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Annual Report 2013
Contents 2 Presidentâ€™s Message 3 Landmark Session
4-5 Exposing the Left 6-7 Polling & Events
8-9 Media & Web 10 Finances
11 Future Opportunities 12 Thank You
Our Mission The vision of the Civitas Institute is of a North Carolina whose citizens enjoy liberty and prosperity derived from limited government, personal responsibility and civic engagement. The mission of the Civitas Institute is to facilitate the implementation of conservative policy solutions to improve the lives of all North Carolinians. Towards that end, Civitas provides research, information and training to: - empower citizens to become better civic leaders and more informed voters - educate emerging public leaders, enabling them to be more effective in the democratic process - inform elected officials about citizen-based, free-market solutions to problems facing North Carolinians
ction behind us,
Conservatism” does just that; it looks ahead d my 2 cents worth on the election. reason; America elected its first African-
, Jr. when he said, “I have a dream that my will not be judged by the color of their skin, ident Obama in office, hopefully we have referred the first black president to be a nce to prove that he is not the committed
From tax reform to election reform, Civitas has been on the front line of the fight. OUR ABILITY TO HAVE AN IMPACT IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO THE SUPPORT WE GET FROM YOU. To help keep you informed, we are producing this first public annual report on did in NC, there are several tas polled throughout what Civitas does and how we do it. mber post-election poll rcent, while 66 percent Civitas was started with generous support from the John William Pope was already in a good Foundation (John William Pope was also Civitas’ namesake) and we have cally exchange leadership relied on the foundation for much of our support. Over the last several ocratic base, it is only e sweeping in North Carolina. years Civitas has seen our funding base grow among individuals and other party affiliation. They were foundations. While the Pope Foundation support has decreased by of them advertised on paid ent takeovers of health care; a third, our support from other sources has increased dramatically. tive issues that I, and most te and local level, ads were “Public” donations and grants (not Pope Foundation-related) made ponents supporting illegal FRANCIS X. DE LUCA up 27.8 percent of our funding in FY 2013. This is up from 4.9 percent in 2010. on which conservatives Executive Director, Civitas Institute To give just one example, this increased support has allowed us to comal taxes — all soundly or as they like to say, progressive) agenda, mission an academic study showing the benefits of eliminating income North Carolinians are still conservative. They rced. Oh and government, don’t even think taxes in North Carolina. While income tax elimination did not happen, our work did help propel tax reform legislation that resulted in the largest o longer just one day) voting and see the ard part; we must watch what the winners cut in income taxes in the country and the first major tax overhaul in our ative platforms: lower taxes, more efficient e voters, to hold our elected representatives state since the Great Depression. Although both the personal and corporate gning. income taxes are on their way down, there is still more to do. cess of $1.6 billion and it may get worse wing a state budget faster than the rate of While doing this landmark work on taxes, your generous support allowed us , they spent every dime and then some. ties and counties have to rein in spending to continue doing a myriad of other projects including: our regular public opinayer dollars. But they will only be accountable ion polling, researching and writing about the numerous flaws in our election h on campaign promises, follow Ronald , make them feel the heat.” system, and bringing in experts to discuss improving education in our state. aleigh. When the legislature is in town, it is man’s life, liberty, and property are in danger While our IRS documents are public and our work is always published – this is a first attempt at telling some of our story in one place. Let me vering the legislature and state government tate government is doing to and for North know what you think. ome of the individuals and issues that will be
ers — thank you from Civitas for a great 2008.
JANUARY 2009 • CIVITAS REVIEW •
CI V I TAS I NST I T U T E
Francis X. De Luca President
Civitas Applauds Landmark Session The 2013 legislative session was one of the most significant in North Carolina history.
Laws passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory instituted conservative reforms that the Civitas Institute has long championed. Among the most important:
Personal and corporate tax rates were reduced, and taxes would be cut by more than $2.4 billion over five years.
Voter Photo ID:
Voters will need to present a photo ID at the 2016 elections.
The new law eliminates Same Day Registration, straight party voting and taxpayer-funded campaigns; standardized early voting; bans pre-registration by 16- and 17-year-olds; made the first change in contribution limits in 10 years; and in other ways modernized the stateâ€™s election system.
The Racial Justice Act: The misnamed law was repealed.
Two new voucher programs were created; other reforms will facilitate the growth of charter schools.
Public School Reform:
Ending teacher tenure and pay differential and adding merit pay will focus incentives on teachersâ€™ performance.
