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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact: Communications@ncgop.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NCGOP Responds to WRAL's Cambridge Story


Raleigh, NC — 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.
     
  • On the larger matter of Cambridge, nothing they did for the NCGOP is even in question. It was all lawful and ethical. It did NOT violate Facebook's agreement (as best we are aware of) because Facebook did not change its terms of use until 2015, after the company had concluded its work for NCGOP. All the work and payments were for 2014, although one check was sent early in 2015 as the last payment for 2014 work.
     
  • 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.
 
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