A campaign finance watchdog says university boosters are big givers.
Bob Hall, president of Democracy North Carolina, announced today that two political action committees tied to trustees and boosters of UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State have given heavily to state legislators.
Citizens for Higher Education, which is tied to Tar Heel boosters, gave $485,000 in the 2007-08 election cycle and $425,000 in 2005-06. It was one of the five largest PAC contributors in the last election.
The University Development Coalition, which supports the Wolfpack, gave $100,500 in the last election.
According to Hall's research, 76 percent of the 170 legislators in office today have received contributions from one or both PAC, including Senate leader Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney, who each received $24,000.
Hall said the donations are of interest as the legislature considers whether to end a program that allows out-of-state athletes to pay in-state tuition rates at state colleges.
The program is estimated to cost about $10 million a year.