Under the Dome

Price of McCrory Cabinet? Dems say $2.5 million in donations

A Democratic group estimates that three major contributors either directly or indirectly gave $2.5 million to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's election bids and all ended up with top spots in his administration.

In a report released over the weekend from ProgressNC, a Democratic group, contrasts the large contributions with McCrory comments during the campaign that he intended to reform “the good-old-boy and good-old-girl patronage system of state government.''

The report is called “Price of Power: Cost of a McCrory Cabinet Post.''

The report focuses on Art Pope, a Raleigh retail executive and long-time GOP donor, who McCrory named as his budget director and Aldna Wos, his secretary of health and human services.

It says that that since McCrory became the GOP nominee for governor in May 2008, Pope and and his family have contributed $272,751 to McCrory and state Republican Party entities.

In addition, Pope's Variety Wholesalers gave $886,500 in corporate contributions to independent expenditure groups that spent money on McCrory's gubernatorial race such as Real Jobs, the Republican State Leadership Committee, and the Republican Governor's Association.

The report also says that Wos, a physician and former ambassador, was a major contributor and bundler to McCrory.

The report says Wos, her husband, and employees of their family company, New Breed Logistics in Greensboro, gave at least $241,497 to the McCrory cause. That includes at least a $25,000 corporate donations from New Breed to the Republican Governor's Association.

The report also notes that McCrory, who spent 29 years as a Duke Energy employee, has appointed three former Duke colleagues to his administration: Sharon Decker, commerce secretary; Neal Alexander, director of the office of state personnel; and Tony Almeida, the governor's top economic advisor.

The report said that Duke Energy corporation, PAC, employees and their families have donated at least $241,800 to McCrory's two gubernatorial campaigns and to the state Republican Party since he became the nominee.

Duke has also given $891,800 in corporate contributions to independent expenditure groups that have spent money on McCrory's behalf, , such as the Republican Governor's Association and the Republican State Leadership Committee. (Those groups also spent money on other candidates other than McCrory.)

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