#ncga: A win for The Weasels (A blow to the grassroots)

Well, they did it. Thumbed their collective noses at those of us weaselwho voted to give them super-majorities in Raleigh. Let’s check in with that buffoon Binky for the sordid details: 

 

[…] But much of the bill, a compromise measure that was rolled out Thursday night, lays the groundwork for “affiliated party committees,” which could be set up by the leaders of the Republicans and Democrats in either chamber of the legislature. Lawmakers would be able to create their own political organs parallel to the main Republican and Democratic party apparatuses.Currently, money raised by the House and Senate caucuses is piped through the Republican and Democratic state parties and reported as part of the party’s overall fundraising.

The bill easily cleared the Senate Thursday morning on a 30-13 vote. But the vote in the House was much closer – 52-49 – as the prospect for a new fundraising apparatus stirred discord among GOP representatives. Republican House members met for hours behind closed doors on Thursday to debate the measure among themselves as they got pressure from outside the legislative building to back off the proposed sheldonchange.

“The rationale, frankly, was to improve transparency,” Rep. David Lewis said just before the House took up the bill Thursday afternoon. Reporters and others interested in how the caucus raised and spent its money would no longer have to use accounting codes to sift out the money from voluminous reports filed by the parties.

 

Oh, bull ca-ca.  As a rule, anything associated with Mr. Lewis is assured to be far from transparent and contain extremely high levels of sneakiness. 

THAT quote from Lewis is one of many lies and exaggerations used to sell this travesty. Let’s account for the most egregious:

Involvement in primaries.  Right now, the rules bar state parties and caucus groups from overt involvement in primaries.  Some politicos may see the changes as a good thing (protecting incumbents.) But this legislation allows for the money raised by these committees to be used anyway the leaders want in primary races.  Cross your party leaders, and you may find yourself with a primary challenger loaded with cash provided by one of these new “affiliated committees.”   dolmore

(“Troublemakers” like, oh, Mike Speciale, John Blust, Larry Pittman, Chris Millis and Justin Burr should pay especially close attention to THAT part.)

It’s going to be A LOT harder for some “Mr. Smith Goes To Raleigh”-style amateur to compete with an incumbent now that this legislation has passed.  (On the Democrat side AND Republican side.)

Transparency. This lifts donation limits for individuals and groups.  It MAY allow for the skirting of the rules about donations from lobbyists during session.  It will now be a lot easier for these “affiliated committees” to get involved in primaries and hide from donors what exactly the money will be used for.  The reporting requirements are a lot more lax than current standards.  It will be much easier to fire off checks to these ambiguously-named Independent Expenditure groups to run attack ads and promotional efforts for select incumbents.

It’s protecting money already in separate accounts designated for House and Senate caucuses. (BULL.) I talked with a long-time political warhorse to get some insight on this part.  On the GOP side, all of the money has been dumped into one pot and reported to the state board of elections under the name NC REC.  Citations were made in the records about where the money came from — House or Senate — and certain politicos just made withdrawals from their “cut.”Jason-Saine

Right now, as it stands, GOP chairman Hassan Harnett COULD say ‘No more dumping all of the consulting money to Paul Shumaker.  We’re opening it up to everyone.’   And there is not a lot Shumaker and his friends could do about it.  (Until NOW.) 

I actually had one Jones Street GOP insider justify today’s actions as preventing something similar to what reportedly happened once IN FLORIDA:

“The state party there stole $200,000 from their state House caucus.  We’re just changing the law so that won’t happen here.”

Really?  You’re just now getting *concerned* about stuff like that, oh, FOUR MONTHS after two grassroots-backed candidates upset establishment picks for party chairman and vice-chairman?  Interesting. michele-and-hasan-e1433772184264

Hassan and Michelle have blown through all of the money.  This legislation was sold to House members as a way to protect party money from the alleged spend-thrift ways of the new NCGOP chairman and vice-chairman.  (I got told — with a straight face — that the party does not have the money to pay its bills for October.)  My old ‘warhorse’ source had a real chuckle about that one:

“The state party has struggled with money for years.  It was easy to cover it up when you had filthy rich guys like Pope and Hayes running the show.  Each month, they would ask ‘How short are we?’ .  They’d get told a number, and then they, or one of their other loaded family members or friends would cut a big check to the party.  It is a real stretch to blame any current financial woes on these two people who just came into office in June.”

