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The Latest from The Lady
- #Scandalpalooza: Holder OK’d The Warrant For FOX Reporter’s Emails
- Obama’s Yemen Problem
- I Am Your Worst Nightmare
- When Liberals On Twitter Attack
- Sen. Kay Hagan (D-odge, NC)
- Ricin Letters Update: Dutschke Evaded the FBI
- NCGA House Passes Bill Banning Foreign Law
- #IRS Scandal: Obama Admin Knew In 2012; Possible Catalyst Letter In 2010
- DOJ Refuses Asylum to German Family Persecuted For Homeschooling
- NC Dem Meltdown Update: Now In Costume
Past Musings from The Lady
Tag Archives: WRAL
Sometimes a few tweets can bring serious matters into focus:
Paging @americavotes & #BlueprintNC partners. “Operation Destroy @myncsenate Budget” meeting @ 9 am. goo.gl/1Tb93 #ncga #ncpol
— RealLiberalHack(@LiberalHack) May 20, 2013
Hey, remember BluePrint NC and America Votes? Hey, look at all the crazy demonstrations going on downtown with all these groups that are buddies with BluePrint and America Votes. It’s all coincidence, I’m sure. It seems Twitter user @LiberalHack hasn’t forgotten and sent out this tweet this morning.
By the way, the link in the tweet goes here: AJ Fletcher Foundation. It’s the little details like that which matter. To explain a bit, the AJ Fletcher Foundation is founded and run by Jim Goodmon, the owner of Capital Broadcasting group who in turn runs local news outlet WRAL. The AJ Fletcher foundation gave a wad of cash to BluePrint NC (more below). This is the same WRAL who decided to start a ‘Promise Tracker’ on McCrory, but didn’t have the ‘technology’ do set one up for Bev Perdue:
Note: WRAL responded to my public tweet with a private Direct Message.
The AJ Fletcher Foundation is the same outfit who claimed they had nothing do to with BluePrint NC’s attack memo citing the ‘evisceration’ and ‘crippling’ of the opposition. Even BluePrint NC tried to dodge ownership. Also recall that the AJ Fletcher Foundation gave over $35,000 to BluePrint NC. Via 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.
Well, America Votes finally owned up to the memo to take the heat off of BluePrint NC, but the damage was already done and there was zero apologies made:
The leader of a political nonprofit group came forward Wednesday as the author of a leaked strategy memo on how to attack Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican leaders.
Jessica Laurenz, the North Carolina director for America Votes, said she wrote and distributed the draft memo – not Blueprint North Carolina, a Raleigh group being blamed for crafting the plan to “eviscerate the (Republican) leadership and weaken their ability to govern.”
In an interview, Laurenz defended the memo saying “America Votes has not done anything wrong or out of the ordinary” and didn’t regret “strongly urging my colleagues to fight for what we believe in.”
The memo, leaked to reporters last week as a document originating from Blueprint, was first reported by The Charlotte Observer – an article which ran in this newspaper. The story was quickly pounced upon by Republicans. McCrory called the memo shameful.” House Speaker Thom Tillis used it as a fundraising appeal. The N.C. Republican Party registered complaints with the Internal Revenue Service and the state elections board, asking both to investigate Blueprint for political activity outside its charitable status.
Who authored the memo is central to any potential inquiry. America Votes is allowed to participate in political efforts as a 501(c)4 nonprofit under federal tax law. But Blueprint North Carolina is limited to issue-advocacy and barred from political campaign activities as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Both are tax exempt organizations but only donations to 501(c)3 groups are tax deductible.
Back to Twitter
It looks like BluePrint NC’s talking points memo pal, America Votes, is taking fire and whoops, Senator Kay Hagan is in the mix:
BREAKING: @senatorhagan starts using @americavotes talking points on @morning_joe. #winning #ncpol #ncga.I hope Rep. Luebke is proud. — RealLiberalHack(@LiberalHack) May 20, 2013
H/T to @bringastar showing that @senatorhagan “hit all the points” in her first interview using @americavotes#memogate approach #ncpol
— RealLiberalHack(@LiberalHack) May 20, 2013 Continue reading
In February the story broke about a Left leaning non-profit named Blueprint NC and a memo that was leaked, which called for the ‘eviscerating’ of top Republicans in the state. An attack on Governor McCory was front and center.
At the time, the story was broken both in the Charlotte Observer and at WRAL by Mark Blinker. What Blinker and WRAL blew off telling readers in the initial reports was that WRAL’s owner, Jim Goodmon, has a foundation which gave money to Blueprint NC and that former WRAL reporter, Chris Fitzsimon, is also linked to the Goodmon foundation as his own group, NC Policy Watch, is housed in the same place. Fitzsimon still regularly enjoys airtime at WRAL radio.
Mr. Blinker has a new piece up. A ‘fair and balanced’ look at think tanks and policy groups out there that are influencing our politics. It’s actually not bad and mentions groups from both sides. Of course, Art Pope – the NC Left’s version of George Soros – gets a special mention. Of note, in the article there is finally a section on Goodmon, even if it is a little vague:
The Justice Center, Action NC, Progress North Carolina, Planned Parenthood and many other left-of-center groups can trace some part of their funding back to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, a Winston-Salem based philanthropy founded as a memorial to the son of a tobacco magnate.
