February 23, 2021/Media, Press

NEW: LG Robinson’s “Questionable Spending” and “Disturbing Pattern of Omission” Likely “Violates” State Campaign Finance Laws

The News & Observer reported this morning that Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson’s campaign finance reports are littered with “questionable spending,” some of which could be in violation of state law or “require further explanation,” according to Bob Hall, a campaign finance watchdog. 

From the News & Observer

“Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson’s campaign report does not explain why $186 worth of medical bills were campaign-related. Or why he bought “campaign clothes and accessories” for $2,840 with the majority being spent at a sporting goods store. It doesn’t explain why his wife needed to be reimbursed $4,500 for campaign clothing or how and where she spent the money.”

Failing to properly explain these campaign expenditures erodes trust. Common Cause’s Bob Phillips is raising flags, saying that “candidates need to give their constituents confidence that contributions are being used appropriately.” Common Cause has also issued a formal complaint to the North Carolina State Board of Elections to investigate the Lieutenant Governor’s questionable campaign reports. 

But it didn’t stop there. 

  • The campaign reported a $160 expense at the State Employees Credit Union in Kinston, which Hall called “suspicious,” and “in need of further explanation,” as it could violate the state law that prohibits candidates from taking out a cash payment of more than $50 without a detailed explanation.
  • Robinson’s campaign contributions revealed even more issues, including failing to include the occupations of donors collecting donations from “unknown” donors, and collecting donations from political action committees that do not have an address and are not authorized to make donations in North Carolina.
  • The Lieutenant Governor’s campaign also reported receiving $10,800 from two different individuals and $6,400 from another, violating the law that prohibits a donation of more than $5,400 from an individual during the campaign cycle.

Hall wrote: “This disturbing pattern of omission, particularly from so many large donors apparently violates (state law) and clearly prevents the public from having important information about the candidates financial support.” 

Read the full article here.