Under the Dome

Pat McCrory's closest transition advisors include big GOP donors, politicos

Pat McCrory's transition office released a list of top advisors consulting for the governor-elect as part of his working groups -- a list filled with prominent GOP donors and politicos.

Among the names: Bill Cobey, the former GOP chairman, is consulting on administrative matters; Fred Smith, a former state senator and developer, is consulting on environmental issues; and Les Merritt, a member of the state ethics board and former state auditor, is consulting on tax reform. (See full list below.)

The names are likely to reflect many that will work in McCrory's administration but don't represent all offering advice to the incoming Republican governor, the transition office acknowledged. Others are giving informal suggestions in conference calls and meetings but are not listed.

One glaring omission is the lack of leaders on two major topics McCrory promised to accomplish in the campaign: education and government transformation. A McCrory aide said the groups will commence after the Jobs and Economy team finishes their work, given their relation to each other.

A month ago the transition team told WRAL-TV that a list of officials on McCrory's working groups didn't exist yet. The transition office released a list of staff and group chairs to Dome on Thursday after a request.

Democratic activist Greg Flynn found a list of McCrory's purported environmental advisers (marked DENR v3.0) on a website for the Manufacturers and Chemical Industry Council of North Carolina, an industry group, but McCrory spokesman Chris Walker said it was only an earlier draft.

The list provided by the transition team:

Department of Administration: LaNica Allison (Policy Analyst); Bill Cobey, Raleigh (Volunteer Co-Chair); Lynda Blount, Bethel (Volunteer Co-Chair)

Department of Commerce: Tony Almeida (Director of Economic Development); Betsy Robeson (Policy Analyst); Bill Daughtridge, Rocky Mount (Volunteer Co-Chair); Joe Hallow, Charlotte (Volunteer Co-Chair); John Kane, Raleigh (Volunteer Co-Chair)

Department of Cultural Resources: Lindsey Morton (Policy Analyst); Blucher Ehringhaus, Charlotte (Volunteer Co-Chair); Susan Kluttz, Salisbury (Volunteer Co-Chair)

Department of Environment & Natural Resources: Tony Almeida (Director of Economic Development); Neal Robbins (Policy Analyst); Lyons Gray, Winston Salem (Volunteer Co-Chair); Ven Poole, Raleigh (Volunteer Co-Chair); Fred Smith, Clayton (Volunteer Co-Chair)

Department of Health & Human Services: Matthew McKillip (Deputy Policy Director); Dennis Barry, Greensboro (Volunteer Co-Chair); Pearl Burris-Floyd, Gastonia (Volunteer Co-Chair)

Department of Transportation: LaNica Allison (Policy Analyst); Lou Bissette, Asheville (Volunteer Co-Chair); Ned Currin, Charlotte (Volunteer Co-Chair); Tommy Harrelson, Southport (Volunteer Co-Chair)

Department of Revenue: Andy Lancaster (Policy Analyst); Linda Combs, Winston Salem (Volunteer Chair)


Information Systems: Neal Robbins (Policy Analyst); Wil Neuman, Gastonia (Volunteer Co-Chair); Gary Zukowski, Charlotte (Volunteer Co-Chair)

Budget: Lynn Muchmore (Budget Advisor); Jim Crawford, Oxford (Volunteer Chair)

Tax Reform and Modernization: Andy Lancaster (Policy Analyst); Dale Folwell, Winston Salem (Volunteer Co-Chair); David Hauser, Charlotte (Volunteer Co-Chair); Les Merritt, Raleigh (Volunteer Co-Chair)

Jobs and the Economy: Tony Almeida (Director of Economic Development); Betsy Robeson (Policy Analyst); Jack Cecil, Asheville (Volunteer Co-Chair); Harry Smith, Greenville (Volunteer Co-Chair); Steve Vanderwoude, Chapel Hill (Volunteer Co-Chair)

Public Safety Department" Lindsey Morton (Policy Analyst); Jim Pendergraph, Charlotte (Volunteer Co-Chair); William Dudley, Raleigh (Volunteer Co-Chair)


Education Reform: TBD *


Government Transformation: TBD *

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