RALEIGH – Moving NC Forward is a dark money 501(c)(4) that lists among its leaders Kate Connelly, Gov. Roy Cooper’s finance director during his 2016 gubernatorial run, and promotes his policies. The group is hosting a fancy event at the Umstead Hotel in Cary Thursday night that is promising donors access to more than a dozen top officials from the Cooper administration, WRAL reports. On the agenda? Primarily access to powerful government shot-callers and the issue of medicaid expansion, long a goal of Democrats that want more government run healthcare.
“An email obtained by WRAL News lists no fewer than 15 key officials expected at an opening reception at the posh Umstead Hotel in Cary. That includes Cooper’s chief of staff, two deputy chiefs of staff, Cooper’s senior adviser, his general counsel, four cabinet secretaries, two deputy secretaries, the head of the Division of Motor Vehicles and the chairman of the state Board of Transportation.
On Friday, a fifth cabinet secretary will give a presentation on Medicaid expansion, and Cooper’s budget director will give an overview of the governor’s upcoming budget proposal and how expansion fits into it, invitations state. A presentation is also scheduled on polling results for Medicaid expansion, which is a top priority for the governor in the new legislative session.”
So it seems the administration is making a full push for Medicaid expansion and inviting interested parties to donate to the cause. Medicaid expansion was originally a part of the Obamacare implementation as a way to get more and more people on the dole. In the case of expansion it would add about 600,000 able-bodied, working adults to Medicaid rolls.
So what does it cost to gain access to these officials?
More from WRAL:
The invitation doesn’t list suggested donation amounts, but past invitations have put them between $10,000 and $100,000.
The group ostensibly advocates not for Cooper, but for public policies that align with his agenda. It’s populated by prominent Democrats, and Kate Connelly, Cooper’s finance director during his 2016 gubernatorial run, is typically listed as the RSVP contact for group events.
Cooper’s spokesman has said in the past that the governor participates in Moving NC Forward events, but he doesn’t fundraise for the group.
“Administration leaders and staff are frequently invited to attend and participate in policy discussions,” spokesman Ford Porter said in an email Wednesday.[…]”
These ‘policy discussions’ are thinly veiled fundraisers for the issues a particular politician embodies, in this case Cooper. As such, while the ‘dark money’ nature of the organization ruffles the feathers of those who want money out of politics, the group and participating people should really be judged by the policies they advocate for.
The policies pushed by Moving Forward are unquestionably of the Big Government type. Medicaid expansion has been called for by Democrats ever since the offer was extended byt he federal government promising to pick up the tab for 90 percent of its costs.
Republicans and limited-government conservatives have resisted the offer, citing the ‘too good to be true’ nature of the deal. In fact, under the Medicaid expansion proposal, there is an expiration date to the feds picking up the costs. Katherine Restrepo, a healthcare policy analyst at the John Locke Foundation, estimated that the expansion would cost North Carolina taxpayers an extra $6 billion between 2020 and 2030.
Not to mention that fact that when the feds promise to pay for the initial costs, it merely means that federal taxpayers are paying. Democrats often parrot the talking point that it’s essentially free money, but we in North Carolina are indeed federal taxpayers. It’s a distinction without a difference.
This is one of many reasons why Medicaid expansion is a bad idea, not least of which is the fact that it enlarges the welfare state and will add to the explosion of spending in years to come.
So here Cooper has his lieutenants going before a dark money group to call for more Big Government and offering them a chance to buy into it via donations. Great.
And it seems it is merely the kick off to Cooper’s 2020 reelection campaign:
“Separately, in a sign that the 2020 campaign season is not far away, Cooper’s gubernatorial campaign plans a fundraiser breakfast Tuesday. Invitations for that event, at a downtown Raleigh hotel, list top donation levels at $5,400, the new maximum this year that donors can give a single candidate per election.[…]”
Get ready for a renewed Medicaid expansion push by North Carolina Democrats, with Cooper leading the charge. Read the full list of attendees from the Cooper administration from WRAL here.