Beware of gifts during election season

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 16, 2024

By Tony Yon

The Salisbury Post recently printed an article boasting the receipt of grants awarded to local groups from the Common Cause Education Fund to promote voter education. Mission House was given $25,000. Catawba College and Livingstone College were also given $20,000. In this current world of Bidenomics and increased costs, it sounds wonderful to receive grants to help educate people into becoming responsible citizens and encouraging them to vote.

The question becomes, have any of these organizations looked into the support behind Common Cause? According to the website Influence Watch, a project of Capital Research Center, Common Cause was founded in 1970 to create a “true citizens’ lobby” that would work to overcome special interest lobbying groups. Today, Common Cause continues to call its efforts nonpartisan, but its leadership are very much considered left of center politics, as well as supporters of the Democrat Party. The group has a long history of targeting Republicans instead of Democrats. “In practice, the group opposes Republican politicians, Republican-nominated judges, Republican-backed efforts to ensure the integrity of voter rolls, and generally, Republican redistricting efforts.” (

Since the year 2000, George Soros has given the group over $2million through his Open Society Foundations and another $600,000 through his Foundation to Promote Open Society.

Common Cause also receives funding from other anonymous sources considered “dark money,” as well as progressive labor unions.

As a community, do we need to encourage our citizens to become more active in their local politics? Absolutely. Should we be accepting biased funding to encourage this activity? No.

Parenthetically, I am not suggesting these organizations return the funds. The effects of Bidenomics has hit us all, from the individual family to the large institution. However, I do encourage Mission House, Catawba College and Livingstone College to be open and transparent with the people of Rowan County as to the spending of the monies, to ensure that the true intent of these grants — nonpartisan education — is occurring. I would hate to see these organizations have their motives questioned in a community that offers so much support.

Tony Yon is chairman of the Rowan County Republican Party.