‘Dark money and corporate money have no place in our democracy…’
Unfortunately for his Republican opponent, state Sen. Dan Bishop, that doesn’t mean McCready has disappeared.
Rather, McCready’s campaign recently published a four-minute clip of soundless ‘B-roll’ footage intended to help unaffiliated left-wing organizations run ads on his behalf, the Associated Press reported.
McCready—who has benefited tremendously from fundraising support outside the district in the last remaining Congressional tossup before the 2020 election—nonetheless made a point of decrying the ‘dark money’ spending of political-action committees.
Dark money and corporate money have no place in our democracy. That’s why today I’m proud to announce we’re rejecting all corporate PAC money in our campaign for #NC09. When I’m in Congress, the voters will know: my vote isn’t for sale.
— Dan McCready (@McCreadyForNC) March 18, 2019
Despite the claims, McCready has continued to embrace big-money contributions from ideologically based advocacy groups, including several far-left environmental lobbying PACs.
Bishop, meanwhile, has largely benefited from the support of super-PACs like the conservative Club for Growth and industry PACs like the National Association of Realtors.
Super-PACs are not allowed to coordinate with a campaign but may spend unlimited amounts in support or opposition of a candidate.
Groups promoting an anti-McCready message thus far have outspent pro-McCready groups by nearly a million dollars, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’s OpenSecrets.net. That promises to surge even higher in the build-up to the Sept. 10 special election.
Even so, Bishop’s personal war-chest trails far behind that of McCready, who started the current race with surplus funds from his contest last year with Mark Harris.
The 2018 results—a narrow victory for Harris by a 905-vote margin—were nullified by the state’s board of elections after widely publicized allegations of ballot-harvesting in some of the district’s rural counties.
As of last week, McCready had raised roughly $3.2 million to Bishop’s $1.2 million and had considerably more cash on hand, reported the Center for Responsive Politics.
Many of McCready’s donations come from aggregation sites like ActBlue and Democracy Engine, which mask the donor names from public disclosure.
However, among the top individual donors who have attached their names to sizeable McCready contributions, according to the Federal Election Commission, are: Steve Jobs’s widow, Laurene Powell; Michael Bloomberg’s daughter, Emma Bloomberg; and Cindy Horn, the wife of Disney chairman Alan Horn.
While the district, largely based around the suburbs south of Charlotte, historically has been solid red, left-wing activists—after claiming the state legislature had used race to gerrymander the electoral map—successfully led a court-forced redistricting effort in 2017. That expanded NC-09 farther east and cut off many of its affluent, suburban constituents.
Democrats are hoping to claim a victory as a political upset that would deflate GOP hopes leading into next year’s presidential election, where the increasingly vulnerable North Carolina is likely a must-win state for President Donald Trump.