NC-09: Mr. McCready and the company he keeps


You can often tell a lot about a person by looking at the people closest to them.  For instance, we know that Dan McCready was very cozy during the 2018 version of this race with some of the most radical leftists the nation has to offer.


But if you look at his private business, you’ll see that two of his closest advisors have a track record of sticking the “little people” with the bill in return for their own personal and political gain.


McCready is identified as the “co-founder” of Double Time Capital.   Here’s how Fortune magazine describes the firm:

[…] Strictly speaking, Double Time is not a venture capital firm. It typically invests in projects that are in the late stages of construction, but may not produce a profit for several more years.


However, solar farms typically take advantage of various state and federal tax credits to help with building costs. (North Carolina, for example, offered a 35% tax rebate for renewable energy projects until 2016. It has not been offered since, but Barcott says that does not affect its projects currently under way.)


As a result, says Ethan Zindler, head of policy analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, such funds typically need fairly sophisticated investors, who can make use of the tax credit while they wait for the solar farms to start making money. Investors are eventually rewarded because state utilities are required by law to purchase a percentage of their power from independent energy producers, including solar farms, usually through fixed multi-year contracts.{…]


*Nice, eh?*    Those state incentives and requirements are in place in no small part to the OODLES of cash rained down on Jones Street by solar lobbyists.


Speaking of those state utilities, let’s talk about Duke Energy.  The late Jim Rogers — who passed late last year — was a senior adviser to McCready and his company.   (McCready’s company was founded roughly one year after Rogers — a huge fan of investment in solar energy — retired from Duke.)


Rogers was a big player in bringing the Democrat National Convention to Charlotte in 2012:


[…] Duke Energy just forgave $10 in debt owed it by the Democratic National Committee related to the 2012 national convention in Charlotte.


Via The Charlotte Observer, Duke Energy won’t be repaid $10 million from DNC


Duke Energy won’t be repaid the $10 million line of credit it guaranteed for Charlotte to host last year’s Democratic National Convention, the company confirmed Thursday.As the credit line came due, Duke made official what it had signaled to shareholders in an earnings report last November. Because Duke can claim the money as a business expense for tax purposes, shareholders will foot $6 million of the cost. […]

And if the shareholders took the hit, the customers certainly did TOO.   Oh, and let’s not forget this part:


[…] Duke Energy has donated about 50,000 square feet of office space downtown for the convention staff to use as its headquarters. […]

Take a guess who paid for THAT.

Another interesting senior adviser to McCready’s business is Tom Darden — who heads up an investment group called Cherokee Investment Partners.  Let’s hop in Professor Peabody’s Way-back Machine for a trip back to the era of state treasurers Richard Moore and Janet Cowell:

The real estate investments in North Carolina’s pension fund lost about a third of their value last year; this was the worst loss among the categories of investments in the fund’s portfolio. Because information about specific real estate investments is not considered a public record, it’s impossible to know which investments brought down the pension fund’s value.


Overall, the $67 billion pension fund rose 15.08 percent in 2009, rebounding along with other investments in the broader markets. Stocks held by the fund bounced back by about 33 percent.


Real estate investments make up less than 5 percent of the fund’s portfolio. Their value at the end of 2009 was $3 billion.


About the only information state Treasurer Janet Cowell will release to explain the loss is a list of the fund managers as of Dec. 31, 2008, and the losses posted by each manager. No information is available from the treasurer’s office about the individual real estate investments made by those 39 fund managers. The managers received more than $65 million in management fees from the treasurer’s office in 2008.


“These real estate portfolio holdings are not considered public record,” said Heather Franco, a spokeswoman for Cowell.


Former state Treasurer Richard Moore got an advisory opinion from the state attorney general in 2006 concluding that records with information about the companies in which funds have made investments were trade secrets.[…]

Refresh my memory.  WHO was attorney general in 2006?  (Roy — something.)  MORE:


[…]North Carolina isn’t the only state with real estate investments that tanked. In California, the real estate investments of the pension system for state employees plunged by 47.5 percent, more than three times worse than the index for that fund.


But the California Public Employees’ Retirement System does release information about the properties its real estate managers invest in. Closer to home, South Carolina’s pension doesn’t make real estate investments.


One of North Carolina’s real estate investments that has tanked is a commitment to invest $100 million in Cherokee Investment Partners IV, a fund run by a Raleigh company. The state had invested less than $7 million in the fund by the end of 2008 but had paid out close to $1.5 million in management fees.


Cherokee Investment Partners, the parent company of the fund and another company North Carolina has invested in, is the subject of a federal probe in connection with failed golf and housing projects in New Jersey.


The New Jersey inspector general issued a report in 2008 finding that a company backed by one of the limited partnerships in North Carolina’s pension fund had mismanaged a project on a landfill site in Bergen County.


Thomas Darden, the CEO of Cherokee Investment Partners, contributed $1,000 to Moore in 2004. Darden did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. […]


Less than $7 million invested.  But $1.5 million in management fees paid out.  That’s state employee pension money, too.  (Hmmmm ….)

Aaaaaand, there was this:


[…] New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has organized a multistate investigation into corruption in pension funds.


North Carolina was part of a conference call of state AGs organized by Cuomo earlier this year, but a spokeswoman for North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper would not say if there is an investigation involving the North Carolina fund.


“In general, we’re pretty limited in what we can say about any multistate investigations,” said spokeswoman Noelle Talley.


Cherokee Investment Partners, the Raleigh parent company of two limited partnerships to which North Carolina has committed an investment of $150 million, is the subject of a federal probe in connection with failed golf and housing projects in New Jersey.


The New Jersey state inspector general issued a report last year finding that a company backed financially by one of the limited partnerships in North Carolina’s pension fund mismanaged a project on a landfill site in Bergen County.


“Cherokee is cooperating fully with the process,” said Thomas Darden, the CEO of Cherokee Investment Partners.


A former part-time contractor for the treasurer, Andrew Silton, also did work for Cherokee Investment Partners. Silton was the state’s chief investment officer before Gerrick.[…]