Protestors rally outside GOP fundraiser

GOP protestors
June 30, 2011 6:55:49 AM PDT
A dinner and fundraiser held by North Carolina Republican lawmakers in Raleigh Wednesday evening drew a crowd of demonstrators claiming a conflict of interest.

The demonstrators charged Republicans were selling their votes to corporations while legislators are on recess.

"Buy a seat, sell your soul," demonstrators chanted.

Demonstrators called it a "Pay to Play" fundraiser. The activists led by the North Carolina AFL-CIO said Republicans are putting the futures of workers, students, and the environment at stake to get the financial support of corporations.

"This fundraiser is being held while we still have legislation pending," said MaryBe McMillan, NC AFL-CIO. "So folks can come out here, pay money, and in a special session, they can come and say 'you know, we have this bill we want you to pass.'"

The demonstrators also expressed disappointment with the recently passed state budget.

"I want them to listen to us," demonstrator Khadijah Hasan said. "Give back to education, health care; allow all of our citizens to know that we are here, and that we want to be heard."

At the restaurant, Republican lawmakers joined supporters and lobbyists inside, but Representative Bill Brawley said everything at the event was legal and no one was selling anything.

"The Democrats have done these kinds of fundraisers for decades," Brawley said. "That is because they were in power, and so people would come and attend their events. The only difference between this and what has happened for years is the Republicans are in the majority."

Neither House Speaker Thom Tillis, nor the North Carolina Republican Party returned calls from ABC11 asking for more information on the fundraiser.

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