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BYH to those who were indoctrinated in the 2016 campaign and didn't even know it. I wonder how many shared fake news...

Report offers details on PAC that backed council slate

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Council members applaud speakers during the swearing in of new members at City Hall, Monday evening.

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By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Two dozen individuals, partnerships and businesses with interests in real estate development and property management donated more than $40,000 to a PAC that backed Greenville’s new mayor and all but one its council members.

A finance report submitted by Greenville Jobs Now to the State Board of Election & Ethics Enforcement on Nov. 30 showed the PAC spent more than $35,000 in support of Mayor P.J. Connelly and a slate of candidate including Brian Meyerhoeffer, Kandie Smith, Rose Glover, Will Bell, Darrell Hinnant and Will Litchfield. All were elected except for Hinnant. 

Much of the PAC’s efforts focused on negative campaigning against mayoral candidate and former council member Calvin Mercer. Jobs Now spending combined with spending by Connelly outstripped Mercer’s spending $74,869 to $54,297, according to campaign finance reporting.

According to those reports, the committee raised a total of $43,324 during the last election cycle. As of Oct. 23, it had spent $35,042 on advertisements and campaign expenses. Connelly raised $44,287, and spent $39,827. Mercer raised $61,116 and spent $54,297.

Mercer and his supporters complained throughout the campaign that dark money was influencing voters. Candidates are required to provide a list of campaign donors and expenditures on two occasions prior to elections. Job Now also was required to submit documentation but failed to do so.

It was fined $500 by the State Board of Election & Ethics Enforcement in November. It subsequently paid the fine and issued reports, but not until well after the election. The Daily Reflector looked up the report last week.

Mercer and his supporters also complained that money from outside of Greenville was influencing the election because the only records available about Greeenville Jobs indicated it was registered to a Raleigh-based attorney. 

In response to the complaints, a Carteret County political consultant working for the PAC announced the group would donate $10,000 to the charity of Mercer’s choice if Mercer could prove any of the funding came from outside of Pitt County.

Documents filed by Jobs Now clearly show its financial support is wholly from Greenville and Pitt County.

Of its roughly two dozen donors, the largest contributions came from Bill Clark Homes, Max Joyner and Derek Dunn, who donated $5,000 each to the committee.

The home building company was started in Greenville in 1977 by Bill Clark and has since expended throughout eastern North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

Joyner is a former Greenville City Council member and current member of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees who is inolved in property development and insurance. Dunn is the president of Greenville Ready Mixed Concrete Inc.

Earlier documentation from the committee listed Joyner as the treasurer, but a report filed on Dec. 18 listed Byron Aynes, a financial consultant with the Overton Group, as treasurer. Aynes said he was brought on as the treasurer after the election and could not comment on any of the past dealings of the group nor its future intentions. 

Of the money raised by Greenville Jobs Now, a majority came from property developers and services related to construction and development. All of the names and businesses listed in the reports are listed to Pitt County addresses.

Donors:

AGL Capital LLC (Wes MacKenzie, president): $500

Aldridge & Southerland (Charles Southerland, president): $1,000

Bill Clark Homes: (William Clark, manager): $5,000

Delcor, Inc. (Larry Osborne, president): $4,000

Derek Dunn (contractor): $5,000

East Coast Grading & Utilities (David Vaughn, president): $2,000

Eastern Property Management LLC (Edward and William Blount, managers): $1,250

John Evans (construction materials/development): $1,000

Home Builders Supply (William Blount, president): $2,500

Steven Jones (attorney): $1,000

Max Joyner (insurance): $5,000

Kensington, Inc. (Ralph Tucker, president): $1,000

Keystone Property Management: (Information not available) $500

Melbourne Park 1-3 (Ralph Tucker): $2,100

OCE, Inc (Robert Sieed, president).: $1,000

Rocky Russel Construction (Rocky Russell, president): $500

Rosemont 5, LLC (Ralph Tucker, manager): $833.33

Eddie Stallings (real estate): $500

Jeffrey Stallings (finance): $1,000

Trafalgar LLC (Ralph Tucker, manager): $1,168

Tucker Company LLC (Information not available): $700

Tucker Rosemont (Ralph Tucker, manager) $700

WG Blount & Sons Farms (William Blount, president): $1,250

Woody Whichard (land developer): $2,000

Contact Seth Gulledge at Sgulledge@reflector.com and 329-9579. Follow him on Twitter @GulledgeSeth

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