The Alliance for North Carolina, which is running ads against Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory, said Friday it has raised $750,000, all from the Democratic Governors Association and a national teachers group.
The disclosure showed for the first time which interest groups are behind the ads.
Teachers have been a powerful lobby in Raleigh in recent years, winning big pay raises from lawmakers, while the DGA takes money from a wide range of corporations, unions and professional groups.
Republicans argue the disclosure tells little. “The Alliance is only a thinly veiled front group for liberal special interests who would rather circumvent the laws of North Carolina than submit themselves to proper scrutiny and oversight,” said GOP spokesman Brent Woodcox.
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Information about donors to the DGA and to the political arm of the National Education Association is available on the Internet. A DGA spokesman said its $500,000 donation to the alliance came from a general fund, not from a segregated account.
The N.C. Republican Party filed a complaint arguing that the Alliance for North Carolina should have made its disclosure days earlier.
Kim Strach, deputy director of the State Board of Elections, said the disclosure was on time and gave all the information required by law.
Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue has denied involvement with the alliance.
The next battle over the ads could be legal. A lawyer for McCrory, Charlotte's mayor, sent letters to broadcasters Friday asking them to cease and desist running them “because elements of the ads are either false or made in wanton and willful disregard of the truth.” A lawyer for the alliance followed up with a letter defending the ad's claims.