Wealthy Republican donors have been lining up to contribute to an ad campaign for Pat McCrory in amounts far in excess of normal $4,000 contribution limits and it's all perfectly legal. Last week the Republican Governor's Association reported spending on an anti-Perdue ad and reported contributions to the RGA NC 2008 PAC of $616,500 from 23 wealthy donors, an average contribution of $26,804 per person.
Receipts reported last week but actually received on various dates in May through July come from all over the country including New York hedge fund manager Cliff Asness* $25,000, Texas Christian weight loss business owner Gary Heavin* $50,000, Illinois financier and political patron Ron Gidwitz* $25,000, Mississippi millionaire James Barksdale*, former Netscape CEO, $100,000, Georgia car hauler manufacturer Mike Cottrell *$25,000, Illinois investment banker Bruce Rauner* $25,000, Minnesota broadcaster Stanley Hubbard* $10,000, Colorado brewery owner and right-wing funder Pete Coors* $25,000, New York businessman Philip Geier* $25,000, Maryland policy adviser and businessman Dan Crippen* $25,000, Florida auto dealer Wilfred Templeton $25,000, California investment manager William Powers $10,000 and Texas computer billionaire Michael Dell $50,000, California businessman, former Giants owner, Peter McGowan $25,000, Georgia businessman, American Protein owner, Thomas Bagwell, $25,000, North Carolina Martin Marietta executive Stephen Zelnack $10,000.
The report also shows $28,442.50 paid to a production company for an ad directed at Beverly Perdue. Names marked with an asterisk* were previously reported to the SBOE as contributions to RGA NC 2008 PAC while others listed are new. It's still not clear if individual donors knew they were contributing to the NC independent expenditure committee. The only hint on the RGA donation website is a small disclaimer that "Contributions to the RGA may be used in one of the RGA's affiliated state PACs." The News & Observer has reported that the RGA plans to spend $3.5 million for ads supporting McCrory
Looks like Michael Dell isn't happy with the $300 million in tax incentives he got from North Carolina.
Update: The same contributions of Asness, Barksdale, Coors, Cottrell, Crippen, Geier, Gidwitz, Heavin, Hubbard, and Rauner were also reported to the IRS as contributions to the Republican Governors Association. It is clear that the RGA is cherry picking individual contributions to the RGA and assigning them to the RGA NC 2008 PAC. This has not been reported to the IRS and the transfer from RGA to the RGA NC 2008 PAC has not been fully reported to the State Board of Elections.