The House Republican Caucus plans to hold a fund raiser Wednesday, taking advantage of the 24-day legislative recess – a move that drew criticism from a watch dog group.
The caucus plans to hold an event at 18 Seaboard Restaurant in Raleigh, with the cost ranging from $500 to $5,000 for PACs.
House Speaker Thom Tillis's general counsel had solicited an advisory opinion from the State Board of Elections shortly before the legislature adjourned giving them the go-ahead to accept contributions from “limited contributors” other than lobbyists when the legislature is in recess for more than 10 days.
State law prohibits registered lobbyists from giving directly to legislators at any time, but the law also says agents and sponsors of lobbyists and their PACS can give when the legislature is not in session.
The event, called “A New Day for North Carolina,” features Tillis, House Majority Leader Paul Stam, House Majority Whip Ruth Samuelson, and Wake Reps. Nelson Dollar, Marilyn Avila and Tom Murry.
In a fund raising letter, Rep. Darrell McCormick of Yadkinville, writes that “this committee can not accept contributions from lobbyists and is not asking for such. We are providing you with a copy of this information simply to inform you and request that you pass the information along to any interested parties and recommend support where appropriate.”
Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, a watch dog group, said “this kind of fundraising symbolizes the pay-to-play culture that Republicans said they would stamp out if they won control of the General Assembly.”
“They are already so consumed by the chase for campaign money that they are either clueless or they don't care that this event looks like cashing in on legislation delivered or still pending,” Hall said.
Protesters plan to picket the fund raiser outside the event Wednesday.