New ad slamming McCrory gets an 'incomplete'
N.C. Citizens for Progress' latest ad suggests Republican candidate Pat McCrory helped bring about a tax break for partnership companies. But it doesn't say how he was involved.Posted — Updated
It focuses on legislation passed by the General Assembly that gives a tax break to the partners in S corporations, LLCs and sole proprietorship arrangements. Such businesses are formed by professionals such as doctors and lawyers.
The ad correctly states that McCrory works for Moore & Van Allen, a firm whose partners will benefit from the break.
However, a reasonable reading of the ad asks viewers to infer some things that might not be true.
After telling viewers about the tax break, the ad cuts to a shot of the candidate and says "Now here's Pat McCrory. The partners at the law and lobbying firm he works for will get a huge tax break. We don't know how much McCrory is making because he refuses to release his tax returns."
The first thing to note is that McCrory is not a partner at Moore & Van Allen, so he does not directly participate in the tax break. There's an inference he might somehow benefit, but the commercial does not say how.
The ad also repeats a charge that McCrory won't release his tax returns. That's true enough. McCrory has said that his state-required Statement of Economic Interest should be sufficient. But because McCrory wouldn't benefit from the tax credit in question, it's unclear how his tax returns might shed light on this issue.
Left completely unsaid is how McCrory might be responsible for the tax break's existence. N.C. Citizens for Progress and Democratic candidate Walter Dalton have been arguing throughout the campaign season that McCrory is closely tied to legislative Republicans who passed the tax breaks. And it's true that McCrory has generally been supportive of the GOP-authored budgets. But this ad doesn't even go that far.
While there is the suggestion McCrory somehow helped bring about the tax break – maybe by lobbying – the ad doesn't say directly and viewers are left to speculate. As for the tag line – "Tax breaks for lobbyists and corporations, while teachers get laid off. That's what you get with Pat McCrory" – it doesn't appear to be supported by the ad's content. To date, there's no hard evidence that McCrory lobbied his GOP allies for that or anything else.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.