#NCGA House GOP caucus: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.


We got, um, “invited” to an interesting meeting yesterday:






I guess that puts us in the same category as Paul Tine.  Apparently, you don’t actually need to be an elected Republican to be part of the GOP caucus.  Anyway, we thought a personal appearance at the meeting might throw a little too much of a scare into the honorables.  So, we relied pretty heavily on our dependable cadre of spies to inform us on the happenings. moore1

Mcclatchy had an item this morning suggesting that the meeting was all about UNC Board of Governors nominees and issues we raised earlier about Nelson Dollar and his reported extracurricular activities in regard to that election.    According to the speaker, and Mr. Dollar, everything was ”all smiles” and ”all good.”  Well, according to our eyes and ears in the room, stuff beyond the UNC board got discussed and not everyone left there “all smiles.”

During the past election — where four incumbent Republican House members lost their seats — the caucus ran their advertising through a Florida-based group.  My sources tell me the caucus had a binding agreement with the group to handle all of the reelection advertising.  So, you can imagine that everyone was thrown for a loop when the caucus was sent an invoice from this Florida group for $80,000-plus.  Apparently, Rep. Nelson Dollar and one other Wake-based candidate decided to run their advertising themselves instead of relying on the Florida group (like all other House Republicans did). My sources tell me Dollar and the Wake candidate defended their actions by saying they saved the caucus money by running the advertising themselves. (Never mind the fact that there was a binding contract in place.)   

dollarThe caucus, according to my sources, cut a check to pay the Florida vendor.  THAT apparently quieted that episode down.  Another sticking point that came up for discussion Tuesday night is that someone “found” more than $250,000 worth of unpaid vendor invoices stuffed in a drawer in House GOP caucus offices. (Show of hands. How many of us could get away with blowing off $250,000 worth of bills for a few months?)

My sources tell me speaker Moore had to dig deep into his own treasury to commit six figures toward paying off those invoices.  The caucus also had to throw together some impromptu fundraisers to help raise the rest of the money to get those delinquent invoices paid.

Who was in charge of the caucus during all of these fiscal misadventures?  Ruth Samuelson, a former Mecklenburg legislator, who is now retired and enjoying life in the private sector,  and the aforementioned Mr. Dollar.  Among his many duties in the House, Dollar chairs the House Appropriations Committee. 

Sources in the room tell me that leadership quickly put the kibosh on calls to audit the House caucus’s books. Here’s how one of the meeting’s participants put it to us following its adjournment:

“I didn’t see much that looked like criminality.  What I did see looked like a whole lot of stumbling, bumbling, incompetence and stupidity.”

And it looks like some of that stumbling and bumbling got itself promoted up the caucus’s chain-of-command. 

7 comments for “#NCGA House GOP caucus: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.

  1. Raphael
    March 25, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Did this binding contract from the caucus purport to require all incumbent GOP legislators to use this Florida company for advertising paid for by their own campaign with money they raised themselves? If so, whoever agreed to that contract ought to be put out to pasture. It is okay to commit to spend all funds raising by the caucus itself and spent on behalf of candidates with a vendor selected by the caucus, but if they tried to tell each individual campaign that it had to spent its own money through such a vendor, that is complete nonsense. the caucus has no authority to make such an agreement on behalf of individual campaigns.

    • Brant Clifton
      March 25, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      It is my understanding (from my sources) that the caucus — which members pay dues to — hired this outfit from florida and contracted with them.

      • Raphael
        March 25, 2015 at 10:44 pm

        Did your source indicate if the contract covered just advertising paid for directly from caucus funds? Or did it purport to also cover advertising paid for directly by a candidate from his own campaign fund? From your article, it would appear that Dollar and the other candidate ran ads out of their own campaign funds, and no consulting firm hired by the caucus should have any claim on that, or do I misunderstand what happened?

  2. August Wolf
    March 25, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Bingo Raphael…! You cant bind third parties (even candidates) to your contract. Its not legal. Party caucuses make their own determination of what they will spend and how much. If they hit a limit or choose not to do media for an individual then nothing stops that candidate from going their own way. Too much innuendo..

  3. Frances
    March 25, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Are they planning on dipping into the extra taxes they stole from us? So much for lowering our taxes,mine doubled and I made a whole $4000 more than the previous year.
    BTW they had better rethink the legislation they are considering to do away with the gas tax and add to the property taxes on our vehicles. They will get a whole lot more citizens showing up to Raleigh to protest. The last time I looked most families are barely making enough to get by on and are living paycheck to paycheck and do not have the means to save.

    • Toxhandler
      March 26, 2015 at 12:03 am

      I can see why some are concerned that the NC House GOP caucus is becoming indistinguishable from the Democrats, The Caucus certainly looks like a herd of asses.

  4. Ham Biscuit
    March 26, 2015 at 2:02 am

    I, well, damn. I don’t have words.Something about a football and a simian type primate comes to mind. Thought they elected leadership. Where is it?

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