A handful of other funders also help bankroll liberal-leaning organizations. Among them is the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, named for the man who founded WRAL-TV and the foundation. His grandson, Jim Goodmon, is both president of WRAL parent Capitol Broadcasting Company and chairman of the foundation’s board.
However, despite the influence of A.J. Fletcher Foundation and other funders, Z. Smith Reynolds appears to provide the broadest common denominator for Raleigh’s family of liberal groups.
I liked that last line. A very subtle ‘squirrel!’ moment there — A.J. Fletcher doesn’t give as much to Blueprint NC, so it’s no big deal. The Fletcher Foundation is only housed in Z. Smith Reynolds’ NC Justice Center, but please ignore that.
I also liked this bit. Trying to show the softer side and all of this memo hoopla is really unrelated to anything:
Like Z Smith Reynolds, the Pope Foundation also supports cultural and other groups with little political involvement. And neither foundation is the end all and be all of their affiliates’ fundraising.
“We raise lots of money, six figures approaching seven figures, from other people,” John Locke Foundation leader Hood said. While the Pope Foundation is an important donor, John Locke could carry on – in a more limited fashion – without its support, Hood said.
And just because they share a common donor, doesn’t mean groups in either family will be in lockstep. Civitas and John Locke, for example, have offered different visions of tax reform.
No it doesn’t mean lockstep, but we don’t have Civitas, John Locke or the Pope Foundation tied to a group who advocates stalking and ‘eviscerating’ the opposition either. They tend to stick to the actual policies and issues. The article then goes in to talk about non-profit status, leading with the Right leaning groups and throwing in a quote from Sean Kosofsky of Blueprint NC:
“We consider ourselves an infrastructure group,” said Sean Kosofsky, director of Blueprint NC. “Our funders don’t want us out in front.”
Infrastructure group? Oh, does that translate to: ‘we provide talking points’? Funders don’t want you out in front? Guess that’s a bust now. Time to disappear and rename or just hope for forgetful and softball reporting?
It’s the closing quote that was the biggest gem in the crown:
“They should view that information with the same trust or skepticism they hold for their local newspaper and TV station. Everyone should investigate for themselves the facts or information presented by any outlet,” said the Pope Foundation’s Riggs.
Sound advice. Continue reading
The scandal surrounding Blueprint NC, a Left leaning non-profit, has been stepped up a notch with GOP leaders calling for an investigation into the group’s 501(c)(3) status. The group claims to be a non-partisan, however this recent memo would suggest otherwise. Civitas has just uncovered that the previously reported donation by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to Blueprint that totaled $400,000 was not the full story.
While they talk about the $400,000 figure for 2013 what is left unsaid is the large and continuing supportby ZSR for Blueprint NC activities. Looking through past IRS 990’s on http://www.guidestar.com, along with the $400,000 above, ZSR has supplied $2.1 million since 2009 to Blueprint NC. They did this either directly or through the NC Justice Center which originally started and housed Blueprint NC with the assistance of a grant from Reynolds. (Source: Civitas)
The NC Justice Center also houses The AJ Fletcher Foundation. The Fletcher Foundation is run by Jim Goodmon, who owns Capital Broadcasting and TV station, WRAL. Jim Goodmon, Barbara Goodmon, James Goodmon Jr and Michael Goodmon all sit on the board of AJ Fletcher. Jim Goodmon Senior is Chairman of the Board.
NC Justice Center is also linked with NC Policy Watch – there is even a menu link to them on the NC Justice Center homepage. As I’ve written before, WRAL has not commented on the clear ties and bias these associations present. To reiterate the point made by Civitas:
Lastly, it should be noted that WRAL is owned by the Goodmon family, which has ties to Blueprint through four of its family members being on the board of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. According to the Civitas Institute, the Foundation has given the progressive group $35,000 in donations, and a former reporter for WRAL, Chris Fitzsimon, is head of the NC Policy Watch – which was the point of the lance in the Blueprint attack machine. Fitzsimon is also allowed free airtime on WRAL-FM, which serves as a platform to attack his political enemies.
Looking at Fitzsimon’s commentary, one can see he is clearly not a fan of Pat McCrory. If you need more convincing, you can listen to him hammer McCrory’s State of the State Address – on WRAL of course.. He’s not a fan of Art Pope either and yep – you guessed it, WRAL reported:
“Whether it’s fair or not, he is one of the most polarizing political figures in North Carolina. And now he is writing a state budget for nearly 10 million people,” said Chris Fitzsimon, a policy analyst and writer with the liberal N.C. Policy Watch. “It’s shocking that a governor who claims he is trying to reach across the aisle would make such an appointment.”
Pope-funded Civitas has distributed a tax reform blueprint this week that would eliminate the individual income tax in favor of raising the sales tax and broadening the number of items and services to which sales tax applies. Fitzsimon questioned whether work like that by those think tanks will now become official McCrory administration positions.
How’s that for the pot calling the kettle black?
Fitzsimon’s Bio is posted on NC Justice Center and he also posts at NC Policy Watch’s Progressive Pulse. Just last month, Fitzsimon quotes an article by Mark Binker – the reporter covering the Blueprint NC memo for WRAL. Ironically, the article he quotes is about Republicans setting up a non-profit.
So, the question remains: When will WRAL report their connection to Blueprint NC? Continue reading