-May 13, 2013-
3:00 -- BREAKING NEWS: A Philadelphia jury convicts abortionist Kermit Gosnell on three counts of First Dgree Murder. Plus, the latest on the Asheville water lawsuit.
4:00 -- The Mayor of Asheville says she never got a written $57 million proposal from the Metropolitan Sewerage District. Except she actually did.
5:00 -- The IRS is trouble for targeting Tea Party groups starting back in 2010.
-May 14, 2013-
3:00 -- Buncombe County Commissioners really, really, really care about what you think about their proposal to give $18 million to an un-named business. But they say we'll be happy!
4:00 -- WLOS has a story on how the Buncombe County School district has a history of not getting the required permits for work.
5:00 -- More on the WLOS story. Plus, Scott Hamilton, President & CEO of AdvantageWest, joins us to talk about a bill in the NC Senate that would strip the organization of $1 million in state funding.
-May 15, 2013-
3:00 -- Dr. Terry Stoops joins us to talk about a Henderson County classroom exam that used a partisan editorial to teach English to 4th graders. Plus, dissention at AB Tech over the new building.
4:00 -- Jake Frankel from Mountain Xpress drop by to chat about the latest edition on news stands today.
5:00 -- Jane Bilello, Chairman of the Asheville Tea Party, joins us to talk about how her group may have been targeted by the IRS in a national campaign of intimidation.
-May 16, 2013-
3:00 -- Scandalamnia! IRS, Benghazi, and the AP phone records - has President Obama stopped the political bleeding?
4:00 -- More Scandalmania.
4:30 -- NC State Treasurer Janet Cowell drops by the studio to chat about unclaimed property you might have, plus will the City of Asheville see a downgrade of its bond rating if the water system gets merged into MSD?
5:00 -- Scandalmania! Plus trivia.
-May 17, 2013-
3:00 -- As Pete predicted it took a year for John Edwards to kick off his "comeback" tour. Plus, Jeff Greiner, Gerald Kummerlow and Simone Seitz join us to about an upcoming Zipline event to raise money for a local autism agency. Details are here.
4:00 -- Protesters rally for education. Pete suggests stop crying about funding until schools quit wasting money, like the "sweet" deal given to outgoing Asheville City Schools Superintendent Allen Johnson. Then, more on the Buncombe Co. Schools permit scandal.
5:00 -- More on the permits story. Plus, Susan Myrick from Civitas joins us to talk about the latest in a series of investigative reports looking at the incestuous relationship between the Board of Elections and the leftwing group Democracy NC.
In case you thought "talking points" was just a catch-phrase... it's not.
But rarely does the public get a peek behind the political veil like we're getting now. In a 38-page memo leaked to the media, North Carolina progressives lay out the poll-tested line of attack against their Republican opponents.
Read the entire memo here:
First, kudos to Jim Morrill over at the Charlotte Observer for getting this story. My suspicion is that someone on the memo distribution list is not so progressive as to be willing to destroy Gov. Pat McCrory, who enjoyed a lot of support among Democrats in Charlotte during his 14 years as Mayor. The fact that this memo went to Morrill leads me to assume that it came out of the Queen City political circuit.
A quick story about McCrory's appeal to Democrats...
About six years ago, a Charlotte Democratic activist was telling me how difficult it was educating voters during his door-knocking canvassing effort. He'd urge people to vote for the Democratic candidate for Mayor - NC Rep. Beverly Earle. He started suspecting that Pat McCrory would win easily because he kept hearing the same response: "But I like Pat McCrory. Are you sure he's not the Democrat?" These were black, female, Democratic voters. (McCrory won re-election easily.)
I have no idea who the source of the memo is, but my hunch is that a few Democrats in the Charlotte area are not too keen to see their own local priorities burn up with the McCrory effigy.
So, who wrote the memo? Where did it come from? According to WRAL:
According to documents included with the memo and interviews, the strategy outline was produced by Myers Research and Strategic Services for Project New America. It was originally provided to Progress North Carolina, a liberal nonprofit that has aggressively attacked McCrory during the 2012 campaign and his early term in office. Progress North Carolina shared the memo with Blueprint NC, a nonprofit that coordinates the activities of liberal-leaning nonprofits. In turn, Blueprint NC distributed it to its member organizations.
We get the government we deserve
It should be noted, the contents of the memo are certainly not a novel approach to politics. Talking points, messaging, and strategy are vital to the game. Why it's important, however, is that it should finally dispel the notion that there isn't a coordinated effort among the NC left to ridicule and personally attack GOP lawmakers in an effort to undermine their ability to govern. It will continue as long as it works.
And it has worked for a long time.
Over the past 5 years, anyone on the Right who has mentioned the name Saul Alinksy has been mocked. (Bill Mahr did a particularly profane and anti-intellectual bit.)
But the famous community organizer's "Power Theory" is on full display at the national level. President Obama, after all, taught the Power Theory in Chicago.
From Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals":
RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."
Thou doth protest too much
It should also be clear that Democratic criticism of the GOP in Washington for being obstructionist is hollow. Both parties play the same game. From the memo:
Policy wins for the political left, the memo said, would likely be defined as "mitigating" legislation, rather than pushing their own agenda items.
"The most effective way to mitigate the worst legislation is to weaken our opponents' ability to govern by crippling their leaders (McCrory, Tillis, Berger, etc...)" the memo reads, referring to the governor, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.
The memo goes on to describe a "potential two-year vision" during which the groups would "eviscerate the leadership and weaken their ability to govern."
Obstructionism as a tactic?! You don't say. Shocking.
Besides the close relationships between the NC Democratic Party and various progressive non-partisan groups, there is another angle to this story. Namely, the relationship between the Blueprint group and the media. Specifically, WRAL.
According to the conservative think tank, Civitas:
The WRAL reporter left out the very deep connections WRAL has with BlueprintNC through its owner Jim Goodmon, donations and former employees. The AJ Fletcher Foundation has given $35,000 to BlueprintNC and $380,000 to the NC Justice Center which initially housed BlueprintNC when it was formed (the foundations 990 IRS reports are not current so there may be more) . The Goodmon family which owns WRAL has 4 family members on the board of the Fletcher Foundation including Barbara the President and Jim the chairman of the board. The Executive Director was formerly the head of the NC center for Voter Education, one of the original members of BlueprintNC. In addition Chris Fitzsimon, former WRAL reporter, is head of the liberal NC Policy Watch, the original lead attack group in the Blueprint coalition. Fitzsimon is also provided free airtime on Goodmon owned WRAL-FM from which he launches daily attacks on political opponents. The Fletcher Foundation has been a long time funder of Policy Watch is now housed in the Justice Center.
Wral is also actually doing one of the items in the strategy memo. The memo on page 3 calls for tracking McCrory “Campaign Promises” and “slam him when he contradicts his promise.” WRAL appears to have taken that for action by launching their “Promise Tracker“, complete with cute little ”Skull & Crossbones” symbols.
One of the greatest smirkers of the memo, though, has little to do with politics at all. There was a disclaimer from Blueprint NC's Communications Director, Stephanie Bass, reminding readers that the document is "CONFIDENTIAL to Blueprint, so please be careful – share with your boards and appropriate staff, but not the whole world."