McCrory affinity group going on the air
Posted September 7, 2013
Updated September 10, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A nonprofit group founded to support Gov. Pat McCrory has bought ad time in the Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte markets, according to public disclosures filed with the FCC.
The Renew North Carolina Foundation, originally created as The Foundation for North Carolina, held inaugural events for the governor in January and this spring hosted South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for a fundraising event in Greensboro. Tickets for both days of the Greensboro event cost $10,000.
It appears the foundation is ready to put some of that money to work.
When political groups buy time on broadcast television stations, those stations must disclose those buys through the Federal Communications Commission. FCC files show that Renew North Carolina has purchased at least $166,000 worth of ad time in the state's three largest television markets. A separate disclosure indicates the group may have also bought time on cable television, but it's unclear what that amount might be.
The disclosures do not describe the 60-second spot or indicate what its topic might be. The ad buys do show it is scheduled to run through September. The first ads are scheduled to begin running on Monday morning.
Late last year, founders of the group said the foundation would be a booster organization for the governor and help push his ideas before the public. Foundation president Bob Singer, a Greensboro lawyer, chairman John Lassiter, a long-time friend of McCrory and chairman of the state Economic Development Board, and Jack Hawke, one of the group's founders who was a consultant to McCrory, could not immediately be reached Saturday.
However, it's not hard to imagine the group might see a need to buck-up McCrory's image after at least one poll indicated his approval rating was slipping. McCrory had what any politician might consider a rough week last week as the state legislature, controlled by fellow Republicans, voted to override two of his vetoes, his Department of Health and Human Services has come under renewed scrutiny for hefty contracts given to political allies and the governor angered at least some constituents in the state's furniture heartland.
McCrory isn't up for re-election until 2016, although Democrats are already making rumblings about taking him on. As a 501(c)4 group, the foundation is not allowed to coordinate its activities with the governor's campaign or work at his direction. However, given that its directors are long-time McCrory allies, its unlikely the groups would put something on the air that doesn't meet with McCrory's approval.