With a week to go to the Republican primary runoff election for NC Lieutenant Governor and early voting underway a small custom super PAC, “A True Direction Committee“, better described as a micro PAC, popped up to support Tony Gurley in his race against Dan Forest. The committee was organized June 28th by Daniel Spuller, political consultant and, fundraiser for Wake Tech Community College. There are two modest initial contributions to the committee, a $38 in-kind contribution from Spuller and $2,500 from Gurley’s Medical Supply LLC in Durham, a company recently set up by Tony Gurley’s brother and often business partner Danny Gurley. Because of the closeness of the election the full extent of contributions and spending will likely not be known until after the election.
The race between Gurley and Forest is tight and turnout is expected to be low. Both are hoping for the lion’s share of votes for Dale Folwell who finished third in the primary. Reaching voters is expensive and time consuming in these races. It would not be surprising to find a rash of robocalls or spam text messages (the newest political weapon) directing voters to the website atruedirection.com set up June 11th. In the past week Tony Gurley has given his campaign $100,000 of his own money, bringing his investment in the race to over $350,000, so it’s clearly a sprint to the finish line with every effort counting.
Spuller was a regional field director for Pat McCrory in 2008 and subsequently had a business relationship called “The Emanuel Group” with another McCrory field director, Chris Emanuel. The Wake County campaign finance reports of school board member John Tedesco show a May 2011 payment of $500 to “Emmanuel Group Consulting” (sic) last year just prior to Tedesco’s reinvention as “leader” of a non-profit with little visible purpose other than to burnish Tedesco’s resume for his run for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. There has been so little activity that the non-profit NC Center for Education Reform has taken no public position on recent “education reform” measures by the NC General Assembly, has not actually acquired 501(c)3 status a year after founding and, its charitable solicitation license for NC expired in May.
While there is no record of a corporate entity known as “The Emanuel Group”, in various campaign reports filed at the State Board of Elections payments for consulting services in recent years have been made individually to Emanuel and to Spuller at the same Charlotte address listed by Tedesco for “Emmanuel Group Consulting”. In a post on Facebook in April 2011 Spuller described a trip with Tedesco to a Columbus County Patriots Tea Party event which Tedesco was addressing.
Most of the contributions to and edits of Tedesco’s flattering Wikipedia page created November 2011 were done between then and June 2012 by a user named Dspuller and, an unknown user at a Wake Tech IP address. The same user Dspuller has made edits over the past few years to the Wikipedia pages of Tony Gurley, Paul Coble, Pat McCrory and, entries for “North Carolina lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012”, and “North Carolina gubernatorial election, 2012” amongst others. Dspuller is a username used by Daniel Spuller on YouTube.
If you’ve read this far you can tell that nothing is quite what it seems. In fact there is no direct public evidence that Dspuller on Gurley’s, Tedesco’s and McCrory’s Wikipedia entries is Daniel Spuller, organizer of the Gurley “micro PAC”, Tedesco consultant and, former McCrory field director. It may all be a huge co-incidence or, some might say, conspiracy theory. One thing’s for sure: if a group calls itself a “A True Direction Committee” it’s probably not true and, you might want to run in the opposite direction.
Crossposted at BlueNC