Politics & Government

University groups and businesses give to NC bond campaign

Groups allied with North Carolina universities and colleges as well as a handful of Charlotte companies are among the biggest donors to the state’s $2 billion bond campaign.

This week, Connect NC reported raising nearly $2 million, dwarfing the $2,000 raised by a group opposing the bonds.

The bond referendum, the state’s biggest in 15 years, is on Tuesday’s primary ballot. Backed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders, it would raise money for colleges, parks and other infrastructure projects.

The biggest single donor to the campaign: Cary’s James Goodnight, CEO of the SAS Institute. He gave $150,000.

Margaret Spellings, new president of the University of North Carolina system, gave $1,000.

Most of the money came from colleges and universities through affiliated foundations or nontaxpayer accounts.

The UNC Charlotte Foundation, for example, gave $90,000. The bonds would fund a new $90 million science building at the school.

N.C. State University kicked in $160,000 out of “institutional funds.” School officials say that’s private money from the school’s foundation and that no taxpayer or tuition dollars were used. N.C. State would get $75 million for a new engineering building and $85 million for a new Plant Science Building.

Several Charlotte companies also contributed, including:

▪ Spangler companies: $30,000.

▪ Duke Energy: $25,000.

▪ Bissell Cos.: $15,000.

▪ Piedmont Natural Gas: $10,000.

Jim Morrill: 704-358-5059, @jimmorrill