The recent scandal involving Left-leaning Blueprint NC and their leaked attack memo calling for the ‘evisceration’ of Republican leaders in the state, specifically mentioning Governor Pat McCrory, is not going away anytime soon. North Carolina Republicans are calling for an investigation into the non-profit.
— NCGOP (@NCGOP) February 26, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Robin Hayes, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, is calling for the State Board of Elections and U.S. Internal Revenue Service to investigate Blueprint NC, the group linked to a controversial strategy memo that calls for aggressive attacks against GOP leaders like Gov. Pat McCrory.
Blueprint’s leaders have said the memo should not be attributed to them, although they acknowledge that it was distributed at gatherings they organized.
Hayes complained that the group had violated restrictions placed on charitable organizations organized under section 501(c)3 of the federal tax code, as well as state election laws.
Specifically, the complaint to the IRS says that Blueprint “engaged in impermissible partisan activity.” The complaint to elections officials ties remarks made by House Minority Leader Larry Hall to language found in the strategy document tied to Blueprint. It suggests Blueprint is providing services to the state Democratic Party.
“It is incredibly disappointing that Democratic leadership has not also condemned this radical, left-wing group for their unethical and illegal practices” Hayes said. “Their strategy instead is to parrot these personal attacks and support these potentially illegal tactics and roadblock the elected leadership regardless of policies that are proposed.”
The article goes on to quote Democratic Party Chair Randy Voller denouncing knowledge of the memo or Blueprint NC’s activities other than from what he has read in the media. That’s not a surprising answer considering the media locally has not been fully forthcoming with all of the details.
Voller’s answer is a little disingenuous given the multiple connections Blueprint NC has with Left-leaning groups in North Carolina that are shared with the NC Democratic Party. Matt Vespa at PJ Tatler has some good coverage of this story and the Civitas Institute has a very nice flow chart:
Also the latest from the PJ Tatler, Evisceration Memo Prompts Republicans To Demand Investigation of Blueprint NC, highlights the link between WRAL’s Jim Goodmon and Blueprint NC that I noted earlier:
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.
Blueprint NC’s Director, Sean Kosofsky, has also denounced the memo as being something produced by his office while praising the tactics at the same time. WRAL quotes Kosofsky as he claims his organization is being attacked by ‘dirty tricks’:
“Blueprint NC continues to be the victim of a disinformation campaign by political operatives seeking to silence our free-speech rights around important issues facing North Carolina. Blueprint NC did not author the memo and did nothing to violate its 501(c)3 status. Should an investigation or lawsuit be pursued in an attempt to silence or intimidate us, we will defend our right to free speech,” Kosofsky said via email.
Apparently, stalking Republican leaders in the state with video cameras is not considered to be dirty tricks and ‘eviscerating’ the opposition is fine as long as it isn’t Blueprint NC being attacked. Got it. Read more: Blueprint NC’s Kosofsky, ‘It’s Not Ours’..Even Though We Emailed It.
Given the rise of non-profits and the dabbling of them in the political arena in a pay-to-play type roll we are seeing on the national level, coupled with clear media bias issues, the NC GOP has good reason to ask for an investigation of Blueprint NC. Perhaps even a closer look at WRAL and their new Promise Tracker is also in order.