#ncpol: Gettin’ PAID for mailing stuff

As the end of the year reporting deadline came and went, I thought it would be fun to check in on the NCGOP organization itself.  For those of you playing along at home, that’s more complicated than it sounds.

To look up the NCGOP on the state board of elections website, you don’t type in ncgop.  Instead, you would type in nc rec.  That is short for North Carolina Republican Executive Committee.  

Once there, you can see reporting on the dollars and cents coming in and going out for the party’s state-level operations AND building fund.

On the party’s fourth quarter report, they reported a grand total of $4,161,841.22 in expenditures.    About half of that went off to consultants and contractors for “postage, printing and direct mail.”

The NC House Republican Caucus still runs its money through the state party.  So, you would expect to see big numbers devoted to their election year operations.  A total of $339,993.36 went to the Raleigh-based Stewart Group for “postage, printing and direct mail.”   For those of you playing at home, that is the firm headed by NCGOP user-consultant Dee Stewart, who frequently teams up with uber-consultant Paul Shumaker. 

The second biggest, um, “winner” was the Charlotte-based Red Dome Group which took in $311,827.85 for “postage, printing and direct mail.”  The company’s web site lists Andy Yates AND Todd Poole — former NCGOP director, former aide to congressman Richard Hudson, and current aide to congressman Ted Budd — as founding members.  Former legislator and NCGOP vice-chairman Carolyn Justice joined the Red Dome team this election cycle.  (You may recall Red Dome’s involvement in a particularly controversial nomination process to fill a legislative vacancy in Davidson County.)

Coming in next was the Georgia-based Stoneridge Group, which also got paid for “postage, printing and direct mail” for North Carolina House candidates.   These guys took in $241,727.60.    They are quite clearly FOTs (Friends of Thom) — having worked for the successful 2014 US Senate candidate and former state House speaker.

Coming in next was J.N. Dollar & Associates of Cary. which got paid $196,118.72 for “postage, printing, and direct mail” for a grand total of TWO candidates.  This firm appears to be operated out of the residence of state Rep. Nelson Dollar and his wife Lorrie.   

Both House candidates — Marilyn Avila and Gary Pendleton — lost their races in November. We decided to check Avila and Pendleton’s campaign reports.

Pendleton reported an “in-kind” contribution of $11,995.85 for “postage and printing” from the NC House Republican Caucus on 10-31.   If you take that and compare it to what J.N. Dollar got paid from the state party, it sounds like somebody got a niiiiiiiiice markup.

(Also, since the House Caucus runs its money through the state party, I wonder what the rest of the caucus members think about what is essentially caucus money being shuttled into the bank account of a caucus member’s private business.)

Pendleton’s report also shows his campaign sent J.N. Dollar & Associates $333,729.84 for the whole election cycle for the purposes of “Ad” and “Ad Buy.”

Let’s go over to Marilyn Avila’s campaign.  She reported paying J.N. Dollar & Associates $288,300.00 for “postage and printing” and “consulting.”  Again, compare this amount to what the state party paid J.N. Dollar and what Pendleton paid them.

ALL of the above payments were for House candidates.  We haven’t even broached the NC Senate.  The big winner there was Relyus Printing of Hope Mills which got $1,189,854.99 for “slate mailing” for the election cycle from the state party.  According to NCGOP filings, Relyus also got $194,413.71 for “postage, printing and direct mail.”



8 thoughts on “#ncpol: Gettin’ PAID for mailing stuff

  1. The chairman will have to be upset with you sharing numbers. Such hysterical reporting. Don’t you know by now no one should question the numerals….. And how dare you share information since all members of the committee are sworn cloak dager style to silence………

    What you got the numbers from a public website? Wow so the committee members are not bringing down the party afterall I guess….. The chairman must call in the russians to protect the data before this FEC website reveals too much

  2. Dee Stewart? This is the Dee Stewart who has run a series of really nasty smear campaigns, often using lies sent at the last minute by postcard, against conservative legislators or legislative candidates in primaries. Lying is a particular Stewart technique and he tells them too late for the victim to correct them. Dee Stewart is a vicious anti-conservative establishment hack in GOP primaries.

    This is also the same Dee Stewart that Civitas outed as being on the high dollar payroll of the national environmental extremists to push radicial environmental legislation in the General Assembly that was contrary to the GOP platform but was right in line with Obama policy.

