State News

Outside group pays for ads targeting McCrory

A group backed by the Democratic Governor's Association and a teachers' group has launched ads questioning gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory's economic policies. McCrory wants the ads pulled from TV.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A independent political group which is behind ads targeting Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory has raised money from the Democratic Governors Association and a national education group.

The Alliance for North Carolina, a so-called 527 group, on Friday filed a report detailing its funding sources with the State Board of Elections. The filing is required by law.

The document shows the Alliance has raised $250,000 from the political action committee of the National Education Association and  $500,000 from the Democratic Governors Association.

"We are 100 percent compliant with all of the laws that we fall under," said Scott Falmlen, a Democratic political consultant and a spokesman for the group.

The Alliance for North Carolina paid Falmlen's firm, Nexus Strategies, $10,000 for consulting services, according to the filing.

On Thursday, television stations began running an ad questioning McCrory's economic policies and stating that he supports pay raises for politicians, including himself.

McCrory's campaign denounced the ad as largely false and asked TV stations to stop running the ad. WRAL-TV has declined the request.

In a letter to TV stations, the campaign said elements in the ad are either false or made in disregard of the truth. The letter said the campaign wants stations to stop running the ad so the campaign doesn't have to take the issue to court.

"It's a negative attack, and it's not truthful," campaign consultant Jack Hawke said. "Nobody in the world would deny that that is an ad to hurt Pat McCrory and elect Bev Perdue."

Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue is the Democratic nominee for governor.

"If she thought it was bad, if she wanted to be positive, she'd step out and say, 'Hey, I don't like this. Let's stop it,'" Hawke said.

"We don't like this activity, but if it's going to happen, let's stay focused on issue differences," said David Kochman, a spokesman for Perdue's campaign.

The State Board of Elections has fielded complaints related to political groups from both sides of the governor's race questioning whether contributions and financial reporting are legal. No hearings have been scheduled yet for the complaints.

Bob Hall, executive director of the campaign finance watchdog group Democracy North Carolina, said voters need to watch who's paying for such ads and why.

"You need to read between the lines and see what they're doing," Hall said. "They're trying to buy an outcome, and it's up to us to protect it. The outcome is our outcome, not theirs."



Cullen Browder, Reporter
Robert Meikle, Photographer
Matthew Burns, Web Editor

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