Ethics Reform

Ethics Reform 2017-01-03T12:05:13+00:00

Good government means a responsive government free from corruption.

Democracy North Carolina is often described as a “watchdog organization.” While we do much more than monitor candidates and elected officials, we value our watchdog label and our role as an independent, nonpartisan observer of North Carolina politics — especially when it comes to following the money

Accountability and transparency are two of the most powerful tools we have for preventing corruption in government. We encourage both in a number of ways. We:

  • Advocate for Voter-Owned Elections
  • Use our research to expose corruption
  • Publicize both unacceptable and exemplary campaign finance practices
  • Promote policies that toughen ethics rules and lobbyist regulations
  • Advocate for disclosure rules that support the public’s right to know what their government officials are doing and whose interests they are representing
  • Educate the public on how to analyze campaign finance reports and track lobbyist spending.

We are also active partners with organizations that make ethics reform their primary focus, including the NC Coalition for Lobby Reform.

What We’ve Accomplished

Our research has led to the conviction of a NC House Speaker on federal corruption charges, called out a NC Governor for election law violations and exposed troubling money ties between industry political action committees and politicians making policy in those industries. In addition, our Voter Rights work in 2008 led to a $100,000 fine imposed by the North Carolina Attorney General against an out-of-state group for misleading robo-calls that resulted in voter suppression. Plus, our organizing work with a bipartisan coalition inspired the NC Legislature to adopt a comprehensive set of laws regulating ethics and lobbying.

What’s Ahead

We are working with our bipartisan coalition on additional reforms, including requiring local governments to establish and enforce codes of ethical conduct, enacting “pay to play” restrictions for state contractors and appointees to policy-making boards, plus new rules expanding electronic disclosure of campaign contributions and of the economic-interest statements from public officials.

For more information, contact Bob Hall.