I talked with a Democrat source who shared with me an analysis of the legislation provided to their bigwigs via an attorney specializing in election law: FullSizeRender-150x150

[…] 1. Moves primaries for all North Carolina offices to March 15, 2016, the same day as the presidential primary. It sets the filing period for December 1, 2015 through December 21, 2015.

It empowers the State Board to adopt “temporary orders” for the conduct of the primary. Those would be like rules, but they would be exempt from the Rules Review Commission process in the Administrative Procedure Act. The “temporary orders” would expire at the end of the primary. Given the broad language of this provision, it is possible there could be partisan disagreement about the conduct of the primary as implemented by the temporary orders.

2. Allows party legislative caucuses to create “affiliated party committees” that receive all the benefits the campaign finance law gives to political party executive committees.

Up to now, party legislative caucuses were a hybrid entity. nclegIt wasn’t clear that they could be treated like a party executive committee. This provision clarifies the ambiguity. The main benefit they get is that they can receive and give contributions from individuals and PACs in any amount. They aren’t limited by the $5,200 contribution limit. They may also receive corporate contributions into a special, limited-use fund called a “political party headquarters building fund.”

3. The heads of the “affiliated party committees” would be the President Pro Tem for the majority party in the Senate, the Speaker for the majority party in the House, and the minority leaders for the minority parties in both chambers.mad as hell

Those are the people given the authority to establish the “affiliated party committee.” The ability of the party caucuses to raise money for candidates unfettered by the $5,200 could be seen as a “Declaration of Independence” by the legislative leaders from their State Party Chair and organization.

In the past, sometimes legislative leaders would be at odds with their State Party Chair and would use county party executive committees as a conduit for unlimited fundraising. This provision would make that unnecessary.

4. It is noteworthy that the new definition of “affiliated political committee” says the committee may raise money for “candidates who are members of the leader’s political party.” The language doesn’t limit it to candidates for seats in the leader’s chamber or even to candidates for the General Assembly.war

Pissed off yet?  Today’s action makes it clear that these weasels — led by David Lewis and Tim Moore — have no respect for those of us who VOTED to give them their majority.  Will we continue to let these people roll over us, BS us, or simply ignore us?  Or will we send them a message loud and clear in March?  (Or even November?) 

26 thoughts on “#ncga: A win for The Weasels (A blow to the grassroots)

    1. Lets start with throwing out that corrupt suckweasel David Lewis, both as a legislator and as NCGOP National Committeeman.

  1. If they are so concerned about paying bills, I’m sure Lincoln County’s 19k wardrobe guy could help them out LOL

  2. How would this move affect contributions made directly to favored candidates instead of to the local or state party organizations due to dissatisfaction with the direction of both local and state party organizations? Will contributions be limited in some way by normal campaign finance rules, or will they be able to accept unlimited contributions from sources both inside and outside the state? i.e., how will these affiliated organizations, if created, raise money?

  3. The Chairman is operating in an environment where he has received offers of funding from a number of big donors but he’s demurred because it wasn’t clear what the big donors would want in return. Right now, he’s in a situation where he’s trying to secure sufficient cash flow to maintain operations at HQ while at the same time, keeping corruption at arms length. That’s tough because the cash and the corruption often go together. If you want to see him succeed, small donors need to step up….large numbers of small donors will help him keep the Party going the way you want it to go.

  4. Can someone tell me how this is any different than what we already do at the national level with the NRSC and the NRCC?

    I must be missing something…

    1. The NRSC and NRCC with the corrupt consultant class they hang with and their vicious fighting against conservatives (see Mississippi Senate primary 2014) in primaries is EXACTLY why we do not need this type of crap in North Carolina

      1. The behavior of NRSC in the Nebraska primary last year is also a good example of why we do not need structures like NRSC and NRCC in North Carolina.

        Ben Sasse, endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth, had surged in the polls, while the NRSC’s annointed candidate had dropped like a stone to the point that he was no longer viable. Yet, the NRSC continued to run attack ads against Sasse when he was certain to be the GOP nominee and even launched more vicious ads, at a time that the only candidate who would benefit from those attacks would be the Democrat nominee. Rather than save their funds to support Republicans in the general election, NRSC continued to pound on Ben Sasse. Sasse won the primary and the general in spite of the NRSC.

        No we do not need to bring this crap to North Carolina.

        And no conservative should EVER even think about giving money to those establishment chowder heads at NRSC, NRCC, or RNC. Give your contributions to reliable conservative groups like Senate Conservatives Fund and Club for Growth.

