Report: Special interests spend big to get their way in Raleigh

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A new report from the Institute for Southern Studies dives into the organizations and companies that spend the most on lobbying and other activities designed at influencing politicians in Raleigh. The report identifies the top five NC power brokers and the names won't surprise you; Duke Energy, Nationwide Insurance, N.C. Association of Realtors, N.C. Chamber, and the N.C. Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. 

The report is full of interactive charts and graphs that dive into various measures of influence. You can view the full report here.

From the introduction,

The North Carolina General Assembly is back in Raleigh for the 2015 long session and preparing to tackle a host of issues, including tax rates, school spending, the future of Medicaid and environmental standards.

Behind the scenes, an array of special interests is clamoring to influence the views and votes of state lawmakers. Which special interests have the ear of legislators and have the most clout to push their agenda?

In the first study of its kind, Facing South/Institute for Southern Studies (ISS) looked at the top special interests in North Carolina politics and measured their influence in the state. TheFacing South/ISS report looks at two key ways special interests wield their influence:

* Election Spending: Money that special interests have spent directly and indirectly to elect state-level politicians in the 2012 and 2014 elections, based on analyzing thousands of state and federal campaign finance reports.

* Lobbying Clout: Special interests with the strongest lobbying presence in North Carolina government, drawing on the latest rankings produced by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research.


  1. Greg Kohlmann's avatar
    Greg Kohlmann
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    They're making big cuts to everything and giving it to the rich,<br /> Hello, my name is Greg. I recently filed my tax return with H&amp;R Block (1/30/2015) and my return was rejected by the IRS because someone had already used my SS# to file using me as the spouse. I went to the IRS office in Winston and I was told there was nothing they could do even after I had proof of my identity but I would need to file a paper return and someone would look into it. They would not give me any info on whom or even where the return was filed. After all this I received an email supposedly from the IRS stating I needed to log in and provide some info, this was a bogus email. Now I have to wait 6-12 weeks for the IRS to look into this and 6 months more if they determine my identity has been stolen. This truly troubles me, I have looked into my credit history from 2014 and find some unusual activity causing me more distress. I don't know what to do; this will be a long and stressful process. I simply do not understand how someone can so quickly access and use my information and there is nothing I can do but wait. I really needed the little bit of a refund I was getting to catch up on bills but now I’m in limbo hoping the government knows what they are doing. I went to the IRS office in Winston and the first thing you see is a sign saying “Due to budget cuts expect long wait times” and it was right. They had 1 person taking payments and 1 person answering questions and I was also told that due to cuts the IRS was expecting long waits for anyone filing a paper return. Please help me understand all this.<br /> Greg Kohlmann; 1210 Piney Grove rd., Kernersville, NC 27284 336-655-6549
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