Carolina Rising Sun

CarolinaSunA recent sliver of sunlight reveals slightly more about the dark money group Carolina Rising than previously known. The 501(c)4 organization led by Dallas Woodhouse filed its first tax return, for the 2014 tax year, on August 12th. The return shows income of $4,880,000 and expenses of $4,799,344 for the period beginning March 25, 2014 and ending December 31, 2014. The bulk of expense payments was $4,654,645 to Crossroads Media, LLC, in Alexandria VA, for TV and cable ads. The revenue came in donations from two unnamed contributors, one in the amount of $4,820,000 and another in the amount of $60,000.
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Don’t shoot

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Previous Newby contributions

The Pat McCrory Committee reported a contribution of $500 on 9/18/08 from Paul Newby, listed as “Associate Justice, NC Supreme Court”. The Committee to Elect Dan Forest reported a contribution of $500 on 10/19/12 from Paul Newby, listed as “Supreme Ct Justice, State of NC”. The candidate contributions appear to have violated a section of the NC Code of Judicial Conduct which limits the political activity of judges, but the 90 day window for reporting and taking action on such violations has long since passed.
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Justice Newby makes questionable contribution to joint candidate committee

NC Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby made a contribution to a joint candidate committee for four Wake County Republican candidates for county commissioner. The contribution may have violated a section of the NC Code of Judicial Conduct which limits the political activity of judges. The joint candidate committee is called United 4 Wake and campaign filings show that contributions are to be allocated equally, with each candidate, Paul Coble, Rich Gianni, Phil Matthews and Joe Bryan to receive 25%. Newby made a donation 9/20/2014 of $150. A 3/24/2014 memo from the NC Judicial Standards Commission in advance of the campaign season provided information regarding permissible and prohibited political conduct.
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Signs of Gary Pendleton’s arrogance

Gary Pendleton’s illegal campaign signs around Raleigh are the least of his problems. Pendleton, running for NC State House District 49 against Kim Hanchette has used a facsimile of legislative letterhead to solicit votes in apparent violation of Legislative Ethics Guidelines. Pendleton is a relatively new incumbent, having been appointed 8/18/2014 to the seat made vacant by the death of Jim Fulghum. Official legislative stationery or mailing privileges may not be used to solicit votes and, according to a recipient of such a letter, it did not contain a required clear disclaimer stating that the stationery was not printed or mailed at State expense.
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$32K missing from Marcus Brandon campaign report

$31,818.36 is missing from the federal election campaign finance filings of the Marcus Brandon for Congress committee. A Pre-Primary report filed 4/24/14 showed a cash-on-hand ending balance of $31,818.36. The subsequent July Quarterly report filed 7/16/2014 showed a zero cash-on-hand beginning balance when it should have shown the $31,818.36 carried over. One $1,000.00 contribution on 5/2/2014 was reported. No expenditures were reported. The report showed a cash-on-hand ending balance of $1,000.00. An October Quarterly report due 10/15/2014 was not filed. While Cecil Antonio Brockman is still listed as the Treasurer, the July Quarterly report filed 7/16/2014 that showed zero cash-on-hand was electronically signed uncharacteristically as “Antonio Cecil Brockman”.
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Saving Private Murry

Republican Tom Murry, in an expensive campaign to hold on to his NC House District 41 seat against an effective challenge by Democrat Gale Adcock, appears to have stretched military rules and distorted limited experience in order to solicit votes. Murry’s campaign has been making extensive use of web ads, including Facebook promoted posts. One such ad on Facebook, showing Murry in military uniform, appears to occupy the boundaries of military rules on political activity.

Murry apparently joined the NC Army National Guard in June as a Judge Advocate General (JAG), just 4 months ago, and is now using his uniform in a campaign ad. Military rules allow the use of certain photographs in uniform in campaign literature, which accurately reflect actual performance of duty, and with a specific disclaimer, in the context of other non-military biographical information but not as the “primary graphic representation” as Murry has appeared to have done with his web ad on Facebook.
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