@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Senate leader creates new fundraising committee

Posted July 20

Sen. Phil Berger

— A new joint fundraising committee will allow donors to write one large check that will go to both the state Senate's most powerful leader and the party-like committee that supports the election of all Senate Republicans.

Formed in March, the Republican Senate Leadership Committee is technically a joint venture between Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and the Republican Senatorial Committee, a committee that can function much like a political party on behalf of GOP state senators. Among other things, political parties can accept donations in excess of limits that apply to individual lawmakers.

Such joint fundraising committees are more common in federal races, where lawmakers frequently host joint fundraisers that allow them to tap the same donors. Those proceeds are then parceled out among the various campaigns.

In this case, a single donor can support the Senate Republican Caucus more broadly as well as the chamber's leader. For example, on the report filed for the second quarter of the year, Temple Sloan Jr., an executive with Trail Creek Investments and the founder of leading Carquest franchisee General Parts Inc., gave the joint Senate Leadership Committee $20,000. That money, along with a $5,000 check from Raleigh developer Cliff Benson, was divided between Berger, R-Rockingham, and the caucus fundraising PAC.

Other donors to the Republican Senatorial Committee, which reported having $1.1 million cash on hand at the end of the reporting period, mainly included other state senators' campaign committees and industry PACs such as the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association PAC and the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association PAC.

Meanwhile, Berger's own committee reported raising $475,110.34 during the second quarter and ended the fundraising period with $1.27 million cash on hand. Among the familiar donors are Joe Sanderson Jr., the head of chicken producer Sanderson Farms, and Fred Mills of Mills Construction.

Among Berger's expenditures worth noting are a total of $5,891.85 in processing fee payments for the fundraising year to PayPal, a company that has been a vocal opponent of House Bill 2.

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