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Outside spending more even this election, preliminary reports suggest

Spending by third-party groups in North Carolina legislative races appears to have been more even than in the previous election cycle, even as Republicans dominated individual and caucus fundraising, Scott Mooneyham at The Insider reports.

IRS documents and state campaign finance reports seem to indicate that the spending by the two major 527 groups in North Carolina -- Real Jobs NC, which backed Republican candidates, and Common Sense Matters, which backed Democratic candidates, spent similar amounts. Those reports show Real Jobs NC spending $812,605, compared to $773,641 for Common Sense Matters.

Liberal group's spending in 2012 campaigns reported

On Sunday, Dome reported some of the big corporate contributors to a national GOP group that helped finance N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby’s re-election.

On the other side of the ledger, the first post-election federal report from the North Carolina liberal umbrella group Common Sense Matters has also been filed.

It reports spending about $774,000 on about a dozen campaigns, including that of Newby’s challenger, appellate Judge Sam Ervin IV, mostly on direct mail.

Its last-minute contributors include the Teamster’s DRIVE Committee, which gave $40,000 total for the year; N.C. Futures Action Fund (Democratic activist Dean Debnam’s project), $295,000 total; the N.C. League of Conservation Voters, $80,000, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, $21,000.

The Republican State Leadership Committee, which spent $13.3 million nationally, sent $1 million to the effort to re-elect Newby.

Liberal group reports its spending on legislative, Supreme Court races

A lot of attention has been spent the last couple weeks on conservative special-interest money rolling in to re-elect state Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby over appellate Judge Sam Ervin IV. It’s a race that now looks like it will draw somewhere around $3 million in total spending, mostly for Newby.

The liberal umbrella group Common Sense Matters has now provided its third-quarter reports, showing it spent about $553,000 in about a dozen legislative races. It has also spent about $30,000 on behalf of Ervin.

That’s a far cry from the outside money benefitting Newby through several independent expenditure committees representing GOP, business and school-choice interests.

Newby not the only one benefitting from outside money

Justice Paul Newby isn’t the only one benefitting from an outside money group. An independent expenditure committee called N.C. Citizens for Protecting Our Schools is paying for a mailer supporting appellate Judge Sam “Jimmy” Ervin IV.

Meanwhile, Newby's hokey banjo ad is sweeping the state.

GOP House candidate Malone hit with robocall in Goldman controversy

Wake County school board member Chris Malone's alleged affair with fellow school board member Debra Goldman is being used against him in his bid for the state House 35 seat.

In a new robocall today from the liberal Common Sense Matters, the group brings up the allegations raised in the 2010 police report about whether they had a romantic relationship and that Goldman named Malone as a suspect in the reported burglary of $130,000 from her home.

"With these kinds of distractions, it’s no wonder the schools screwed up student assignment plans and the bus schedule," says the robocall. "Don’t reward Malone’s unprofessional behavior by sending him to the state legislature."

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