Contained within the FY 2020-21 spending plan released by Gov. Cooper this week is a section outlining how he’d like the state to spend nearly $1 billion of unspent federal Coronavirus Relief Funds.
One line item included at the end of his list caught our attention. Cooper would direct $5 million of the relief funds to a group named Reinvestment Partners to administer a program called “Hotel to Home.”
The program’s stated intent is to “acquire hotels for converting into permanent affordable housing after the public health crisis abates.”
This is interesting for two main reasons.
First, it seems a bit tone-deaf that Cooper wants to fund a program to acquire hotels likely put out of businesses due to his economic shutdown orders. “Sorry I killed your business, here’s some money so you can get out and we take over and convert the buildings into ‘affordable housing’.”
Secondly, and more concerning, is the recipient of the funds. Reinvestment Partners is featured in Civitas’ Mapping the Left website, which identifies the organization as “a founding member of Blueprint NC, the group that gained infamy with their strategy memo that directed their members to ‘eviscerate, mitigate, litigate, cogitate and agitate’ the state’s leadership in 2013.”
In other words, Cooper would send $5 million to an activist organization that helped spearhead political attacks against his opponent in the 2016 gubernatorial race.
The primary funder of Reinvestment Partners is the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, North Carolina’s biggest funder of left-wing activism and primary funder of Blueprint NC.
Sitting on the board at Reinvestment Partners is Michael De Los Santos, who is listed as director of operations at Action NC. The group Action NC was the front group of ACORN in North Carolina. ACORN was perhaps the nation’s largest radical left-wing community organizing group at the time it was disbanded in 2010 after revelations that ACORN workers had encouraged illegal actions.
I wrote a few weeks ago about Z. Smith Reynolds granting $50,000 to the Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice recently created by a Cooper executive order, a move that certainly gives the appearance of buying influence.
Is Cooper using taxpayer dollars to reward a radical left political ally?