Money talks

Thanks to The Independent Weekly for their recent article uncovering who is funding some of the most contentious local campaigns.

We already knew that statewide realtors and developer interests were funding the opposition to the Land Transfer Tax, including deceptive mailings and robocalls. Now we can see just how much money they are pouring in to fight this modest proposal. Fiona Morgan reports that the realtors had raised $234,239 as of April 28th.

The committee has spent $205,115 on direct mailings, polls and ads. With 95,805 registered voters in Orange County, that amounts to $2.14 spent per voter as of April 18, more than two weeks before the election.

- Independent Weekly: Orange: Sprawl lobby just says no to LTT, 4/30/08

In addition to $123,854 in cash, loans, and in-kind contributions from the N.C. Association of Realtors, the effort received $44,000 from the N.C. Homebuilders Association, $30,000 from Triangle MLS (the one you have to use if you sell a property), and $5,000 from both the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors and the Triangle Community Coalition. Also, the DC-based National Association of Homebuilders donated $24,885 worth of the TV advertising.

What I still don't understand is how any regular citizen can know all of this and still support this tax. We all know a nice realtor or developer, who we may personally trust, but when have you ever known their collective lobbying arms to be working for anything but their own financial gain? They aren't looking out for us.

In the race for State Senate District 23, challenger Moses Carey has raised $54,000, nearly double the $32,000 that incumbent Ellie Kinnaird has, although they both took in close to $25,000 in the first quarter of 2008. This shows that Carey was already hard at work raising funds last year. In addition to $10,000 of his own, he has received large donations from Duke Energy, AT&T, Meadowmont developer Roger Perry. Kinnaird's biggest donors were Lillian's List and the State Employees Association.



Hi Ruby,

Thanks for posting our story. I thought readers might like to know we've also posted the campaign finance report for Citizens for a Better Orange County (PDF here) on our web site, so they can see it first hand.


staff writer, Independent Weekly


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