Republicans in North Carolina have been having a rough fall—it turns out that ethical shortcomings and lying to constituents don't win you any popularity contests. Add that to the President's falling approval ratings and Democrats' recent fundraising successes and you've got a good reason for GOPers to stay in bed.
Desperate to turn the spotlight elsewhere, NC Republicans are attacking former Congressman Frank Ballance, who was indicted for diverting State funds to personal use (and pled guilty to a negotiated charge). At issue is money that Ballance raised for the NC Democratic Party, which the National Republican Congressional Committee likes to call "dirty" money. While they manage to mention the cash in the same paragraph as Ballance's trial, the GOP has done nothing that I know of to show that the funds Ballance donated were in any way related to the funds he misused.
Still not convinced that it's a smear campaign designed to force Democrats to give up funds raised? Ask Steve Monks, chairman of the Durham County Republican Party: "I wouldn't give it back."