Background: The North Carolina General Assembly voted in 2015 to authorize the NC House and Senate political conferences to move their funds out from under the management of the NCGOP. The state senate moved its funds in 2016, during the tenure of Chairman Hasan Harnett. On May 23, 2017, the NC House of Representatives GOP Caucus also voted to move its funds from management by the NCGOP to an independent account, not under management of or reporting by the NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes. At some point in 2017-2018, the accounts were re-established under the management supervision and reporting of the NCGOP.
The Rationale: Barring a statement from the Speaker of the House, President Pro Tem of the Senate, or testimony from GOP Caucus insiders, the rationale for past movement of caucus money in and out of NCGOP management and control is elusive. Speculation is that “trust,” or lack thereof, was the primary factor. More recently, legislative leaders have articulate concerns that the failure of the NCGOP to raise funds for its internal operations put the caucus money at risk. Recent reports from key legislators indicate the NCGOP Chairman and Executive Director are putting pressure on GOP Caucus leaders to transfer or loan money to the NCGOP to continue current operations. If this reporting is accurate, we should be ashamed.
Conclusion: It is the prerogative of the General Assembly caucus’ to manage their money in manner that best suits their needs. Jim Womack respects the legislative authority of the NCGA to co-mingle funds with the respective parties or to manage them independently. North Carolina has perhaps the finest legislature in the country. That same General Assembly is chiefly responsible for enabling the amazing turnaround of this state’s economic fortunes since 2009. Moving GOP caucus money to an independent account is a trivial matter in comparison to the superb legislative record of this body. I fully support the decisions of our GOP caucus leaders to manage their funds in whatever manner they may choose. As the future NCGOP Chairman, I pledge never to put pressure on the House and Senate GOP leadership to manage their funds under NCGOP supervision or to transfer those funds for internal NCGOP use.