    This is also the same Dee Stewart who has a former employee on the NCGOP payroll as Political Director, one of the controversial establishment hires that led to the first blowup between Hasan Harnett and the Central Committee power clique. She was hired by the previous Executive Director.

    This is also the same Dee Stewart who was the political protege of David Miner, one of the chief lieutenants of turncoat Republican Richard Morgan in the corrupt liberal coalition Morgan formed with Jim Black. It is unknown if Stewart has ever shared Miner’s well known personal lifestyle however.

    Using someone like Dee Stewart tells you all you need to know about both NCGOP and the current leadership of the NC House caucus. Conservatives should send their political contributions elsewhere any time Dee Stewart is involved.

  3. Stoneridge Group also did work for Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows, Senator Rand Paul, and the man who ousted Eric Cantor, Dave Brat

    1. Just what we need – a former ally of Richard Morgan who had an awful attendance record as a member of the state GOP executive committee. And now a consultant to boot!

    2. I remember that Thom Tillis pulled out the stops to help Carolyn Justice get elected Vice Chairman by calling a House GOP caucus meeting just before the NCGOP ExCom meeting at the same location to get all of those legislators there to vote for Justice. Carolyn Justice is joined at the hip with Tillis and with the GOP establishment.

      This is one of several times Tillis did that and is a good example of why legislators should not be automatically member of the ExCom.

  4. When Erick Erickson ran the conservative RedState site (which has become less conservative under his successors), he periodically pointed out the corrupt relationships between the GOP consultant class nationally and the RNC, particularly the incestuous relationship between RNC staff and the consultant class who were, looking out for the interests of the consultants. It looks like we have the same incestuous relationships in NC between the NCGOP and the local GOP consultant class.

    First, there is Red Dome, one of whose original partners was Dallas’ predecessor as NCGOP executive director. Red Dome’s relationship with NCGOP staff was central to their murky role in the controversy in filling that State House vacancy in Davidson County. Red Dome is getting paid big bucks through NCGOP, and now rumor has it that a Red Dome partner, Carolyn Justice, may even run for NCGOP chairman.

    Then there is the Stewart Group. Dee Stewart, in his early days after moving down from Iowa, was himself on the staff of NCGOP, but now he has a former Stewart Group employee sitting on the NCGOP staff as Political Director. The Stewart Group is getting paid big bucks through the NCGOP.

    These ”GOP consultants” are really only loyal to their own bank accounts, not the GOP or its principles. Civitas dug up the information that clearly showed that when they found that two of these major ”GOP” consultants were taking huge payoffs from out of state far left environmentalists tp push the Obama green energy agenda in the NC General Assembly. Those two were Dee Stewart and Paul Shumaker. The fact that this pair would go against the GOP’s own platform and sell their souls to promote a radical Obama policy shows that they will prostitute themselves to the highest bidder. If you look at Republicans who have been suckered into supporting these Obama policies, it is interesting to compare that with the client lists of Stewart and Shumaker, and that even includes Shumaker’s client Richard Burr.

    Then, too, Shumaker was the source of the push to not have the party affiliation on the Supreme Court ballot last election, a decision that was disastrous for Republicans. Was this just incompetent political judgment by Shumaker or did he have a hidden client who wanted this result, like his once hidden radical environmental clients?

    We need leaders in the NCGOP who will keep the party apparatus at arms length from the consultant class, just as the RNC needs the same.

    1. Taking this consultant infiltration of the NCGOP a bit farther, there was a particularly bad sign during the last campaign for chairman, when for the first time an active consultant, Dee Stewart, was heavily involved in pushing a candidate for state chairman of the NCGOP. Stewart’s candidate lost, but there are rumblings that Stewart and fellow consultant Paul Shumaker were involved in the operation to bring down the grassroots candidate who won.

      Now we seem to have a potential Red Dome candidate for state chairman. Will a Stewart Group candidate surface to oppose her? Or will the consultants unite on a pro-consultant candidate?

      The NCGOP has actually had a failed political consultant elected as its chairman, Tom Fetzer, who was an unmitigated disaster as chairman. Fetzer was muscled in by the establishment group after their first establishment candidate dropped out.

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