campaign contributions

UNC BOG Series Part II: Financial contributions to lawmakers play a role in UNC System policy

One of the largest concerns for current students, prospective students, faculty, and staff in the UNC system is how the state legislature, which controls nearly all of the system’s overall budget, selects and interacts with the System’s leadership. Looking at political contributions made by the Board of Governors, the governing body of the UNC system, and to NC lawmakers who make the appointments brings to light how budgetary and other crucial decisions about the UNC System are made.

Sen. Wesley Meredith (R-Cumberland) was the only original NC Promise Plan sponsor to receive contributions from current members of the BOG. His biggest contributor is Michael Williford, who contributed a total of $24,700 to Meredith between 2012 and 2018. Williford was appointed to the Board in 2015, and received his JD from NCCU, another HBCU within the system that is not slated to be deeply impacted by the Promise Plan, but is currently facing criticism for erasing the culture of the university.

Source: NCSBE
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UNC BOG Series Part 1: State lawmakers are fundamentally altering higher education in North Carolina, but it’s not clear who requested the changes

The 2017-2018 Budget made waves amongst affiliates and community members of the UNC system when it became clear that significant budget cuts would impact several colleges and universities, especially the system’s five HBCUs.

Since 2011 the UNC system has dealt with cuts,including $414 million in 2011 after Republicans gained control of the legislature. The system faced financial aid tuition revenue caps and the consolidation of 46 degree programs. The original version of the 2017 Budget included a $4 million cut to the UNC School of Law that was reduced to $500,000 in compromises before the budget’s final passage. Senate Bill 99, the 2018 Budget, included new changes to create the NC Promise Plan.

The NC Promise Plan was sold as an attempt to address the growing college affordability crisis. Claims of enrollment increases at impacted universities have sparked celebrations of the renewed accessibility of higher education in NC. However, the budget language about NC Promise is cause for concern about the longevity of the universities impacted 

Section 10.5 G.S. 116-143.11 says “the State shall ‘buy down’ the amount of any financial obligation resulting from the established tuition rate that may be incurred by Elizabeth City State University, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Western Carolina…” A buy down is a mortgage-financing technique where the buyer attempts to obtain a lower interest rate. According to Business Insider, buy downs usually cause the property seller to raise the purchase price to compensate for the costs of the buy down.

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The Dulin Factor: Part 1

Back in his seat, Dulin leaned over to a reporter: "Therein lies the Andy Dulin Factor," he said. "Nobody can do that as well as I can. It's not cocky. It's confident." Dulin, 52, is nothing if not confident.” (Charlotte Observer, 4/9/12)

Rep. Andy Dulin, once noted for his confident retail-style politics, has repeatedly failed to live up to his boasts. This begs the question, has the Andy Dulin Factor fizzled?

Dulin models Tommy Bahama at a 2012 Ballantyne After Dark fashion show
Photo: Ballantyne Breakfast Club

 

Dulin was called “George Bush-ish” for his fundraising in Charlotte City Council races despite several losses, but has failed to deliver in his first competitive House race

After second quarter campaign finance reports were filed last month, the Charlotte Observer reported that Democratic candidate for House District 104, lawyer Brandon Lofton, had almost twice as much on hand as the incumbent. Dulin’s City Council tactics, with money raised heavily from real estate developers who wanted his zoning votes, are not cutting it in higher profile races. Dulin, a long-time Charlotte insider, is being outraised by a first-time candidate.

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Campaign Finance: 1st Quarter, 2018

Campaign finance reports for the first quarter of 2018 were due at the end of April. Here, we've aggregated the information for the candidates we highlighted in our Races to Watch Report. We will be updating these tables as the last few reports are submitted. Be sure to subscribe to our feed for daily updates on campaign finance. 

Find campaign finance information for NC House of Representatives candidates here

Find campaign finance information for NC Senate candidates here.

 

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe, Watauga)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Rep. Jonathan Jordan, the Republican Representative from District 93. He was first elected in 2010 in a victory decided by fewer than 800 votes. He currently chairs the committees on Education, Homelessness, Foster Care and Dependency, the House Select Committee on Administrative Procedure Laws, and House Judiciary III. Jordan, an attorney, spent two years as the first research director at the conservative John Locke Foundation from 1997-1999, a 501(C)(3) research institute that espouses conservative ideals. He also served as the director for a tax-exempt pregnancy care center in Ashe County with the primary purpose of pseudo-science anti-abortion counseling. When he ran in 2010, Art Pope and outside groups flooded money into his campaign in a Koch-sponsored effort to flip the state legislature. Since his election, Jordan has pushed Pope ideals at the expensive of working people in North Carolina. Read more on Jordan here.

(NCFEP, Spending by Outside Groups in North Carolina General Assembly Races, 2010 Election Cycle, retrieved 6/21/12)
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NCGOP making it rain garbage juice and money

While North Carolina residents are facing the possibility of being sprayed with garbage juice, the NC GOP is lining their pockets with money from the waste industry, which has donated at least $34,200 to GOP legislators overseeing debate on the bill.

House Bill 576 would allow for the aerosolization of leachate, an untested and unsafe method for landfills to dispose of their waste. Picture it as “garbage juice in a snow blower.”

And who would be most impacted by this legislation? Communities of color and poor, who are more likely to live near landfills.

The waste industry is in favor of the aerosolization of leachate because it is cheaper than other methods of removing waste and they have been donating big money to legislators who could advance the bill.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jimmy Dixon, has received $6,100 from the waste industry, the majority of which came from Ven Poole, the CEO of Waste Industries. Dixon is also the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, which received House Bill 576 on referral.

Speaker Tim Moore has received $8,600 from the waste industry, including contributions from Ven Poole and the Waste Management Pac. Moore voted in favor of House Bill 576.

Sen. Trudy Wade has received $19,100 from the waste industry, including donations from Ven Poole and the inventor of aerosolization, Kelly Houston. The contribution from Houston came when Wade was the chairwoman of a Senate conference committee charged with compromising on a bill containing language about leachate. Wade is also a member of the Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee, which reported favorably on the bill.

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McCrory Administration Taking Unilateral Action to Sweep Coal Ash Issue Away

In the span of 3 days in March of 2016 McCrory has taken two unilateral actions to assert greater control over coal ash cleanup and then declare coal ash a non-issue. On March 8, 2016 his administration rescinded “do not drink” orders that were in place for hundreds of residents…

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