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Saturday, January 22, 2011
Faison's Fundraiser bombs?
By NCDP Insider
How much money did Bill Faison raise for the party Thursday night? That's the question on everyones' mind who are closely following the democratic state party's chair upcoming election. Faison's camp is oddly silent on the money matter so far.
As most democratic party members should know by now, Faison is running hard against frontrunner David Parker to win the top spot in the race for North Carolina Democrat Party Chair. So much so that to the uninformed, Faison's party fundraiser on Thursday evening, January 20th appeared a little presumptuous since the chair's election is more than week out. But to those in the know, the party fundraiser had to be held before the chair election.
The event took place inside the NCDP headquarters building in Raleigh and was designed to address the campaign issue of a sitting legislator handling the chair's fundraising duties without violating state campaign finance laws. The laws in place prohibit a legislator from accepting money when the state's legislature is in session. The 2011 session kicks off in less than a week.
So, Faison's fundraiser needed to happen before the state's General Assembly's session starts inconveniently before party can elect its officers.
Fundraising limitations are a very real obstacle for Faison as fundraising is the state party chair's primary function. With his legislative duties, Faison is prohibited from fundraising for several months during his 2-year-term should he serve as party chair -- and that gives the NCGOP a big financial advantage.
Faison's hope rests with the State Board of Elections granting him permission to have others do the job of raising money for him while the GA is in session. What Faison doesn't realize is it's the sheer star-power of the state party chair title that gets contributors to meet and get excited enough to open their wallets. Faison's situation is detrimental to the party because he'll be the target of GOP lawsuits filed purely for media purposes to cast doubt on the Democratic party's ethics in portraying a "pay-for-play" perception of a legislator demanding funds for his party even after the sessions end.
If Faison's Thursday night fundraiser comes in low, it'll be the death knell of his chair campaign. If it comes in high, the question of who contributed what will need to be answered before the election or Faison runs the risk of being unwilling to prove he did not supplement the total by writing a large personal check to save face. And without transparency, there is no trust.
We eagerly look forward to Faison's announcement of the fundraiser's results.