University of North Carolina explains how it circumvents lobbying rules to get federal research dollars

The sequester has made times tough for UNC’s research budget and the university can’t make political contributions — but its employees sure can (albeit without “explicit connection”)!

From the Daily Tar Heel’s “UNC-system lobbyists fight to preserve federal research money“:

…In the last few years, UNC-system lobbyists have spent significant time advocating for legislation on cancer research, veterans affairs and even a 2011 bill to save great apes.

The UNC system, unlike most lobbying operations, legally cannot donate money to those it lobbies. Ballou said this puts the system in a special role.

“Higher education is all too often an afterthought when legislation is drafted,” he said. “We view ourselves as primarily advocates and educators.”

While the system as a whole cannot contribute money, individual system employees often donate on the federal level, with no explicit connections to universities.

According to campaign finance data, UNC-CH employees and their families donated more than $80,000 to President Barack Obama’s campaign and more than $15,000 to that of U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C., in 2011-12….

2 thoughts on “University of North Carolina explains how it circumvents lobbying rules to get federal research dollars”

  1. Neat trick. But the important question is whether they’re getting their money’s worth. You generally get what you want with payola to an NGO, but paying off politicians might not pay back very reliably.

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