CHARLOTTE – Last month, Raleigh retailer and political activist Art Pope wrote an email to Republican members of the N.C. House of Representatives denouncing plans to fund the N.C. Innovation business promotion group.
The letter signaled dissension by Pope and other politically active conservatives and signatories, including CaptiveAire CEO Bob Luddy and former BB&T CEO John Allison. Then, House and Senate GOP leaders passed a 2-year state budget that included $500 million to launch NCInnovation.
On Thursday, House Rules Chair Bill Rabon filed an appointments bill that lists directors for a significant number of state boards and commissions. And Art Pope was nominated to the NCInnovation board. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the appointments this week.
Appointments bills typically draw limited debate, particularly with the GOP holding veto-proof majorities in both the House and Senate.
Former Truist Financial CEO Kelly King is the chair and key instigator of the N.C. Innovation project. The N.C.Senate initially favored spending $1.4 billion for NCInnovation before the amount was reduced.