We're now getting concrete evidence that national money was used in the Wake County school board races to help Democratic candidates retake the board majority.
A new campaign finance report posted today by the Wake County Board of Elections shows that N.C. Citizens for Protecting Our Schools spent $8,418.69 in get-out-to-vote calls to help Democratic school board incumbent Kevin Hill.
The calls were made possible, according to the report, by a $30,000 donation on Oct. 26 from D.C.-based America's Families First Action Fund. The national 501(c)4 group has been called a super PAC that helps Democratic candidates and is heavily backed by labor unions.
According to the America's Families First Action Fund website, its goal was to help keep the Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. While that mission failed, the PAC has been gearing up for the 2012 races and apparently for this fall's local school board elections as well.
According to this report from the Center for Responsive Politics, the major donors for America's Families First Action Fund include a variety of labor organizations and environmental groups.
Local Republicans have charged, without showing any proof, that national Democratic forces had targeted the Wake school board elections as a prelude to the 2012 contests.
In addition to the $30,000 from America's Families First Action Fund, N.C. Citizens for Protecting Our Schools also received $5,000 from the Wake Citizens for Good Government PAC formed by local Democratic activist and pollster Dean Debnam.
N.C. Citizens for Protecting Our Schools has been involved throughout the campaign, but this is the first time it's filed any campaign finance reports. The group had been sending out mailers warning about a Tea Party takeover of the Wake schools but was able to get around filing before by not naming any specific candidates.
Like a number of other local groups that attacked Republican Wake school board candidates, the attorney for N.C. Citizens for Protecting Our Schools is Michael Weisel, who has been active in state Democratic politics.
Before the school board elections, N.C. Citizens for Protecting Our Schools had received money from the N.C. Association of Educators to run a television ad urging the General Assembly not to repeal the half-cent sales tax.