay Jun 24, 2010

    Money corrupts...and the democrats want to keep public money funding their campaigns. The GOP believes taxes will be imposed on citizens to pay for campaigns, which is corrupt, or should be. But to the democrats it's always about the money.

  • 5Rs Jun 24, 2010

    When a politician's party is out of power, he/she wants ethics. When in power, who needs ethics?

  • 5Rs Jun 24, 2010

    "Why do the Republicans want stop politicians from be bought & sold by businesses?" - hereandnow99

    You have bought into a big lie. IF the politician has integrity, he/she isn't bought by anyone, he is making decisions based on the merits of the bill. BUT, what we have for the most part are party hacks, who toe the party line rather than vote for what is good for their constituents.

    I would rather pick who gets my money, rather than havng someone who doesn't represent my viewpoints (or yours) getting money.

  • whatusay Jun 24, 2010

    If Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz were here today and were with people who had no heart, no brains, and no courage, she would not be in OZ, she would be in congress.

  • Tax Man Jun 24, 2010

    Why not just plain limit all politicians to spending no more than $5,000 on a state campaign. No big donations, just a flat $5,000 - you get the volunteers to do the work. Whoever has the most volunteers has the better chance, and no money is causing all these problems. Take the money out of politics! All of it!

  • bluegrass Jun 24, 2010

    Dropping the first of what I am sure will be many elements from an ethics bill should not be a surprise to NC voters.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jun 24, 2010

    Why do the Republicans want stop politicians from be bought & sold by businesses? And, why are they against disclosures of these bribes?