Show Me the Money: District 106 Candidates for Sale
In addition to the Presidential Election, we are electing local and state representatives. The media has failed to focus on the fact that several candidates in District 106 have refused to attend debates but manage to attend Republican sponsored events. Interesting since each candidate is running as Independents; well...on paper. I've never witnessed such a blatant disregard of voters. You want to be our representative but you choose to interact with "certain" voting demographics. We're days away from the election and we don't know most of the people that are going to be on the ballot. Another indicator of the candidate's loyalty is their campaign finance reports; it clearly shows where their interests lie and I guess that's why at least two candidates have failed to submit their finance reports. They want you to cast your vote for them without knowing who sponsored their campaigns. Show me the money and I'll show you who's controlling your candidate.
Three of the five candidates submitted their campaign finance reports to the Secretary of the State Office, but Ben Winston and Greg Holcolmb have failed to submit their finance reports. Why? I don't know if there's something on Winston's report that he's attempting to hide but when a person that's running on a the fact that he has 30 years of political experience, one would think he knows the importance of releasing his campaign finance forms. The failure to release his campaign finance report creates more questions than answers.
Political newcomer Greg Holcomb, has also failed to submit his campaign finance reports. Although he's a newbie, he's also an attorney and as such, he knows the importance of submitting reports in a timely fashion but his vast knowledge of the law is probably one of the reasons why he didn't submit his campaign finance report. Let me explain. Holcomb will not file his report until after the election so the voters will have NO idea who funded him. As an attorney, Holcomb knows how to finagle the law and use it to his advantage. The campaign finance reports were due on November 1, 2016. At 5:00 p.m. on November 3, 2016, the Secretary of State will start preparing a "48 hour late reporters list" and send it to the media. This generally takes two days and I haven't seen any reports on the news about the candidates that have failed to file their campaign finance reports. After 10 days, or November 11, 2016, the Secretary of State will send a notice to the candidates saying they are 10 days late and owe $50 a day civil penalty. If they pay that within 10 more days and file that they have not violated campaign finance laws, they get to stay on the ballot, encourage people to vote for them and hide the names of their sponsors until after the election. Ask yourself, why would an attorney, who knows the importance of filing papers on time, want to hid the names of those sponsoring his campaign? Where's the transparency? In case you were wondering, the information I've provided regarding campaign finance law is on page 22 of the 2014 Secretary of State Campaign Finance Law and is outlined under § 23-15-813. Civil penalty for failure to file campaign finance disclosure report; notice to candidate of failure to file; assessment of penalty by Secretary of State; hearing; appeal. I know the law but the citizens of Lumberton must pay $1,891 in order for their city clerk to attend a class to learn what I learned by reading. Interesting. But back to Holcomb. What is he hiding? Legally, not ethically, Holcomb will not have to disclose who funded his campaign until after November 21, 2016 but the election is on November 8, 2016.
Above are the campaign finance reports of John Corely. Corely has also refused to address any voters outside the Republican demographic but he's also running as an Independent candidate. Well, at least he filed his campaign finance report. Yes, but let' take a closer look at his report. Take a look at page 2 of Corely's report. Do you see where he reported that he received $6600 from "John Corley Friends of"? Campaign finance laws clearly states that every donation over $200 in a calendar year is to be reported by who gave the money, their address, and what they do for a living. I know that and I've only ran for office in Lumberton. John Corely is known in certain circles for hosting "dove hunts" and people will give money to the "Friends of John Corely: fund and then the Friends of John Corely donate the money to his campaign but Who gave the $6,600? We don't know and it's not listed on his campaign finance report. Another candidate for sale.
This is the report from Larry David and it's rather cut and dry. I don't see any attempts to hide anything. I've reached out to David several times and never received a response so I don't know much about this candidate.
Daniel Wise is probably the most honest and transparent candidate in the District 106 race. He's very involved and has traveled all across this district in an effort to get his message to ALL voters. He made back to back trips to Lumberton. On his last trip, I was the only one showed up for his Town Hall Meeting at Wood-Hinton Park so I took that opportunity to have a real, one on one conversation with Wise and I think he's the real deal. He's gun toting, yoga loving, real talking, no bars hold individual that gives it to you straight with no chaser. He's also working to pull back the veil of corruption in campaign finances. I find it appalling that Greg Holcomb and Ben Winston want you vote but don't want you to know who's financing their campaigns. It shouldn't be this difficult to learn about those looking to serve as your representative but I hope my digging will help you make a WISE decision on election day. Pun intended.