NC: “New progressive groups target legislative races, test state campaign finance laws”

WRAL:

FLIP NC looks like a professional political operation.

It’s got slick graphics, a website and deep analysis of state legislative districts, which organizers are using to target areas where Republicans may be vulnerable and Democrats can chip away this year at the GOP super-majority.

It sells T-shirts and buttons. A 2018 launch party apparently drew 300 people, including Democratic state legislators and the chairman of the state Democratic Party, to an event last month with food donated by as many as six sponsors.

It’s got a 28-page toolkit that, among other things, offers a template for publishing voting summaries on Republican candidates with a tagline that says their voting records are “creating a state of chaos.”

And, as of this month, it has an attorney: Raleigh’s Michael Weisel, a go-to election law attorney for the left.

Weisel said he took on the group, pro bono, to respond to a complaint filed with the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement by the executive director of the state Republican Party. That complaint boils down to this: The group is operating as a political committee without filing any of the paperwork required by state law, amounting to multiple violations of North Carolina campaign finance law.

“There is no way to know who is paying for the events, collaterals or software,” Dallas Woodhouse wrote in his 14-page complaint, which is backed by images of gatherings, canvassing materials and official FLIP NC follow-up postcards to voters, all taken from the group’s website or Facebook page.

“Who paid for the printing of the postcard?” Woodhouse asked in his complaint. “Who paid for the stamps?”

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