Sept. 18, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Francis De Luca (919) 834-2099 Francis.DeLuca@nccivitas.org
RALEIGH – Civitas President Francis De Luca today filed a complaint with the North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBOE) against out-of-state groups that have violated state law and federal regulations.
“On behalf of Civitas,” De Luca said, “I have asked the North Carolina State Board of Elections to open an immediate investigation of two groups that violated state law and Federal Communications Commission regulations during a barrage of TV ads targeting six state legislators.”
Earlier this year, 10 TV ads targeted six NC state legislators with messages attacking hydraulic fracturing. All 10 ads indicate they had been “paid for” by a new group, the North Carolina Environmental Partnership (NCEP). The problem is neither “the North Carolina Environmental Partnership” nor “the NCEP” really exists.
A Civitas investigation shows the NCEP is a shell group used to hide the identities of out-of-state, environmental groups: the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) based in New York and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) headquartered in Charlottesville, Va. Because neither the NRDC nor the SELC identifies donors in their reports, millions of dollars are being spent in this state by groups that refuse to identify their funding sources.
It is Civitas’ contention that the NRDC, SELC and NCEP have collectively and repeatedly violated state law. They may also be in violation of the state lobbying laws for failing to report the many solicitation ads they have aired. Civitas will ask the Board of Elections to open an immediate investigation and, if proper, turn the matter over to the Wake County District Attorney for prosecution.
The complaint letter is here.
Civitas Elections Analyst Susan Myrick details our investigation here.
The Civitas Institute is a policy institute based in Raleigh, N.C. More information is available at www.nccivitas.org, or contact Jim Tynen at (919) 834-2099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.