Some questions about Lt. Governor Mark Robinson's foreign travel

Published November 22, 2023

By Capitol Broadcasting Company

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson speaks at NRA annual meetings in Texas. It comes days after 19 children and two adults were killed in a Texas school shooting.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson – who among other things has gained notoriety for a string of antisemitic remarks -- even questioning the reality of the death of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust – is traveling in Israel at the behest of the North Carolina Faith and Freedom Coalition, a Christian political group.

While we know, according to the sponsor of the trip, that taxpayer dollars aren’t being used (unless there’s any state-paid security or staff traveling with Robinson), we don’t know just WHO IS PAYING for Robinson and other state officials (state Sens. Brad Overcash, R-Gaston, and David Craven, R-Randolph).

The statement from the coalition says it has joined with the West Virginia Faith and Freedom coalition in organizing the trip, but there’s no reference to how it is being financed.

While it is worthy of note to determine whether tax dollars might be spent, is it just as important to know just who is paying for the North Carolina public officials’ travel. It is particularly crucial for the public to know since, at least as pertains to the lieutenant governor, this is both in his role as a state official AND in his capacity as a Republican candidate for governor.

In fact, it was Robinson’s campaign that announced his participation in the trip.

Some answers are needed from Robinson and the other state officials or employees on this trip.


Knowing who is paying for the trip can help people understand the potential motives behind the effort as well as who is helping Robinson’s campaign for governor.

Did the funders of the trip have any role in determining which public officials would be invited on the trip? Are they deciding what those on the trip will and will not see? Are they determining who they will or won’t talk to?

Why was Robinson invited on the trip, but seemingly not other Republican or Democratic candidates for governor?

How were they selected? (for example, why Robinson but not state Treasurer Dale Folwell, GOP candidate for governor Bill Graham or others.)

Knowing exactly who is paying for the trip (not the Coalition, but the specific funders of the effort) can help inform the public about the agenda, motives and expectations. Particularly when public officials travel at the costs of others, it is not a far-fetched concern to have questions about just how beholding the public officials might be to the funders.

These questions don’t arise out of any partisan bias slant but should be applied and asked when any public officials regardless of political affiliation, take part in or take advantage of such circumstances.

Robinson’s campaign – as well as state Sens. Overcash and Craven -- should disclose all these details and make sure they’re fully accounted for on campaign finance reports as well as official Statement of Economic Interest.

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