Fact check: taxes, bankruptcy, amnesty in complaint against Sandy Smith

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Just days after in-person early voting began in North Carolina, tens of thousands of people are heading to the polls in the 2022 primary.

Just days after in-person early voting began in North Carolina, tens of thousands of people are heading to the polls in the 2022 primary.

N&O file photo

A recent advertisement aired in North Carolina states that Congressional candidate Sandy Smith supports an amnesty for immigrants who entered the United States illegally, failed to file financial disclosure forms, filed for bankruptcy, and failed to file financial disclosure forms with the US House Clerk .

The ad is funded by the Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee focused on winning a Republican majority in the US House of Representatives. While Smith fits that bill, the Congressional Leadership Fund was founded by former House Speaker John Boehner and supports moderate conservatives.

And Smith is a far-right Republican running in the race for the 1st congressional district who supports former President Donald Trump and attended the Jan. 6 rally in front of the Washington Monument. She is one of eight Republicans running for the primary in a district comprising 18 of North Carolina’s far northeast counties, now represented by retired US Rep. GK Butterfield.

The News & Observer reviewed the Congressional Leadership Fund ad to see if their allegations against Smith were true.

amnesty

Claim: “Millions of frontier workers who are defying our rules. They are lawbreakers, but politicians like Sandy Smith would reward them with amnesty.”

That’s wrong.

When Smith questioned Senator Thom Tillis’ term in office in 2020, amnesty was a key issue. Tillis has been accused of introducing an amnesty bill to help immigrants. though Politifact and McClatchy also found this claim false.

This led to Americans for Legal Immigration supporting PAC Smith for the US Senate via Tillis. The Political Action Committee also supported her bid for the 1st congressional district in that election, citing her “strong stance against illegal immigration and any form of amnesty for illegals.”

The Congressional Leadership Fund ad cites screenshots from Smith’s campaign website from 2019. The News & Observer reviewed archived screenshots from that period and found them to support sweeping immigration reform.

“Right now, taxpayers are being handed the bill,” Smith wrote on her website in April 2019. “Our broken system needs to be fixed.”

Some proposals for comprehensive immigration reform include a path to legal status for those illegally in the country, but Smith did not specify a proposal she favors.

In December 2019, Smith expanded her platform on immigration to say the United States needs to secure the country.

“I support President Trump’s border wall and strong border security and will work with Trump to complete the wall, end chain migration and resolve the border crisis.”

That remains their campaign platform.

Ethics Disclosures

Claim: Smith does not follow ethics rules by disclosing her financial interests.

True.

Smith has not submitted a financial report to the US House Clerk.

According to the House of Representatives Ethics Committee, Candidates must file a financial disclosure statement once their campaign has spent or raised more than $5,000. When Smith qualified as a candidate in 2021, she had until May 15 to submit one.

She never did.

bankruptcy

Claim: Sandy Smith went bankrupt and owed creditors thousands.

True.

Smith filed for bankruptcy in Washington state in December 2003 under the name Sandra Lee Auman, stating that he owed between $100,001 and $500,000, according to court filings.

Steer

Claim: Sandy Smith didn’t pay her taxes on time.

That’s right, in 2015.

The Pitt County Tax Department does not currently account for Smith’s outstanding tax payments.

But a 2015 bill in her husband’s name — at the same address Smith used in her 2019 federal election files — shows he owed $31.81 in interest. Back in North Carolina Property taxes were due in September, but interest accrued only if someone didn’t pay them by January 1st.

Smith paid the bill 15 days later.

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