RALEIGH – Last week WRAL reported that the North Carolina Republican Party, and specifically the Thom Tillis campaign, used foreign workers in the Old North State as part of their contracts with data analytics company Cambridge Analytica.
Now the NCGOP is refuting the claims, emphasizing that they have no way of knowing who select contractors hire to perform work during campaign season, and asking WRAL to have the reporting reviewed for journalistic integrity due to the disputed nature of the allegations.
“The North Carolina Republican Party has expressed concerns and disputed multiple aspects of the recent WRAL story– in fact, context, omission, and journalistic practice. NCGOP leaders have spoken with WRAL management on these matters, which resulted in one critical change to the original story. However, we still dispute many aspects of the article. We believe the overuse of anonymous sources and heavy reliance on other media outlets (that may have also erred in their reporting) violates standard journalistic practices and ethics.
We have asked the management at WRAL to jointly support efforts to have this piece reviewed by independent experts in the area of journalism ethics, including the two leading organizations considered the “gold standard” in this area, the Poynter Institute and the Columbia Journalism Review. We have not received a final answer as to whether WRAL will join us in this effort.
Below are the facts about the NCGOP and this matter:
- The North Carolina Republican Party did NOT employ foreign workers. This can be verified by the public records available through FEC and the State Board of Elections reports. The people we hire and pay is a matter of public record.
- We do not know who our vendors hire to work for them, and we don’t have any control over it. Nor would it be illegal or unethical if a vendor hired some 22-year-old NC State College student, who is a Canadian citizen. We also don’t know the nationalites of other vendor’s employees, including WRAL/Capital Broadcasting.
- If someone else hired non-US citizens, we would have no way of knowing, and if they did, it would be lawful, because they didn’t make any decisions about our multiple campaign efforts. They would not be in a decision-making role. They provided data analytics and research for the direct mail program. Some of which was accepted, some of which was rejected, and all aggregated with data from other sources.
- We don’t have any plans to work with Cambridge Analytics, and we haven’t in four years. One of the reasons is because the Republican National Committee data is so good, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper.
- We don’t rely on any single-source data provider. If one company were to have bad data, then you would need additional company data to balance it out and correct the problem. In 2014, the NCGOP used I-360, RNC data, Cambridge, and voter records from the North Carolina Board of Elections – all of which goes into an aggregate data file that we control and decide what to do with.
- The party has not, did not, and will not coordinate with any third-party in any unlawful way. Hiring a vendor that also has other clients is not unusual, not unethical, and is common practice throughout politics.”
While the Left seems to think they hit a gold mine with the Cambridge Analytica controversy, the more facts that come out, the more the damning nature of the Left’s accusations fall apart into more of an under-the-hood look at routine political operations.
Thom Tillis has too many legitimate reasons to be drummed out of Washington, D.C., and the NCGOP likewise has much improving to do with the conservative base, but the Cambridge Analytica issue is seems like a ‘nothing-burger’ that will reveal itself as such over time.