Exposing the Left Civitas Probes State Board of Elections
Among the Civitas Institute’s success stories have been its investigations exposing the connections among liberal groups, and how liberals collaborate in influencing state policy – some while feathering their own nests. This year one of our most important investigations is of how outsiders manipulated the NC State Board of Elections (SBOE) to further their own agendas. At the heart of this stealth campaign was Bob Hall, a registered lobbyist and head of the liberal group Democracy North Carolina. He and allies on the Left turned our election legislation, policies and state bureaucracy into one of the nation’s most vulnerable and dysfunctional system of voting laws and decisions. These actions even included the drafting of materials paid for by taxpayers, legislative lobbying, and media campaigns for their liberal agenda. In addition, critical decisions affecting elections were kept out of public view and were not taken to the elected board for review and approval.
Obama for America Draft Committee
Obama 2012 Re-election Campaign Committee Peter Allen Verafirma
Jude Barry Catapult Strategies Allpoint Voter
Deer Creek Foundation
Gary Bartlett NC SBOE Pew Center on the States SBOE Staff Don Wright NC SBOE
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When we requested emails between Hall and the SBOE staff they tried to stonewall us. Eventually, they turned over 5,000-plus emails covering roughly a nine-year period. It’s no wonder the agency dragged its feet on our request. The emails show that: • Hall had more influence on election law and policy than anyone else in the state, to the extent that it is hard to tell where the SBOE ends and Democracy NC begins. • Hall even led SBOE staff in mapping out partisan attacks on Republican legislators. • SBOE staff subverted state law to facilitate illegal online voter registration in North Carolina by the 2012 Barack Obama campaign. • Hall controlled and directed the North Carolina Public Campaign Fund Program, the vehicle for public campaign financing in the Tar Heel State. In June, Civitas President Francis De Luca delivered letters and documentation to the North Carolina Attorney General, the State Auditor, the Secretary of State and the Chairman of the State Board of Elections calling for an investigation of the activities of Bob Hall and past and present staff of the State Board of Elections. As of press time, none has indicated a willingness to investigate. Civitas will continue to press for state government to investigate these attempts to subvert the heart of our democracy – the integrity of the ballot box.
Obama 2008 Campaign Committee
Bob Hall Publicly Financed Voter Guides
Blueprint NC Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation NC Voters for Clean Elections
NC Center for Voter Education A N N UA L R E P O R T 2 013
Polling & Events
Civitas Polls Provide Vital Information to NC Leaders and Citizens Our monthly Civitas Polls are the only regular, livecaller polls of registered North Carolina voters. In the last year more than two dozen Civitas Polls and Flash Polls provided the latest information on votersâ€™ opinions, attracting national notice from publications such as The Washington Post and the Huffington Post.
Our August poll was of unaffiliated voters only. Among the findings: Do you support or oppose exploring for oil and natural gas on land and off the coast of North Carolina? 56% Support 36% Oppose
Do you support or oppose the death penalty for those who are found guilty of first-degree murder? 61% Support 33% Oppose
Do you support or oppose the new election law that requires voters to show a valid photo ID before casting their ballot? 64% Support 34% Oppose We have also continued to update our methods for the contemporary scene. For example, in the above poll of unaffiliated voters, 25 percent of those polled were cellphone-only users. That poll showed that this vital and growing bloc of voters support many key conservative ideas. (key results above)
CI V I TAS I NST I T U T E
590 Total Attendees 49 Average Event Attendees
Civitas works throughout the year to bring our message to people across North Carolina and the nation. Our events ranged from our Free Market Academy sessions to poll presentations. Among the highlights:
In March, our Conservative Leadership Conference featured Heritage Foundation President and former Sen. Jim DeMint, commentator Michelle Malkin (with microphone), U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, legislative leaders, and many other elected officials, policy experts and influential journalists.
The Sept. 18 “Lunch and Learn: School Choice – the Road Ahead,” sponsored by Civitas and the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, brought education experts and lawmakers together to survey the school choice debate today.
Famed economist Arthur Laffer explained the case for lower income taxes at a February training session for legislators.
To make the case for tax reform, Wall Street Journal editorial board member and writer Stephen Moore (center) spoke at a special reception in May.
A N N UA L R E P O R T 2 013
Media & Web
We continue to reach more and more people though new media.
Civitas has succeeded in expanding our impact through our own online vehicles, including emails, Twitter, Facebook, and the Civitas website â€“ www.nccivitas.org. And as the means of communication change, Civitas will continue to advance our ability to reach people across North Carolina.
in total visitors
The Washington Post named our Civitas Review blog one of the best state-based political blogs.
CI V I TAS I NST I T U T E
Website Views 8
26,816 Page Reach 888 Twitter Average Talking About
2,931 Followers 3,542 Tweets
For the second year in a row, Civitas scored more than 1,000 media hits. That is a significant accomplishment in a rapidly changing industry. Meanwhile, our own publications reach thousands of North Carolinians every year. No matter what happens in the media, we will continue to tell the state about the benefits of freedom and free enterprise.
