Rep. Hamilton responds to ethics complaint filed by NC Republican Party

Rep. Hamilton responds to ethics complaint filed by NC Republican Party

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The North Carolina Republican Party has filed an official State Ethics Commission Complaint against Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-New Hanover), alleging Rep. Hamilton "used her official email and title as a North Carolina elected official to solicit funds for an outside agency, Democracy NC."

On Oct. 24, an email came out from the legislative office of Rep. Hamilton with voter resources.  The bottom of the email had a link to donate to Democracy NC.

To read the complaint, click here:

"This email did not come from my email address, it came from my legislative assistant's email address," Rep. Hamilton said. "I did not authorize the email to be sent. It is nothing but a forwarding of a public service announcement giving citizens information on where and when to vote. My assistant simply forgot to remove the link to the non-partisan, non-profit organization at the bottom of the email. This is just petty late-in-the-game politics, and an act of desperation from someone who is not going to win the election."

To read the email, click here:

In an email news release announcing the complaint, NC GOP officials call Democracy NC "an exclusively left-leaning organization."

On its website, Democracy NC describes itself as "a nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase voter participation, reduce the influence of big money in politics and achieve a government that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people."

Democracy NC has in the past filed or joined in lawsuits against the state over issues including redistricting and Voter ID.

"This just shows the degree to which Democratic Party extremists will go to fight having a secure and fair electoral system," Kami Mueller, spokeswoman for the NC Republican Party said in the email news release. "Let's be clear on what we are dealing with here: we have legislative Democrats who used taxpayer resources, an official state-issued email address and title, to solicit donations for far-left partisan group Democracy NC. Democracy NC has embarked on a radical witch hunt to sue the very taxpayers from which their lackey, Susi Hamilton, is illegally soliciting money. To add insult to injury, according to the Secretary of State's website, it appears that Democracy NC's charitable organization status expired in May."

"This disgraceful act goes to show that my opponent only cares for her ambitions, not the people," said Gerald Benton, who is challenging Rep. Hamilton in the District 18 race. "No one in either party believes it is acceptable for the people's representative to use their power for anything but their official duty."

A spokesperson for Democracy NC issued the following statement.

"What appears was forwarded was an email containing nonpartisan voter information provided to our email list of over 30,000 people. The email is housed in a standard template with a footer that allows recipients to donate to the organization. There is little doubt many people who received it forwarded it to others interested in basic voter information in North Carolina," Jen Jones, Communications Manager for Democracy NC, said.

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