Progress NC Action Calls on Renew NC to Reimburse the State for Employees Time and Expenses
RALEIGH—Progress NC Action today called on Renew North Carolina, Gov. McCrory’s shadow campaign organization, to reimburse the state for the time and expenses spent by state employees to benefit Gov. McCrory’s reelection prospects. That includes travel expenses from the State Highway Patrol’s protection detail and the daily salary of State Budget Director Art Pope and Economic Advisor Tony Almeida who took part in policy discussions with anonymous donors during work hours today.
We don’t know how many state employees took part in the two-day Renew NC fundraiser at the Grandover Resort near Greensboro because Renew NC won’t release an agenda or any other information about their activities.
Leaders of Renew NC acknowledged in late 2012 that this “dark-money” vessel was created to support Gov. McCrory’s agenda, but the group’s real purpose appears to be propping up the Governor’s lagging poll numbers with hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign-style TV ads.
Because Renew NC’s donors enjoy no contribution limits and are not disclosed, the organization can easily become a vehicle to practice pay-to-play politics, and the public would not know it. This week’s fundraiser is set up as a policy retreat where corporate lobbyists, among others, can rub elbows with top McCrory administration officials.
“Renew NC should reimburse the state for any taxpayer money used to support Gov. McCrory’s reelection efforts,” said Gerrick Brenner of Progress NC Action. “Moreover, if Gov. McCrory’s shadow campaign really wants to ‘renew’ North Carolina they could start by scheduling a meeting between McCrory and working people who are struggling to find health care coverage because of his decision not to expand Medicaid, instead of selling access to corporate lobbyists.”