Is conservative businessman Bob Luddy pulling the string behind the new Wake County school board majority?
That's a possibility raised in a Wednesday column by Chris Fitzsimon, executive director of the liberal N.C. Policy Watch. Fitzsimon, who's no fan of the new board, notes that Luddy gave a lot of money to the new members.
"Though Tuesday’s meeting was not nearly as carefully orchestrated as the one two weeks ago, it’s still hard to believe the new board is operating on its own," Fitzsimon writes. "It’s far more likely they’re getting help, if not direction from folks like businessman and Locke Foundation board member Bob Luddy, who was the largest individual campaign contributor to the new board members."
Fitzsimon goes on to say that school board chairman Ron Margiotta is on the board of one of Luddy's Thales Academy schools. He also mentions Margiotta's ties with Called2Action, a conservative Christian group.
"And it’s not hard to see the influence of Art Pope and the groups he funds on the new board’s operations," Fitzsimon writes.
In the column, he says that Chris Farr of the conservative Americans for Prosperity is the wife of attorney Thomas Farr, whom the board wants to hire. She's his ex-wife.