The Influential Appointment of Dark Money Group Founder’s Daughter in North Carolina Governor’s Office Raises Questions

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The daughter of the man behind a dark money group supporting North Carolina Democratic Governor Roy Cooper was hired into an influential role just weeks after Cooper took office.

Tom Hendrickson is the main figure behind the dark money 501(c)4 non-profit called “Moving NC Forward.” The group was first reported on by WRAL for promising ‘access to Cooper and his staff’.

Tom Hendrickson, Stella Adams, and Jewell Wilson are the trio listed on most of the documents on file with the North Carolina Secretary of state. All three are high level, long-time NC Democratic Party donors.

Kathryn Hendrickson (pictured, left), daughter of Tom Hendrickson (pictured with Kathryn, above), was hired to the influential post of Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions under the Office of Governor Roy Cooper.

Prior to being hired at Boards and Commissions, Kathryn Hendrickson worked for the Governor-Elect Transition Office as a ‘transition aide’, the Hillary for America campaign, and her father’s business, Lookout Ventures, Inc.

Hendrickson was hired on January 23, 2017, at an annual rate of $46,000 and received a $920 legislative increase in August 2018.

According to her LinkedIn bio, her current position of Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions ‘identifies and vets qualified individuals’ to serve on various boards.

Duties also include prioritizing “upcoming appointments and current vacancies based on impending board votes, the recommendation of Cabinet Secretaries & stakeholders, and the general political climate of each board.”

Both of Hendrickson’s parents, Jill and Tom Hendrickson, have been appointed to multiple boards while she has been Deputy Director.

Jill Hendrickson was appointed to the Tryon Place Commission on November 30, 2017.

On December 12, 2017, Governor Cooper appointed Tom Hendrickson to the Global Transpark Authority.

Tom Hendrickson would also be appointed by Cooper to the Marine Fisheries Commission on August 1, 2018.

Furthermore, Tom Hendrickson is a Cooper donor, giving Cooper’s 2016 campaign the maximum donation of $5,100. Since 2000, Tom Hendrickson has donated $15,100 to the election campaigns of Roy Cooper.

Hendrickson’s dark money group, Moving NC Forward, was set up by Perkins Coie attorney Jonathan Berkon.

Berkon is currently representing Democrat Dan McCready in the NC-09 case alongside Democrat fixer and former Hillary Clinton campaign attorney, Marc Elias.

Moving NC Forward has direct links to Roy Cooper’s 2016 campaign.

Organizational statements for the dark money group list the employment of Kate Connelly, the former finance director for Cooper for NC.

According to records filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State, Moving NC Forward shares the same address as Nexus Strategies, which is owned and run by former North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman, Scott Falmlen.

Falmlen also worked for Cooper as his campaign treasurer when he was attorney general and later again as Cooper for NC’s custodian of books.

The financial filing document lists Tom Hendrickson as President, Scott Falmlen as CAO/Audit Committee and Kate Connelly as Finance Committee Member

Kate Connelly and Scott Falmen are responsible for contribution distributions. Connelly is also in charge of fundraising solicitations via her business “Next Fund Consulting.”

New charitable solicitation application records filed in 2019 with the North Carolina Secretary of State show Moving NC Forward brought in nearly a million dollars.

Filings show that as of June 30, 2017, the group took in corporate/business grants of $897,000 and unrestricted contributions of $28,000 for a grand total of $925,000.

Expenditures totaled $751,326 and included $91,125 in professional fundraising fees, legal fees of $6,100, printing and publications fees of $272,086.

In addition, the group spent $44,405 on conferences and meetings and an additional $337,507 on “Other” expenses. Moving NC Forward also listed assets of $423,650.

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A.P. Dillon is the North Carolina Bureau Chief for The Tennesee Star and a reporter at Battleground State News. Follow A.P. Dillon on Twitter. Email Tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tom and Kathryn Hendrickson” by Tom Hendrickson. Background Photo “North Carolina Capital” by Chanilim714. CC BY-SA 3.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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