Raleigh, N.C. — A Super PAC supporting state House Speaker Thom Tillis reported that it raised money from a pair of shell corporations as federal political committees faced a key deadline Friday.
Jan. 31 is both the monthly and quarterly filing deadline for congressional candidates, as well as certain federal independent expenditure groups known as Super PACs. Super PACs are political groups that file with the Federal Elections Commissions but, unlike candidates, can raise money from corporations and do not have to obey limits on how much money can be raised from any one donor.
Grow NC Strong, a PAC founded to back Tillis' run for U.S. Senate, was among the dozens North Carolina-based independent committees that must file reports this week. As the Open Secrets blog first reported, the committee reported donations from two LLC shell corporations.
From Open Secrets:
According to the filings made this morning, the group raised $54,000 in the second half of the year, including $25,000 donations apiece from Dawn Properties LLC and TC Investor LLC. Simple Google searches on the companies don't reveal much, but North Carolina corporate filing records shed more light on who is behind these donations.
According to the state's records, Dawn Properties LLC shares an address and ownership with Randy Marion Automotive LLC, which was founded by Randall Marion, of Mooresville, N.C. Marion operates a chain of car dealerships, selling GM and Subaru cars.
TC Investor LLC is connected to Robert Stevanovski, who is chairman of ACN Inc, a telecommunications company.
More than 360 committees based in North Carolina filed reports in either 2013 or 2014. About two-thirds of those are directly linked to candidates.
Others were organized to boost the interests of certain industries or causes. For example, Right to Life NC, Lorillard Tobacco and the Turfgrass Council of North Carolina are all among the North Carolina-based political committees that file with the FEC.
As for others, well, it's sometimes hard to tell.
For example, one committee known as "The Truth Squad" was organizers by the N.C. Growers Association, an agriculture industry group. The American Foundations Committee, which was founded to help 13th District Congressman George Holding get elected, filed paperwork a year ago to indicate it may support "more than one" federal candidate. Keep Conservatives United, which was once known as "a super-PAC favoring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for president," has recently been posting Phil Berger Jr.'s run for the 6th Congressional District seat being vacated by Congressman Howard Coble.
Still others present some mystery. A group called "Our America, Inc." filed its organization papers on Jan. 24. Although seemingly based in Charlotte, there's little in its filings to indicate what it might do other than it "supports/opposes more than one Federal candidate."