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How checkoff money was distributed may have helped Parker remain chairman in mid-2012 amid calls for him to resign by the party’s top elected officials for how he handled personnel matters at party headquarters. Some of Parker’s supporters distributed fliers at a contentious meeting suggesting his departure would open the door for elected state officials to “seize control” of the checkoff money.

The money “was used as a political football,” said Perry Woods, a Raleigh political consultant and critic of Parker.

The state Republican Party funneled their check-off funds to handle general operating expenses, said party Executive Director Todd Poole. While supporting the repeal, Poole said the loss of the money has presented fiscal challenges.

“The parties have relied on that money too much and maybe they’ve gotten lazy with their fundraising efforts,” he said. “We’re going to have to ramp it up.”

It may have seemed contradictory for the Libertarian Party, whose tenets promote pushing government out of most of its current activities, to accept the money, party spokesman Brian Irving said. Most of their check-off funds in 2012 went to help gubernatorial candidate Barbara Howe.

While the check off idea was flawed, Irving said, taxpayers at least “were making a donation to a cause they believe in.”