A new report by Democracy North Carolina shows that members of the state’s congressional delegation are raising four times as much money as they did a generation ago, even adjusting for inflation.
“They just love pulling in the money, I guess,” said Bob Hall, executive director of the non-partisan watchdog organization. "Most of them are not facing that much competition. I think a lot of it is building your war chests to push away competitors.”
In 1980, the average congressional incumbent from North Carolina who faced a challenger raised $145,500 -- or $356,000 in today’s dollars, reports Barb Barrett.
In 2006, the average amount was nearly $1.4 million, according to the project.
Last year, the state’s 13 members of Congress raised a collective $17 million, the report said.
About 40 percent of that came from political action committees sponsored by groups such as real-estate agents, unions, medical providers and political parties.
Challengers raised about a third as much, the report said. Only one of the challengers – Democrat Heath Shuler of Waynesville – won a race. Shuler defeated GOP Rep. Charles Taylor, who had raised more than $4 million, including $2.5 million of his own money.
“It’s certainly not 100 percent that if you get the most money you will win,” Hall said.