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New conservative nonprofit plans conferences -- and big-money access

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.

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Inaugural events draw Avett Brothers, newly formed conservative nonprofit group


There are competing festivities during incoming governor Pat McCrory’s inaugural festivities next month.

In one corner is the Junior League of Raleigh, which has been hosting governor’s inaugural balls since 1933. This year they’ve lined up two days of activities to honor both the new governor and new members of the Council of State.

The Junior League just announced today that it has booked The Avett Brothers for the Friday night, Jan. 11, gala presentation at the Raleigh Convention Center. The Concord folk rock band has been nominated for a Grammy this year.

In the other corner is a new conservative nonprofit organization.

Judicial candidates to appear at Raleigh forum this week

The often-overlooked, but nonetheless important, judicial races on the November ballot will get a vetting Wednesday in Raleigh.

The Junior League of Raleigh will host a judicial panel featuring 17 candidate, including state Supreme Court contenders Paul Newby and Sam Ervin IV.

A bigger ball for new governors

A change at the top typically does wonders for the Junior League of Raleigh's inaugural celebrations, tax returns show.

Consider when Mike Easley was first elected governor: the Junior League cleared $695,000, Dan Kane reports. For his second term: roughly $185,000.

Junior League President Virginia Yopp said ticket sales so far suggest that Beverly Perdue's inauguration will continue the trend, one the league has tracked since it began holding the celebrations 76 years ago.

This inauguration is historic, since Perdue will become North Carolina's first female governor and the Council of State will include its first female state treasurer (Janet Cowell) and state auditor (Beth Wood).

"Of course this is very historic and we're very excited," Yopp said. "But every governor has been special to North Carolina."

The celebrations — which include two receptions, a rock concert, and a gala presentation followed by a ball — are a major fundraiser for the nonprofit Junior League.

Co-chairs named for inaugural ball

Four co-chairs have been named for the inaugural ball.

Paragon Commercial Bank vice president Virginia G. Parker, Rhonda Beatty, Carol Wagoner and Pat Wilkins will be in charge of the ball, hosted by the Junior League of Raleigh.

The ball will be held on Jan. 8-9 in Raleigh. It will honor Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue, Lt. Gov.-elect Walter Dalton and other members of the Council of State.

"I am especially excited to be serving in this capacity as we welcome North Carolina’s first woman governor and a Council of State composed of a female majority," Parker said in a statement.

The Junior League has hosted the inaugural ball since 1933, the only Junior League in the country to do so. More than 400 volunteers will contribute approximately 21,000 hours to plan the event.

Receptions, a "Rock the Ball" event for twentysomethings and galas are planned.

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