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Opinion Letters Follow the Money

State Representative Jim Davis had an excellent idea. He suggested that anyone who wondered about contributions to his 2010 campaign could just check out the NC. Board of Elections web site. I did.

Here is what I found. He raised a total of $500,377, not counting loans to his campaign. Every contribution over $50 is listed by person, address and amount. There were a lot of reports to go through, but the Board of election does a great job of laying it out. Check it out for yourself. Go to, www.ncsbe.gov/ “campaign reports”.

Of the $82,050 received from individually listed contributors to his campaign it turns out that only $25,380 of that amount was donated by people living in his district. The remaining $56,670 was donated by people who did not live in the counties he represents or who lived out of state.

The bulk of the money that funded his campaign came from the Republican Executive Committee in Raleigh. The state Republican Party put in a total of $395,178. Other political organizations, often called PAC’s, put in another $17,008. These included lobbying groups like AT&T, BB&T, Petroleum and Convenience Marketers PAC, NC. Beer & Wine Wholesalers Assn. PAC and GOPAC.

If you add up all the money he raised in the district he actually represents it amounts to $31,500. If you compare that to the total he raised, $500,357, it amounts to 6 percent. In other words 94 percent of the money he raised to run for election came from outside the 7 counties he represents.

But that is not all I learned from the all knowing web. It turns out that since the “Citizens United” decision, unlimited money can be spent by anonymous persons for or against any candidate they want. In 2010 Jim Davis was the beneficiary of over $265,000 in Super PAC money. This money was spent “independently” of the Davis campaign in ads against his opponent. Actually we do know where that $265,000 came from. It came from 3 Art Pope front groups.

The figures don’t lie. Only 6 percent of the $500,375 his campaign raised came directly from the people in his district. Another “independent” $265,000 dropped out of the sky from some anonymous source. So the question is, just who does Jim Davis represent?

Louis Vitale — Franklin, NC


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