We know that Rep. Tim Moffitt is the author of the perplexing bill to seize the Asheville water system. But what’s his background? Public documents reveal the following:
Latest Updates — September 24, 2012:
“FOLLOW THE MONEY” is a website maintained by the Institute for Southern Studies, a nonprofit media and research center based in Durham, N.C. They are tracking the flood of independent expenditures for state-level races. Click here to see how much outsider money has been tracked into Tim Moffitt’s campaign.
Carolina Business Coalition (CBC): To date, this Raleigh Political Action Committee (PAC) has poured nearly $48,000 into helping Tim Moffitt win reelection against Jane Whilden. Here’s a link to their agenda. My question to fellow Buncombe County voters is this — do you think Moffitt’s going to listen to us or to big-money special interests tycoons from Raleigh? I personally would like to see all PAC money banned from all groups in all elections.
(The following section was copied from Jane Whilden’s website. The full story is no longer available online, but if you have a Buncombe County library card, you can find the full text version on the Buncombe County Library website.):
Art Pope, the wealthy CEO of Variety Wholesalers, which runs low-cost retail stores, accounted for three-quarters of all outside spending in state races during the last cycle, according to the Institute for Southern Studies…Some of Pope’s money paid for negative ads in Buncombe County against then-incumbent Whilden … Pope’s group, Real Jobs, has not surfaced in WNC yet. But his influence might still be felt. The Carolina Business Coalition Education Fund [CBCE]has said it will spend about $47,000 to support Moffitt in his rematch with Whilden. CBCEF has two board members that work for Real Jobs, said Chris Kromm, whose Institute for Southern Studies has created the website followncmoney.org. A subsidiary company controlled by a third board member has donated to Real Jobs. CBCEF is funded by Carolina Business Coalition Inc., which does not have to reveal its donors, he said. Real Jobs and Pope faced backlash after the 2010 election. Kromm said the new group, without Pope’s name on the board, could be a way to get some distance from that backlash. “They thrive, in a way, with anonymity,” he said.
The article went on to contrast my successful grassroots fundraising to Moffitt’s special-interest fundraising:
Political scientist Chris Cooper said the disparity is something that should concern Moffitt. “I think what this tells us is Whilden is running a really good campaign,” said the Western Carolina University professor. “It’s hard to raise that much money.”Whilden’s campaign said the amount it has raised from individuals shows grassroots support ...“Our campaign has really gained a lot of momentum from folks who are really worried about the future of Buncombe County and North Carolina after a lot of reckless legislation Tim Moffitt has passed,” said Whilden’s campaign manager Jenny Dorris.
The article ended with a great quote from Jenny, “This year, after Citizens United, it’s going to be like nothing like we have ever seen before. I think that actually having conversations with voters and carrying out the message that way and actually communicating and hearing and listening cuts through all of that noise.”
Previous Moffitt research:
THE POPE CONNECTION
Our research has introduced us to the work of Art Pope, a Raleigh extremist profiled in a shocking exposé in the October 2011 issue of the New Yorker. Public records show that Pope and his family have funded Rep. Tim Moffitt’s election campaign in the past.
- “State for Sale” – New Yorker exposé about N.C. Raleigh extremist Art Pope
- Buncombe County representative Tim Moffitt’s campaign finance information
- Moffitt was lauded by Art Pope’s Civitas Action group as “Most Conservative N.C. House Member” in 2011.
UPDATE AUGUST 2012 MOFFITT/POPE CONECTION:
- Moffitt played coy in a July 22, 2112 Asheville Citizen-Times article in reference to an offensive ad paid for by Raleigh millionaire Art Pope against Jane Whilden in 2010. He said he only met Pope once and “did not ask for his help.” That didn’t stop Moffitt from taking $16,000 in direct Pope campaign contributions, a fact that should have been reported.
- Already this year, a Pope-related PAC has spent $47,616.25 on Moffitt’s reelection campaign.(Checked July 2012).
Moffitt is also affiliated with ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a very controversial group backed by corporate interests that writes model legislation for state lawmakers. Sourcewatch lists Moffitt as a member of ALEC’s International Relations Task Force and as an alternate on their Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force. He also attended ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting, along with the four other members of his water/sewage Study Committee. Google this group, and you can read all about them, for instance “The Big Money Behind State Laws,” New York Times, 2-13-12.
Despite the controversy surrounding ALEC, Moffitt has not cut ties with the controversial group.
In 2010, Moffitt was endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business, NRA, Grass Roots NC (gun rights group), and the Asheville Tea PAC.
Moffitt received a 17 (out of 100) score in 2011 for his shoddy environmental voting record by the N.C. League of Conservation Voters.
Moffitt is Co-Chair of the N.C. House Select Committee on Public-Private Partnerships. For more information on why this information is important to the water issue, watch this video: