Raleigh, N.C. Ahead of tonight's televised gubernatorial debate on WRAL, Pat McCrory's campaign is drawing attention to the network's financial support of Roy Cooper's campaign.
Since Cooper's first bid for attorney general 16 years ago, WRAL's owner and family have contributed nearly $37,000 to Cooper's campaigns. During his campaign for governor, they have directly contributed $32,700 and even hosted fundraisers for Roy Cooper.
James Goodmon, the president and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Corporation, WRAL's parent company, is a max-out contributor to Roy Cooper's campaign. Goodmon and his family have contributed more than $32,700 to Cooper's campaign, and another $4,000 to Cooper's campaigns for attorney general. (Campaign finance reports, Cooper for North Carolina, North Carolina State Board of Elections)
As CBC's president and CEO, Goodmon has been directly involved in Cooper's campaign, co-hosting a private fundraiser for Cooper alongside his wife. (Cooper for North Carolina fundraiser, 6/9/2016)
Four members of the Goodmon family-including James Goodmon himself-sit on the board of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, a nonprofit that has contributed at least $1.7 million to liberal activist group Blueprint NC.
("About Fletcher Foundation," A.J. Fletcher
Foundation; "Francis De Luca, "Missing connection: "WRAL and Blueprint NC, $1.7 million in support," Civitas Institute
In a leaked 2013 memo detailing "legislative strategy," Blueprint NC outlined plans to attack Governor McCrory and state leadership in order to "weaken their ability to govern." (Memorandum: "North Carolina 2013 legislative strategy: Draft," Blueprint NC)
WRAL reported on the leaked memo and describes Blueprint NC as affiliating with "left-of-center" groups" on its list of nonprofits "shaping political conversation," but failed to list the A.J. Fletcher Foundation as one of them, or note WRAL's connections to the organization. (Mark Binker, "Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders," WRAL, 2/21/2013; "Profiles: NC policy groups shaping political conversation," WRAL)
The Goodmons have contributed another $22,000 to other Democrats this election cycle, including Deborah Ross and Hillary Clinton. (Center for Responsive Politics)
WRAL isn't the only news organization contributing to Democrats. The Center for Public Integrity found that of the $396,000 members of the media contributed to the campaigns of the two presidential candidates:
- "Eviscerate the leadership and weaken their ability to govern." (Memorandum: "North Carolina 2013 legislative strategy: Draft," Blueprint NC)
- "Pressure McCrory at every public event." (Memorandum: "North Carolina 2013 legislative strategy: Draft," Blueprint NC)
- "Crippling their leaders (McCrory, Tillis, Berger etc.)." (Memorandum: "North Carolina 2013 legislative strategy: Draft," Blueprint NC)
(Dave Levinthal, "Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash," The Center for Public Integrity,10/17/2016)
- "Nearly all of that money-more than 96 percent-has benefited [Hillary] Clinton: About 430 people who work in journalism have, through August, combined to give about $382,000 to the Democratic nominee, the Center for Public Integrity's analysis concludes."
- Contact: The Pat McCrory Committee