STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS
6400 Mail Service Center · Raleigh, NC 27699-6400
GARY O. BARTLETT Mailing Address:
Director PO Box 27255
Raleigh, NC 27611-7255
Fax (919) 715-0135
May 8, 2003
Senator Virginia Foxx
11468 Highway 105
Banner Elk, N.C. 28604
RE: Request for formal opinion as to GS §163-278.5 and GS § 163-278.13B
Dear Senator Foxx,
This letter contains an opinion of this office being reported as per GS § 163-278.23.
You have requested if it is possible for your active Congressional political committee to continue to solicit and accept political contributions during the course of your campaign for Congress. The North Carolina State Board of Elections can only answer that question from the perspective of North Carolina campaign reporting laws. This office can not give you an opinion that such operation would or would not violate Federal election laws. The Federal Election Commission is the entity that is empowered to render such an opinion in the context of Federal election law.
Under North Carolina law, the concurrent operation of the two political committees would be acceptable as long as the various contributions to the different committees are clearly designated as required by GS § 163-278.20, and the contributions to your State Senate committee comply with the other legal restrictions contained in Chapter 163 of the General Statutes. This conclusion is based upon a reading of GS § 163-278.5, which clearly precludes the application of Article 22A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes to elections for federal office.
You have also made inquiry as to whether the provisions of GS § 163-278.13B prevents the solicitation and acceptance of campaign contributions for your Congressional campaign during the prohibited time periods and from the prohibited contributors. It appears that GS § 163-278.5 would again prevent the application of this state statute to your campaign for the Federal office of U.S. Congresswoman..
The opinion of this office that GS § 163-278.13B would not apply to a Federal race has been shared with the Honorable Colon Willoughby, the District Attorney for Wake County, and he concurs in this opinion. This opinion is limited as to issues of North Carolina law, and does not and can reflect the position, if any, of the Federal Election Commission on the issue in question. If the North Carolina State Board of Elections can be of further help to you on issues of North Carolina election law, please contact us.
Gary O. Bartlett