Super PACs a Super PROBLEM for NC Politicians: 1,000 high-dollar contributors wiped out by 1 Super PAC contributor

by johndavis, February 24, 2012

Super PACs a Super PROBLEM for NC Politicians: 1,000 high-dollar contributors wiped out by 1 Super PAC contributor The Hypocrisy of Congressman David Price’s Moral Outrage Post: Friday, February 24, 2012       Vol. V, No. 7      11:13 am Joe Democrat and Joe Republican Get $1 Million Imagine 1,000 high-dollar contributors writing a check for $1000 each
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Super PACs a Super PROBLEM for NC Politicians: 1,000 high-dollar contributors wiped out by 1 Super PAC contributor

The Hypocrisy of Congressman David Price’s Moral Outrage

Post: Friday, February 24, 2012       Vol. V, No. 7      11:13 am

Joe Democrat and Joe Republican Get $1 Million

Imagine 1,000 high-dollar contributors writing a check for $1000 each and giving them to Joe Democrat, all breathing a collective sigh of relief knowing that once again they have secured their power in North Carolina with a million-dollar financial advantage.  Now, imagine 1 contributor writing a check for $1,000,000 and giving it to Joe Republican’s Super PAC.  That’s the new political reality of funding campaigns in North Carolina.

Allowing Super PACs to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money independently may be a bad rule for our Democracy, but in 2012 it is the rule.  Ignoring Super PACs is unilateral disarmament.  President Obama came to that conclusion last week.  He came to a similar conclusion four years ago when he changed his mind about limiting his campaign spending to public funding.

Obama’s decision to abandon public funding in 2008 allowed him to spend $760 million to John McCain’s $358 million.  It’s why he won.  He is not giving away that advantage.

David Price’s Moral Outrage Rings Hollow

North Carolina Congressman David Price, D-Orange wrote an opinion piece in this week's US News and World Report, Super PACs Strike at the Heart of Democracy, in which he says that Super PACs are “a culmination of a decades-long campaign by conservative groups and corporate interests” to gain undue influence in politics.

Where was David Price's moral outrage over the century-long undue influence by liberal groups and corporate interests when it was being used by Democrats to keep their majorities in the legislature, on the courts and in the executive branch here in North Carolina?

Where was David Price's moral outrage over undue influence of outside money in North Carolina politics when $5,032,908 was being spent by unions in 2008 on North Carolina candidates, $4,532,540 of which was spent by public employee unions and their affiliated unions?  Here are the facts:[1]

 

  • SEANC is Local #2008, affiliated with SEIU (Service Employees Int’l Union)
  • SEIU invested $1,810,566 in NC candidates in 2008
  • Democrats enjoyed $1,760,556 of SEIU’s money, or 97%; Republicans 3%
  • SEIU gave the North Carolina Democratic Party over $1 million
  • SEANC (State Employees Assn. of NC) contributed $243,706 to NC candidates
  • Democratic candidates received $218,956 of SEANC money, or 90%
  • Republican candidates received $24,750 of SEANC money, or 10%
  • NCAE (NC Association of Educators) contributed $265,330 to 200 NC candidates
  • Democratic candidates received $245,980 of NCAE money, or 93%
  • NEA (National Education Association) invested $2,212,936 in NC candidates
  • 100% of NEA’s $2,212,936 went to help Democrats; Republicans 0%
  • NEA ran a $1.7 million independent expenditure campaign for Bev Perdue

Where was David Price's moral outrage over the undue influence of money in politics when North Carolina Democrats received 97% of the outside public employee union money and 100% of the National Education Association’s $2.2 million in 2008?

  • United Auto Workers union gave the North Carolina Democratic Party over $100,000
  • DRIVE, the Teamsters union, contributed $361,617 to NC Democrats
  • IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) gave $36,500 to Democrats
  • UFCE (United Food and Commercial Workers) contributed over $100,000 to the Democratic Party of North Carolina

If Congressman David Price would go to the website, www.opensecrets.org, and do a search on the largest political independent expenditure groups, he would discover that SEIU was #1 on the list of the Top 100 all-time biggest spenders in 2008.[2] In 2008, SEIU spent $85 million to influence the outcome of elections, and was rewarded by President Obama with support for the Employee Free Choice Act legislation and top White House jobs including political director, and positions on the NLRB and the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.[3]

In 2006, SEIU spent $635,000 in North Carolina elections on TV and radio ads, mailings, opinion polls, and Get-Out-The-Vote phone banks – more than ANY BUSINESS PAC in NC.  In 2004, SEIU spent $650,000 just on NC legislative races.

SEIU also contributed more than 10% of the total budget of FairJudges.net to run ads statewide for NC Supreme Court candidates in 2006; 3 of 4 were Democrats.  FairJudges.net was one of the most unfair stunts pulled by Democrats in modern history.  Step 1: Create public funding laws for Supreme Court candidates.  Step 2: After the candidates have accepted public funding spending limits, create an independent expenditure committee that allows five times the number of ads to be run on behalf of your candidates.  Where was Congressman David Price's moral outrage then?

NEA and the NCAE invested $1,846,219 to help Beverly Perdue win the governor’s race in 2008. Where was Congressman David Price's moral outrage then?

In addition to decrying the outside special interest liberal groups’ undue influence over the politics of this state, those “corporate interests” that he is linking to conservative groups have always given a disproportionate share of their money to Democrats, who along with other liberal groups, have helped Democrats defeat Republicans for decades.

During my 25 years of tracking campaign money in North Carolina, I can safely say that if it had not been for “corporate interests,” Republicans would have had a majority in the General Assembly well before 2010, and would have had at least half of the 10-member Council of State.

Finally, Price writes that “outside groups shouldn’t be able to spend unlimited amounts of money to hijack the marketplace of ideas and drown out other voices, including those of candidates themselves.”   No group can surpass the Democrats in North Carolina when it comes to hijacking the marketplace of ideas and drowning out other voices to gain undue influence.

Price concludes by writing that the “first steps in restoring integrity in our democracy” are a different balance on the U.S. Supreme Court and/or a constitutional amendment.

If Congressman David Price wants to restore integrity in our democracy he needs to begin by looking in the mirror.

- END -

Thank you for reading the John Davis Political Report

John N. Davis, Editor


[1] Union contributions and independent expenditures database provided by Civitas Institute

[2] http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/indexp.php

[3] The Wall Street Journal, SEIU Campaign Spending Pays Political Dividends, May 16, 2009

 

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