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June 4, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Francis De Luca (919) 834-2099
RALEIGH – Today the President of the Civitas Institute, Francis De Luca, delivered letters and documentation to the North Carolina Attorney General, the State Auditor, the Secretary of State and the Chairman of the State Board of Elections calling for an investigation of the activities of lobbyist Bob Hall and past and present staff of the State Board of Elections (SBOE).
- Secretary of State Elaine Marshall
- Attorney General Roy Cooper
- Auditor Beth Wood
- SBE Chair Josh Howard
While asking for each of these offices to investigate items under their respective jurisdictions in relation to the SBOE, De Luca also asked the new SBOE to conduct an internal review of its own staff’s actions. The particular areas that were highlighted in the letters for review are:
- SBOE staff in 2012 collaborated with registered lobbyist Bob Hall to use state resources, personnel and equipment to engage in partisan political activity in possible violation of general statutes prohibiting state employees from participating in partisan political activity on state time and using state resources. These efforts were in conjunction with lobbying for more Help America Vote Act funding from the NCGA and thus may have also violated state lobbying laws, as Mr. Hall is a registered lobbyist and this was a clear effort to influence legislation. (Supporting documents here.)
- SBOE staff allowed a registered lobbyist, Bob Hall, to produce and edit state documents in the form of the “non-partisan” voter guide that is mailed to every registered voting household in North Carolina. His level of participation in this activity exceeded that of the state employees actually tasked with producing the document and included suggesting edits to candidate statements and facilitating billing and payments from state government for vendors. (Supporting documents here.)
- SBOE staff took part in efforts to facilitate online voter registration in North Carolina before the 2012 election cycle with no notice to the appointed state board. This effort appears to violate state law that prohibits electronic voter-registration forms, apart from those offered by a state agency. This effort was in conjunction with a private for-profit company and may have also violated North Carolina General Statutes prohibiting paying per registration. In addition, the SBOE General Counsel falsely claimed, in emails to citizens, that DOJ attorneys had reviewed the legal opinion that said the online registration program complied with North Carolina General Statutes. (Supporting documents here.)
In delivering the letters, De Luca said, “It is important that so-called good government groups and self-proclaimed watchdogs play by the same rules they demand of everyone else.” De Luca continued, “The evidence in these complaints make it clear that Mr. Hall used state resources to carry out an agenda and did so in a way to hide it from the public and from appointed and elected officials.”
The complaints arise out of a series of investigations conducted by Civitas that can be found at the following links:
- NC SBE – Who is really in charge and who do they work for?
- Lobbyist Bob Hall and Gary Bartlett Planned Attack on Republican Legislature
- Guiding the NC Elections Board – to the Left
- Elections Bureaucrats Ran Amok
The Civitas Institute is a think tank based in Raleigh, NC. More information on the Civitas Institute is available at www.nccivitas.org, or contact Jim Tynen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 834-2099.