Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen that the supposedly grassroots ReopenNC Facebook group is not some grassroots movement of disgruntled citizens, but an astroturfed movement backed by money from the DeVos and Koch political dark money war chest.
Now, with details trickling out that ReopenNC is getting “generous donors” for chartered buses for protests and legal representation, we have a “behind the scenes” report from Politico showing that this entire effort can be traced back to one goal - a last ditch effort by the Trump campaign to rally his base - an effort based on polling of white suburbs in Trump battleground states.
Conservative groups have noticed a change in polling in recent weeks when they ask respondents if they want to go back to work, even if they know the outbreak could continue to cause infections or deaths, and if they would be willing to wear protective gear, such as masks and gloves, in order to reopen the country. Some polls saw upticks as large as 20 percentage points of people willing to return to work, even with the caveats, according to said Brandon and others familiar with the polls. The FreedomWorks polling was conducted in suburban House districts in battleground states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
One operative noted:
“If you don't see something start to happen … you’re going to see a conservative revolt by our base,” said Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks, a conservative group which recently polled on reopening the economy. “The worst strategy for him is to keep things shut until August. Trump is basically going to win or lose his election right now, in the next month.”
It’s time to ask the North Carolina Board of Elections to probe ReopenNC as an illegal political action committee. The organizers of the Facebook group and protests have not been forthcoming about whether they are directly receiving money for their work with this group. It is definately receiving outside funding and is coordinating with larger national efforts by dark money-funded groups aimed specifically at Trump’s reelection.
Contact the NC Board of Elections here.
There is precedence for a complaint of this type. In January, the NCBOE was asked by a campaign finance watchdog group to investigate the Sons of Confederate Veterans for similarly violating tax and campaign finance laws. There couldn't be anything more blatantly flying in the face of campaign finance laws than #ReopenNC.