People really don’t like Mark Robinson.

Sure, some people like him — it’s how he was elected as North Carolina’s lieutenant governor a couple years ago. But after a term laced with his hateful and insane rhetoric that includes labeling all LGBTQIA2S+ North Carolinnians as “filth,” calling for a ban on all abortions in the state with the suggestion that women “keep their skirts down” as an alternative to unwanted pregnancies and spearheading a movement to abolish the state Board of Education, which as lieutenant governor he oversees, people are beginning to show reluctance at having their names associated with his.

Even NC GOP leadership is not crazy about Robinson, but they need him to win in order to fulfill their goal of an autocratic state.

Remember 2020, a year that Trump won NC, saw the election of a GOP majority in our state even as our incumbent Democrat governor, Roy Cooper, defeated his challenger by 4.5 points, resulting in a Democrat governor presiding over a Republican General Assembly.

It happened because Republicans can’t gerrymander a statewide election, and Cooper’s veto pen thwarted many of the bad designs the GOP had in mind for NC.

Even longtime GOP donors do not want their names linked with the guy who referenced survivors of school shootings as “media prosti-tots,” wants to arrest trans North Carolinians for their bathroom choices and once called Michelle Obama a man.

Unlike candidates, who cannot take more than $6,400 directly from a donor, political parties in NC can accept unlimited donations and are exempt from limits placed on donations to candidates. But only one NC political party can accept money from their governors association, and it’s not the one they want.

Robinson’s opponent in the governor’s race, current Attorney General Josh Stein, has been besting Robinson in the money race by millions, his message resonating with voters in such a way to push him slightly ahead in the most recent poll.

Not that we trust polling, but the NC GOP must, because they’re making a move to create a loophole that would give them an electoral advantage.

Outside money for many gubernatorial races in the US comes mainly from two groups: The Republican Governors Association and the Democrat Governors Association, which both take donations from corporations, unions and other groups prohibited by law from donating directly to candidates. We have a law like that here: Corporate entities and unions cannot donate directly to candidates or political parties.

There’s a key difference between the two groups: The DGA categorizes their funders, so that they can send non-corporate money to Stein’s campaign. The RGA, however, does not itemize their contributions, putting them all in the same pot and making all of those funds ineligible for the Robinson campaign. Shorthand: We know where DGA’s money comes from; we don’t know where RGA’s does, which is why they call it “dark money,” the reason for the law in the first place.

So NC Republican leadership has tucked a provision into a bill, HB237 — the one written to target activists and people who wear facemasks — nullifying that requirement. It passed the Senate last week; the House votes on it this week.

If it passes, it gives Robinson access to RGA’s bankroll — they raised more than $75 million last year — in a very close race.

An easier fix would have been for the RGA to be more transparent about their funders. Ask yourself why they don’t want to do that.

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