A prominent left-wing foundation has pledged to give $50,000 to a task force created by Gov. Cooper.
The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the leading funder of left-wing causes in North Carolina and key player in the Blueprint NC coalition, recently announced their award to Cooper’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice.
Z. Smith was the primary backer of Blueprint NC, an unabashedly hyperpartisan organization, giving the group $2.1 million between 2009 and 2013 alone.
Cooper issued an executive order creating the task force on June 9. Chief among the task force’s listed duties is “to develop evidence-informed strategies and equitable policy solutions that address the structural impact of intentional and implicit racial bias while maintaining public safety,” and the group “shall submit a report to the Office of the Governor with recommendations on implementation.”
In other words, the task force will be highly influential in the development of criminal justice legislation.
Among the list of Cooper’s appointees is of course his close ally Attorney General Josh Stein and the controversial Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls, former head of the Blueprint NC member group Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Deborah Maxwell, president of the New Hanover NAACP and featured on our Mapping the Left site, is also on the task force.
According to the news account, “Funding from ZSR for this Task Force will support convening costs, facilitator costs and content experts in the areas of criminal justice reform and racial equity.”
When a foundation like Z. Smith Reynolds awards funds, it does so with a purpose in mind. Are they trying to buy influence with Cooper’s task force? What sort of radical leftist “content experts” will they be ‘suggesting’ to the task force?
In giving tens of thousands of dollars to a task force that will ultimately be crafting state policy, this certainly gives the appearance that the radical left mega-donor is trying to buy legislation.