State Senator Ralph Hise appears to have received over $10,000 more in loan repayments from his campaign committee than the total amount of loans he has made to the committee. Since the formation of the Ralph Hise for NC Senate Committee in 2009 campaign finance records show evidence of 17 personal loans from Ralph E Hise Jr totaling $50,694.37, and evidence of 39 loan repayments totaling $61,020.98, an excess of $10,326.61. Earlier today I filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections regarding this, and other apparent irregularities.
Reports for the past two years contain no record of occupation or employer for individual contributors, and the most recent report contains no address information for them. Prior reports inconsistently record this information.
There are three recent disbursements in rounded amounts that raise questions as to specific campaign purpose in the absence of itemized data:
07/08/16 $3,600.00 Energy Savers, Spruce Pine
10/13/16 $1,000.00 Ralph E Hise Jr, Campaign suppli
10/13/16 $1,000.00 Ralph E Hise Jr, Campaign reimb
Energy Savers is apparently a small contractor specializing in exterior finishes.
There is a lack of continuity between some sequential campaign finance reports. In particular a 2014 second quarter (Q2) report has an unexplained $9,324.97 downward revision of the election cycle total from the previous quarter for Contributions to Candidates/ Political Committees and corresponding upward revisions of election cycle totals for Operating Expenditures and for Loan Repayments. This appears to suggest adjustments made to reconcile unrecorded payments.
The loan repayments are the most egregious. The apparent overpayments began in the second quarter of 2016, but anomalies had begun before that. Campaign finance documents are required to show payment amounts towards specific loans, and running totals showing outstanding loans. 16 of the 17 loans are clearly documented. One in the amount of $268.88 is simply a line item on the 2016 Q2 Summary.
Things went smoothly for the Hise committee until 2012 Q2 when a $1,540.53 loan was not included in running totals. The committee appears to have overcorrected for this error by overpaying $1,600.00 on a different loan, and adjusting the running total by $1,600.00, essentially an overpayment of $59.47.
One loan repayment is not itemized. It appears as a downward adjustment of $4,758.00 in Outstanding Loans in the 2014 Q2 Summary. In the same report there was an upward adjustment of $4,258.00 in Loan Repayments (the exact amount of one loan).
The seven most recent loan repayments are itemized as Disbursements, not as Loan Repayments, with remarks “Loan Repayment” and are not attributed to any specific loans. Coupled with the omission of running totals this disconnect – sidestepping loan reporting requirements – has allowed “repayments” to continue unchecked even as there are no apparent loans to be repaid.
Not all Hise’s expenses are poorly documented. This is one shows the use of campaign funds to attend the invitation-only men-only Christian retreat called Black Mountain Weekend run by Lt Governor Dan Forest.
In 2015 he recorded payment for the same event as “Office Suppies”(sic).
It is often noted that legislators are poorly reimbursed for the time they spend serving, yet Hise is rated as the highest paid rank-and-file legislator in 2015 taking in $58,002. Of that $7,100 was for mileage reimbursement in a year that his campaign also reimbursed him $2,475.00 for mileage.
Update: Table of loans, repayments/adjustments, and balances