  5. Ive had said on here before that electing an unproven like Harnett as Chairman was not a good move. Im not saying that we should have gone with Collins but the “anti-establishment” should have found someone more proven to be the State Chairman. that being said now is the time for Harnett and Nix to prove that they are up to the task of leading the party and yes that includes fundraising as the number one priority. If they can do that who cares what the Caucus does. But the people on here who constantly blasts certain members of the GOP who are capable fundraisers and then cry the blues when they dont give you the money they raise. Go prove your worth in that department instead of just being arm chair political quarterbacks on Monday mornings!!

    1. From what I heard from my rep Ms. Nix went into see the House members to plead her case with more than enough votes to kill the bill, and walked out converting a large number of House members who were offering “constructive” criticisms and she rebuffed everyone with a bristling manner.That and the fact she denied they asked for caucus money (75k was the claim from a staff member) was enough for a lot of people to switch votes. When you are spending at the rate of spending to raising money of 24-1… and you proudly bounce the new hire meant to fix this because they don’t meet a litmus test you have dug your own grave. Yes someone with a political head and the ability to raise money should have been the pick… And I met Collins.. He wasn’t the right guy either… So maybe both sides need to find better people..

      1. They needed to hire someone with strong fundraising experience as Finance Director, not a liberal lobbyist who has worked for a parade of liberal organizations and causes but never for a conservative one. Lobbying and fundraising are too separate skills. That hire was for purposes of provocation, not to raise money.

        Your allegations about Mrs. Nix have been false before. I have no reason to believe you this time.

        1. Actually John I have never spoken of Ms. Nix here unless it was in passing and I don’t remember doing even that. Met her twice. Seems smart and tough. For the record my sources are solid. I have no dog in the fight other than to wonder why we haven’t as a whole (not factions) better people. You cant raise 15k in a years time (and I know Hassan and Nix got their in early June) and expect to thrive. Regarding some posting I saw about a big check from one or two donors that pays bills on a monthly basis.. cant be completely true. Yes I’m sure we’ve seen a few over the years but we wouldn’t being paying bills regularly with that money and not show it. And if I’m wrong and that 15k is that money.. great.. now where’s the rest of the fundraising effort..? Neither one of us can have it both ways.. Just saying..

      2. I’d be careful of your sources. There’s no doubt that Ms. Nix is the greatest threat to the establishment with her strong charisma and quick feet. Why wouldn’t they want to spin the blame on Michele Nix? I think all of your information is wrong. The only people that know what happens in those meetings are the legislators and Ms. Nix. Believe me, I would trust Michele Nix’s words over any legislator’s these days. Sounds like a bunch of Lewis-Rucho spin to me.

        1. Yes, no love lost between her and the majority (non-conservatives) of the General Assembly GOP Caucuses. But they’d best tread lightly, a lot of County leadership teams have her back.

          1. We also have to remember that only a minority of the GOP caucus are really conservatives. The rest are either poseurs or outright progressives. That is something we need to change in the primaries.

            I heard that some legislators not only failed to respond to the state leadership but also blew off their county leaders when they called. Some of them might find campaigning mighty lonely next election.

  6. Speak the truth. The ESTABLISMENT did not accept the people’s choice for chairman at the state convention and would not work with him. They want control back and this is how they are doing it. NCGOP has been in the hole for years and kept running by large ESTABLSHMENT donors.

    Got news for the “good ole boys” the “worker bees” are going to call it quits very soon.

  7. This is an abomination to the voters and citizens of NC. I don’t know what water they are drinking in Raleigh but this just takes the cake. The Governor and the Legislators have played too many games and should this bill pass (by the Governor signing or waiting 10 days) is saying to Corporate lobbyist, we want your money more than we care about our own party voters. If this thing passes, I wash my hands of giving money, working polls, and listening to lying speeches. The elected officials (every one of them wanted to go to Raleigh to work or Freedom of the people and give the power back to the people has just signed on to and told me a lie to my face. This just makes me sick. They have already raised taxes, blown money, handed to corporate companies and taken from the working man. I kept my mouth still but was angry. They sit with a surplus of money in the millions and now want us to sign a bill to borrow money. Build toll roads so the working man has to pay three times to get to work. Every raise any working person has had in NC has been taken by the NCGA. Now you have really made me mad so why, someone one give me good reason to work for any of you again?

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