As part of a legal settlement, the North Carolina Republican Party has mailed out an unusual political ad in state House District 51, offering a very public mea culpa to former Democratic Rep. Jimmy Love, Sr.
In late October, 2010 the North Carolina Republican Party distributed a mailer in connection with the contest for the North Carolina House seat in District 51 that accused former Representative Jimmy Love of having abused the power of his office in connection with the North Carolina Department of Transportation's purchases of two tracts of land for a road project. The mailer said Mr. Love had "pocketed" taxpayer money and made a "huge profit" at taxpayer expense.
The accusations made against Mr. Love in the mailer were unjustified and the facts stated in support of the accusations were false. Accordingly, the North Carolina Republican Party hereby retracts the statements made in the mailer, apologizes to Mr. Love, and expresses its sincere regret for any distress or embarrassment caused to Mr. Love, his family, or his supporters.
The Oct. 2010 ad in question said Love owned a piece of land and suggested it was bought by the DOT in a "sweetheart deal." The text called Love a "swindler," featured his photo and quoted him as saying "I Love Gettin' Rich Off The Taxpayers!"
Love, a seven-term incumbent representing parts of Lee and Harnett counties, went on to lose in November to Republican newcomer Mike Stone by 1,423 votes.
Mark Braden, spokesman for the NC GOP, declined to comment on the false ad.
"An agreement has been reached," Braden said. "On the advice of counsel, I can't say more than that."
Braden referred all questions to the party's lawyer, John Branch of Raleigh.
Branch declined to say how many homes the apology went to and whether there were any other terms of the settlement, such as money paid by the GOP to the Sanford Democrat.
"All I can say is that the dispute has been resolved," the lawyer repeated, regardless of which question was asked.
Still, Dome will wager the deal did not include giving Love his House seat back.
Love, who is an attorney, said Monday he feels some vindication. He said that under the terms of his settlement with the GOP, he can't comment on whether he received any cash.
"I'm satisfied with the way this was resolved," Love said. "I think most of the people who know me knew it wasn't true, but for the people who didn't know me personally, it might have stuck."
Copies of both GOP ads are attached below.
GOP Love ad.pdf