Yes to NC Public Campaign Fund

Even though the election season is behind us, North Carolinians still have an opportunity to "vote" for for fair, ethical elections when paying their state income taxes. Campaign finance scandals, both at the national and state levels, have been very much in the news . The North Carolina Public Campaign Fund provides an alternative "clean" source of funds for state level judicial candidates who agree to limit private fundraising and campaign spending. You can support the fund by saying "YES" to a $3.00 check off on the state income tax form. Saying "YES" DOES NOT increase your taxes, but directs $3.00 of the taxes you are ALREADY paying to fair elections. Advise your tax preparer that you wish to support the Public Campaign Fund. Please join me in saying "YES" for fair elections. More at


Good call

For all you guys doing your taxes (finished mine last week!) don't forget to check YES to Public Campaigning!

Hopefully one day we'll truly have a democratic elections in which money does not win battles, but sound policy choices do.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

State Judical funding fails big time to the little people!

A new book or manual "on to do" in judical campaigns by a recent candiate to be release soon


Now that you have decided to run and have come up with a theme or slogan for your campaign, how are you going to pay for it? Financing proved to be the one of the most problematic aspects of this campaign and it is one which you will have to consider in your own.

When I first threw my name into the ring, no one knew who I was. Although we had judicial financing of elections in North Carolina, this really is a misnomer. It ought to be called the Judicial Incumbent Protection and Wealth Transfer Act for that is what it really is. Judicial financing sounds very nice. The people who created it intended only the best, I am sure. However, the system that was devised was set up to keep people like me from ever obtaining office and to keep incumbents in place.

To get judicial financing, a candidate for office must first raise a certain amount of money. In my case, it was $34,000.00, an amount that mostly would have paid for my first campaign if I could have raised that much. I was not the only candidate in that position; there were at least several others who were unable to raise this sum and who were excluded from participation in the system. Also, something just seems plain wrong, especially for those who espouse the “conservative” position. How is taking money from the state for this purpose any different than welfare or any of the other entitlement programs that conservatives love to beat up on? Its nothing more than welfare for wealthy people who want to attain office.

To make matters worse, the NC GOP and the state elections board got together to ensure that candidates like me, who were not able to raise the necessary funds, would be prohibited from further fund-raising right before the election, which is the most critical time, as that is when the bulk of the campaign assets are spent. However, those who qualified for judicial financing were not only given funds by the legislature, but could continue and fundraise or even apply for "rescue funds" if needed. In other words, those who really need money could not get it and those who had it could get more. Does this sound fair? Fairness is not what the system is about. From the perspective of keeping incumbents in power, however, it makes perfect sense.

Financing for the first year of the program was through grants from various sources. Unfortunately, the program did not have sufficient funds, so the legislature decided that all attorneys must pay an extra $50.00 for it. This is blatantly unconstitutional. Why must only the attorneys pay? It is true that attorneys are users of the system and often are most intimately acquainted with the judges and justices that inhabit it. However, it was forgotten that attorneys are there, not for themselves, but for their clients. And the judicial voter guide, which is part of this program, benefits all voters in this state. It seems that if this a proper governmental use of taxpayer dollars, then all should be compelled to pay for it, not just a particular group.

My other objection to financing is on the grounds of compelled speech. I may or may not agree with a particular candidate for office. In fact, I did not agree with several of my opponents who qualified for such funding. Yet, I am forced to fund their campaigns, while they did not have to fund mine. No one should be compelled to fund speech or the candidacy of someone with whom they disagree.

Currently, a federal lawsuit is pending relating to the judicial financing system. Unfortunately, it is not challenging public financing on the constitutional grounds I raised. Perhaps one day the legislature will act to right these wrongs of its own accord. However, I hope that some enterprising lawyer or law firm will file a lawsuit challenging it.

Faced with the inability to raise funds in such a short campaign cycle and the restrictions placed on fund-raising by our state elections board, I quickly surmised that the process was rigged and that I would not be a participant in such a system. I also had my slogan to consider – where would I be if I used public financing? I could not very well say that I could not be bought, as I would then be beholden to the state on whom I was dependent for financing. For these reasons, I decided that I would tough it out and finance my own campaign. I put everything I had into the campaign that was not required for my medical bills and sustenance. When I say I personally sacrificed, I did.

You will have to consider whether you want to make that kind of sacrifice. Do you want to attain office that badly? It’s the most difficult road to travel and it is not for everyone. However, if you do not travel this road, what will you do? Remember, I assisted the junior partner during his campaign. He had lots of events and it was my experience that people have a tendency to give to those already in office. They are just not inclined to give to someone who is a newcomer or challenging an incumbent. And you are facing tremendous hurdles. Yes, there are very wealthy people out there who will give. But will they give to you? My message appealed to the downtrodden, the little people who have nothing. Most may not have been able to afford to donate even if they wanted to. Perhaps you travel in more affluent circles. If so, by all means try and raise funds from your circle. But realize that self-financing your campaign is an option.

H&R Blockheads

There needs to be some outreach to tax preparers who don't ask clients about this option when preparing tax returns.

utilizing resources

I would have to say that more conservatives pay for someone to do their taxes for them.

and more dems do their taxes themselves.

For the part where you can check to give to Dems or Reps, the H&R block thing may backfire.

It may be the equivalent of going into a country club and doing 'non-partisan voter registration'. You'll get some Dems, but not as many as Conservatives.

It ain't perfect

but it's all we got. I'm in for a "yes."

Turbo Tax promts for this

Yes ....Give to Dems!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.Progressive Discussions My Blog at

We get to pick R or D?

We get to pick R or D? I don't remember that part.

like a car: The 'D' moves you forward; the 'R' is for reverse

Here is the info on Public Financing

Also, you get a standard $30 tax credit for having a phone (makes you feel good, until you realize that the corporations get even larger breaks for their huge phone bills). Guess who is paying for that break?

Makes me mad, since the GOP outsourced some of their phone-banking to India over the past few years. I wonder if they still get a tax break?

Yessiree Bob!

D is always the better choice!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.Progressive Discussions My Blog at

tax check-off

The check off on the STATE tax form is are simply designating $3 of the taxes you're already paying to the NC Public Campaign Fund. Judicial candidates of either party may qualify by collecting a large number of relatively small contributions....and they do. With all due respect to Maxthedog....The writers of the law deemed the qualifying donations necessary to limit campaigns to "viable" candidates. Raising the qualifying donations requires a lot of footwork and one-on-one with voters. It is true that in both conventionally (privately) financed campaigns, as well as publicly financed campaigns, incumbents have an advantage. As to Max's argument that he doesn't want any of his tax dollars going to a candidate he doesn't support, please know that my tax dollars go to programs (one very big boondoggle comes to mind) that I don't support everyday. In Maine and ARizona and soon in Connecticut, legislative candidates can opt-in to public campaign financing. Some of the policy changes realized in these states include more money to poorest 4-year old classrooms, more money to community colleges and lower prescription drug prices.

We are working hard to educate the tax preparers about their legal obligation to ask the question. It is a challenge as there are many points where the communication and message break down. Incidentally, it was attorneys in the General Assembly who conceived of the $50 attorney assessment. For my part, I wish the General Assembly would leave the lawyer fee AND the check-off behind and appropriate adequate funds for public financing. We believe the investment for public financing for ALL state-level offices would be well more than recouped if the majority of legislators serve with NO ties to wealthy special interests. Thanks for the air time!

got moxie