89 Hits Per Month
Web 40% Radio: 218
Television 10% Radio 21%
Civitas Capitol Connection
in total subscribers
Thousands of people across NC have signed up as regular subscribers for the monthly newspaper. A N N UA L R E P O R T 2 013
The Civitas Institute is funded by contributions from individuals and organizations, and income from events. Thanks to continuing fundraising efforts and successful events, we have increased our income in each of the last three years.
Events & Other
Operating Expenses Program Management/ General Development
Since its inception in 2005, Civitas has relied heavily upon the generosity of the John W. Pope Foundation. In recent years, however, we have added support from other sources. Percentages of funding from sources other than the Pope Foundation: It should be noted that the 2012-2013 figures are a bit of an anomaly. Two grants expected for FY 2011-2012 were actually paid out in FY 2012-2013. Nevertheless, the trend is encouraging. Our plan is to continue expanding our fundraising so that the percentage of funding from sources aside from the Pope Foundation increases yearly.
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Future Opportunities While much was accomplished in 2013, there is still more to be done.
Following are some action items Civitas would like to see addressed in 2014:
The 2013 tax reform bill was a major step forward for North Carolina’s economy, but should not be the final step. Further tax reform issues that should be addressed include: eliminating franchise and privilege taxes, expanding the sales tax base, closing more loopholes and working toward income tax elimination.
The time is right to enact a sensible restraint on the growth rate of state spending, one that can rein in spending regardless of who is charge. A Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) would serve as such a restraint. A TABOR would create an annual cap on the growth rate of the state budget tied to a combination of inflation plus population growth. In order for the TABOR to be most effective, it would be best as an amendment to the state constitution.
Disappointingly, the legislature did not act to curb or eliminate taxpayer handouts to politically-connected corporations. Programs like the One North Carolina Fund and the Job Development Investment Grant continue to receive tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Such crony capitalist schemes should be terminated and the savings used to drive down tax rates. State government should not be in the business of granting financial favors to a select few companies at the expense of everyone else.
Teacher Salary Schedule:
North Carolina’s teacher salary schedule needs to be rewritten to tie salary to educational performance and to provide local officials with the resources and flexibility to address the needs of local teachers.
Common Core Assessments:
Student scores on state assessments will dominate much of the discussion on public education. We should use the opportunity to set high standards and to expose a myriad of implementation problems.
• Pass legislation to require proof of citizenship before a person can register to vote. It is imperative that only qualified citizens are allowed to vote. Now that voter photo ID has been signed into law, it’s time to take the next logical step and require verification of citizenship. • Make judicial races partisan again. The people of North Carolina deserve to know this very important piece of information about all the candidates on their ballot.
To Our Friends Dear Friends, Thank you. After two years at the Civitas Institute, I continue to be humbled and amazed by your profound generosity. It takes a special kind of person to see beyond his own present situation to consider the North Carolina that future generations will inherit and to invest in an idea â€“ to invest in freedom. Your commitment to freedom is the reason for our existence. Your vision of a prosperous North Carolina is our driving force. We owe all our success to you and your support. Thank you. This Annual Report shows the fruits of our labor in the fight for free enterprise and limited government. This year, among other things, our research and educational efforts supplied the intellectual firepower for some of the most important conservative advances to become law in any state, including tax reform, photo voter ID and election reform, more school choice, repeal of the misnamed Racial Justice Act and much more. I am very proud of the work we have done this year, and proud to show you the impact of your partnership. But the fight is not over! Before many of these reforms even passed the legislature, left-wing groups gathered in protest and the liberal media across the state and nation smeared what we have accomplished together. Protecting our successes will be a major task in itself next year but I know we can fulfill the mandate of liberty with you behind us. While the politicians go home at the end of the session, we are working for you every day. And we will not rest until North Carolina is once again an island of freedom and prosperity with an informed and engaged electorate, and a government that fears its people. You make our work possible. For that you have not only our deepest gratitude, but also our solemn pledge to keep fighting for the values we both hold so dear. Best Regards, Alexander Guin Director of Development
CI V I TAS I NST I T U T E
Francis X. De Luca
Robert L. Luddy
James I. Anthony Jr.
Dr. Robert Luebke
H. Kenneth Dickson Jr.
Director of Policy Senior Policy Analyst Election Policy Analyst
Director of Development
Director of Communications Graphic Design Specialist Policy Analyst
Chairman Member Member Member
100 S. Harrington St. Raleigh, NC 27603 web: nccivitas.org phone: 919.834.2099 fax: 919.834.2350