Sen. Ralph Hise campaign finance investigation conflicts with committee

RALEIGH –  As reported in March 2017, Sen. Ralph Hise, a Republican from Spruce Pine in Mitchell County, is under investigation by the state Board of Elections for campaign finance violations.

Soon after that, Hise was named one of three Senate conferees to craft legislation that overhauls the state Board of Elections. Hise is the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Elections. However, Hise did NOT recuse himself from legislature’s effort to change the state Board of Elections in SB 68 despite the ongoing investigation.

Senate Bill 68 disenfranchises the governor and the elections board. Previously, the state board of elections had 5 members, with 3 from the governor’s party. SB 68 creates an 8 member board : 4 each  from the 2 major political parties. The Board of Elections would have a Republican chairman in presidential years and a Democratic chairman in off years. It’s now being challenged in court.

Hise is being asked by some to recuse himself going forward because related issues could emerge at the General Assembly. Legislators could seek to limit the board’s subpoena power or its ability to levy fines, for instance.

The investigation by the state Board of Elections includes the following:

  • The Ralph Hise for NC Senate Committee has not reported a number of contributions, amounting to $9,700, that have been reported by various Political Action Committees (PACs) as having been made to the campaign committee of State Senator Ralph Hise.
  • the Hise committee reported a $1,500.00 “refund” from “University of NC” for a payment that was never recorded, making it an impermissible contribution from UNC.
  • State Senator Ralph Hise appears to have received over $10,000 more in loan repayments from his campaign committee than the total amount of loans he has made to the committee.
  • Hise pays his poll workers varying amounts. No address or phone information was provided as required. No comments were made as to the hours worked.
  • A number of cash donations do not have compete donor information

RC Catalyst requested a comment from Sen. Hise on the campaign finance investigation on Thursday, March 9, 2017, but did not receive any response.



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