My latest is up at DaTechGuy: A Primer on the Left in NC
Those of you who follow my personal blog might be acquainted with my mapping of the Left in North Carolina already. For those of you just getting to know me and my writing, you’re in for some fun and a little bit of catch-up. Back in May, I wrote about how the Democrats were melting down in North Carolina. I had no idea writing on this back in May of the drama, vitriol and ridiculous rhetoric that would descend on my state. In the coming weeks, I’ll be laying it all out for Da Tech Guy readers. This article (part one of ?) is long and involved, but vital to understanding how the Left creates a web of a few dozen organizations to create the illusion of a larger force. Treat this article like a research paper.
North Carolina went Red when Republicans took both houses, the Lt. Governor and Governor slots in the 2010 election cycle. The last time Republicans held the NC Senate, it was around 1898. Before 2010, the Democrats controlled the House 68-52 and Senate 30-20 prior to the election. After, the tables had turned and Republicans had a majority control of the House 67-53 and Senate control of 31-19. That’s 15 seats in the House and 11 in the Senate for a total of 26 seats flipped. That’s a big statement on how voters felt about the job Democrats in NC (and nationally) were doing. It almost goes without saying that Democrats were angry. Very angry. They wanted their power back and didn’t sit still for long.
Enter Blueprint NC (BPNC) a “non-partisan” 501(c)(3) that is the child of the NC Justice Center. We’ll delve into the paper trail behind the formation of BPNC and it’s ties to NC Justice center further down in this article. Quick fact, the first Director of BPNC was Julie Mooney, who at the time was an employee of NC Justice Center. Mooney now sits on the board of Democracy NC and is a coordinator for Grantmakers For Southern Progress. In Fall of 2009, Mooney hired Sean Kosofsky to replace her as director:
RALEIGH, N.C. – An advocate for social justice and civil rights has been tapped to lead Blueprint NC, a Raleigh-based coalition of nonprofits working to foster a healthier and more equitable state.
Sean Kosofsky, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice NC, will succeed Julie Mooney, who has served as Blueprint’s first executive director since 2006.
The article states Mooney served since 2006, but I’ve only located documents indicating BPNC went back as far as 2007. Incorporation documents were filed in 2010. Those articles of incorporation list the following board members:
- Chris Estes – Former Director of NC Housing Coalition (Top two donors are Z. Smith Reynolds and A.J. Fletcher), currently President of the National Housing Coalition.
- Gerda Stein – Director of Public Information at Center for Death Penalty Litigation
- Carrie Clark – Executive Director of NC League of Conservation Voters
- Brad Thompson – Progress NC Board, Democracy NC Board
- Melinda Lawrence– Executive Director at NC Justice Center
- Chris Fitzsimon – Former WRAL reporter, Currently Director at NC Justice Center’s “Policy Watch“
- Jennifer Frye– Associate Director at Democracy NC
- Paige Johnson – Planned Parenthood NC media contact and frequent writer at NC Justice Center’s Policy Watch.
At that same time of incorporation in 2010, BPNC changed addresses from 224 S. Dawson street in Raleigh to 2912 Highwoods Drive in Raleigh. 224 S. Dawson is the address for the NC Justice Center. BPNC’s new home is also where ‘Project Vote Against‘ originated and houses Progress NC, Public Policy Polling, NOW (Raleigh) and Lillian’s List.
BPNC has a very exclusive membership of Left leaning organizations, including Occupy Raleigh, a list of which we will get into further on in this article. For a quick peek at some on the list, LaborUnionReport has a graphic at Redstate for your review. It is interesting to see a non-profit that requires a login to be issued to go beyond the front page of their website. It’s also interesting that nowhere on the site can you request said login. I guess you have to know one of the employees to get one?
BluePrint NC’s Attack Memo
The memo was forwarded by Stephanie Bass, then Bluprint’s communications director, to the group’s nonprofit allies. The Observer obtained a copy.
Describing the control Republicans hold on North Carolina state government, it gave progressives a list of recommendations. Among them:
• “Crippling their leaders (McCrory, Tillis, Berger etc.).”
• “Eviscerate the leadership and weaken their ability to govern.”
• “Pressure McCrory at every public event.”
