A Big Green Machine Tried to Flip NC Legislature

February 8, 2021

Our local political and policy ethos is plagued with conventional wisdom and false narratives.

One of the myths lingering around Raleigh is that renewable energy and environmental activist groups are serious, bipartisan do-gooders rising above the political fray in service to our planet. And that they spend equally supporting candidates on both sides of the aisle.

A comprehensive review of environmental political spending over the past four election cycles – and especially 2020 – tells a much different story. The environmentalists’ national dark money groups, big renewable energy companies and their executives, and an environmentalist billionaire went all-in last year to flip control of the legislature, protect Governor Cooper, fill the Council of State with Democrats, and strengthen the Democratic grip on the state court system.

Our initial findings show the Green community spent over $20 million to elect North Carolina Democrats in 2020. And every dollar they spent aided Democratic candidates, with one or two exceptions.

Of course, the truth is almost every Democrat the Green Machine backed in 2020 lost.

Reformers still control the legislature. Republicans swept open Council of State seats and Paul Newby is the new Chief Justice of a now closely-divided Supreme Court. They took a big swing and they missed, miserably.

So it’s no surprise the Green groups have worked hard since November 3rd to control the damage, telling media and state lawmakers their political programs were bipartisan. CPR will release detailed reports in the coming weeks and months tracking the web of dark money the Green alliance of groups deployed for Democrats, under the guise of environmental justice. Stay tuned.