Under the Dome

Liberal nonprofit to Republican group: hands off our name

Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake County, discusses ongoing budget negotiations during a press conference at the N.C. General Assembly on Aug. 27, 2015 as House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland County, looks on.
Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake County, discusses ongoing budget negotiations during a press conference at the N.C. General Assembly on Aug. 27, 2015 as House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland County, looks on. cdowell@ncinsider.com

A political group aiming to help a Republican lawmaker apparently wants voters to know that he’s helped make North Carolina strong.

There’s just one problem with its plans to label itself “NC Strong:” someone else is calling dibs on the name.

Real Facts NC, a left-leaning nonprofit news aggregator, is disavowing an independent effort to help re-elect Republican state Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary – a group that called itself “NC Strong” in a presentation.

Real Facts NC registered the NC Strong name with the NC Secretary of State on Feb. 12. Real Facts hasn’t developed firm plans for the group, said Daniel Gilligan, the group’s executive director. Gilligan said he learned about the other group’s intentions to use the name from a News & Observer story last week about campaign consultant Brad Crone, who’s working with the independent campaign. The state Democratic Party publicly condemned Crone, who has consulted for Democrats in the past, for being part of a “dark money” effort to help a Republican.

Real Facts’ NC Strong “is in no way affiliated with Mr. Crone, anyone listed in his presentation, or this legally questionable effort,” Gilligan said. “We are exploring appropriate legal action against the organizers of this effort to stop use of the NC Strong name.”

Crone, for his part, said he wasn’t aware of the group associated with Real Facts and will use a different name.

“Our attorney is in the process of establishing a nonprofit and we will have an appropriate name for the committee once the legal paperwork is completed and filed with the IRS,” Crone said in an email last week.

Paul A. Specht: 919-829-4870, @AndySpecht

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