by Brian Clarey
1. Roy Carroll, the Rhino Times
Campaign finance plays an increasing role in our coverage as we move towards election season. We’ll dive in with the local stuff in the weeks to come, but for now let’s take a look at elections past and those who shouldn’t have been funding them. Even before he resuscitated a dead Rhino, Roy Carroll was a big giver, with $2,600 to Thom Tillis for his Senate campaign in 2014, and $1,000 for the woman Tillis defeated, Kay Hagan, in 2012. That same year he donated a whopping $20,000 to the Mitt Romney Victory campaign. He also kicked in $5,300 to Trudy Wade’s last Senate election, according to followthemoney.org.
2. Charles Womack, Yes Weekly
Newspaper owners, we hold, should remain neutral in elections and party politics. Obviously Yes publisher Charles Womack disagrees — or did. His last big recorded donations were a $1,000 contribution to Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign and a $250 check for Mitt Romney in 2012. He also gave $500 to the Friends of Christine O’Donnell PAC and $100 to Trudy Wade’s first Senate campaign in 2010.
3. Warren Buffett, Greensboro News & Record and Winston-Salem Journal
Warren Buffet is pretty stingy by billionaire standards, with only a few hundred thousand given over to the political class this century. But that total includes an early donation — made in 2014 — to a Hillary Clinton PAC.
4. Brian Clarey, Triad City Beat
Here’s some easy math: I never gave nothin’ to nobody. For one, I’ve never been registered to either political party. For another, I don’t have any money. But even if I did, as a newspaper owner — and, more importantly, an editor — I feel that it isn’t my place to get involved in the circus that I’m covering in my pages.