• “Slam him when he contradicts his promises.”
• “Private investigators and investigative reporting, especially in the executive branch…”
Those were among the talking points and action steps in a memo forwarded by Blueprint North Carolina, a partnership of advocacy and policy groups based in Raleigh.
The memo was emailed to groups last week with a warning: “It is CONFIDENTIAL to Blueprint, so please be careful – share with your boards and appropriate staff but not the whole world.”
The article went on to say that the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation funneled about 400k into BPNC, but that number turned out to be low. Civitas Institute corrected the record:
While they talk about the $400,000 figure for 2013 what is left unsaid is the large and continuing support by ZSR for Blueprint NC activities. Looking through past IRS 990’s on 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.
Reminder: NC Justice Center was the start-up point for BPNC and their 990 filings I located show NC Justice Center pumped money into BPNC going back to 2007. Excerpt from the 2007 filing in which they allocated $255,849:
“BLUEPRINT NC – ADVOCACY AND ORGANIZING GROUPS DEDICATED TO ACHIEVING A BETTER, FAIRER AND HEALTHIER NORTH CAROLINA THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND POLICY STRATEGY.”
- 2008: $811,730 in expenses, grants $249,543
- 2009: $584,316 in expenses, grants $6,500
- 2010: $511,413 in expenses, grants $72,100
The 2008 annual report for NC Justice Center mentions their launch of Blueprint NC:
2008 brought new financial
support for the continuation and
expansion of our work. Our budget
(including the special non-profit
partnership project Blueprint NC) grew
to $4.78 million. As set out in the chart
below, support grew in every area –
individual contributions, state
foundations, and national foundations.
In the 2011 filing, BPNC disappears from NC Justice Center’s 990’s. More information on NC Justice Center, its money flow and IRS filings can be found at WRAL. Make sure to take a peek, this will not be the last time you hear about NC Justice Center in this series on the Left in North Carolina.
Follow the Money
Blueprint NC was clearly getting money on its own after 2010. In large part BPNC is funded by one of the biggest left leaning charity organizations in the area mentioned previously, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. It should also be mentioned at this point that Matt Vespa at PJ media has a nice list of their ‘non-partisan partners’, including the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. The foundations big tag line last year was “Moving NC Forward“. Remember that line. It will comeback to visit us in future installments.
Why is A.J. Fletcher important? It’s housed with NC Justice Center and is very generous with grants to them. It’s also operated by the Goodmon family, of which Jim Goodmon is a member. Jim Goodmon owns Capitol broadcasting, which in turn runs local media outlet WRAL. As you can imagine, WRAL was less than balanced in their reporting on BPNC and for a long while failed to mention their stations connections to BPNC.
The Man Leading Team ‘Cripple and Eviscerate’
There is an important player not yet mentioned here. The Reverend William Barber. He’s the NAACP’s Al Sharpton wannabe for North Carolina who can be counted on to cry ‘that’s raaaacist!’ every chance he is given. He also sits on the board of the NC Justice Center.
Reverend Barber has inserted himself into every issue imaginable in NC, most memorably the Wake County School board busing issues. He’s a big fan of being arrested as an act of ‘civil disobedience’, not so much a fan of making an appointment to talk to officials. Here’s one of him being arrested at a Wake School board meeting:
Barber has moved on from his theatrics at school board meetings to a state-wide ‘cripple and eviscerate’ scheme called ‘Moral Monday’. Barber also has his hands in the Fast Food strike scene — a movement steeped in union supported front groups that I have labeled “Occupy 2.0“. I managed to figure out the union involvement back in June; the NY Times just caught up this week.
At any rate this ‘Moral Monday’ thing escalated over the Summer in Raleigh, predictably getting louder, nastier and beclowning itself at a rapid pace. As the session of the NC General Assembly came to a close, then came the inevitable burn out ala Occupy. Now we have little gatherings here and there; all of them drawing the same core group of Lefties.
You have to know that when the Left is using religion and morality as their platform, that they’re truly desperate and scraping the bottom of the hypocrisy barrel. We’ll get deeper into the Reverend and his ‘Moral Monday Movement’ in the next installment of A Primer on The Left In North Carolina.