A North Carolina executive is pouring his own money into trying to sway people in the GOP to take global warming seriously.
By Darren Goode
6/8/15 7:30 PM EDT Updated 6/8/15 10:21 PM EDT
A Republican entrepreneur is putting a whopping $175 million behind a campaign whose message will have some party stalwarts seeing red: The GOP needs to deal with climate change.
North Carolina businessman Jay Faison will launch a social media and online advertising blitz, backed by state and national digital advocacy efforts and a series of strategic grants, as part of a $165 million campaign run through the ClearPath Foundation. The aim is to get the Republican Party to shift its skeptical view of climate change and green energy, topics that usually fall to the bottom of its list of priorities when they don’t generate outright opposition among conservative voters.
In addition to his public education effort, Faison is putting an additional $10 million of his money into a separate political advocacy operation, using the same nonprofit tax status designation as groups like President Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action, Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and several tea party groups. He will also try to attract additional outside funds for that operation.
On Tuesday, Faison, who made a fortune from the sale of his Charlotte-based audio-visual equipment company SnapAV, will unveil the first stage of his ClearPath campaign, including spending $40 million through 2016 to persuade moderates and conservatives to join the fight against climate change — but relying on market-based principles rather than government mandates.