The new conservative nonprofit organization that is picking up the tab for Gov.-elect Pat McCrory’s alt-inaugural bash next month is planning an active role in North Carolina politics.
And it is courting big-money donors in order to pull it off.
The Foundation for N.C. is planning a spring conference weekend retreat with the new governor in Pinehurst and a fall conference weekend at Bald Head Island with McCrory.
According to a solicitation obtained by Dome, the group is offering special memberships for $50,000 and $25,000 that come with tickets to those conferences, as well as to three inaugural events on Jan. 12: invitation-only cocktails and dinner with McCrory and his wife, Ann; a VIP reception that follows; and the main celebration at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Buying in at that level also provides contributors with tickets to share with their friends.
The foundation was formed shortly after McCrory’s election by his campaign strategist, Jack Hawke, and others: Jay Bryant (a media consultant and the husband of Wake GOP chairwoman Susan Bryant) of Raleigh; David Benford of Wilimington and Anna Mitchell of Zebulon.
The foundation will have a full-time director and staff, according to its filing with the state. As Hawke explained to The N&O last week, the plan is to conduct public policy research and publish its findings to further a goal of free-market reforms.
It will also make an annual award to entrepreneurs in North Carolina, according to state records.
Foundation organizers peeved some members of the Junior League of Raleigh by announcing the Jan. 12 party, which some saw as competition to the league’s annual inaugural ball the night before. The ball is the league’s major fundraiser for programs that benefit the community and state.
Update: Here's what the big bucks will buy: