Via the Charlotte Observer (shockingly enough!):
RALEIGH With Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and other conservatives controlling state government, what’s a North Carolina liberal to do?
According to one group, they should:
• “Crippl(e) 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.”
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.
“If you want to impact the effectiveness of a lawmaker … one way to do that is to find out where they’re weak and use that to your advantage,” he said.
Among other things, the talking points memo said that “McCrory is extremely thin-skinned.” It also mentioned House Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger of Eden.
It recommends a “staff of video trackers that follow targets’ every move (McCrory/Tillis) and also capture as much video of committee hearings as possible looking for opportunities to feed our overarching narrative (McCrory and the Legislature are out of control…)”
The memo included slides of progressives’ arguments. There’s some suggestion that they may have already had an effect.
When House Minority Leader Larry Hall of Durham gave his response to McCrory’s State of the State address last week, he talked about how McCrory’s plan for charter schools “lacks accountability and would allow out-of-state corporations to create online, for-profit virtual charter schools.”
Those remarks, and ones about charters that followed, were identical to language in the memo forwarded by Blueprint.
Guess what? Blueprint is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit org. They claim they are non-partisan but that’s total bullsh*t. The Observer notes that the Blueprint website reads that they are ““strictly prohibited from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.” If that’s the case, they could well be in violation of their own code (in spite of the group’s executive director dodging by suggesting their rule only applies to those running for office, not those already in it & governing) and, more importantly, its tax-exempt status. Will the state GOP press on this issue? Time will tell.
Regardless, the fact that House Minority Leader Hall (D) appeared to lift word for word certain memo language from the memo Blueprint forwarded should raise red flags across this state as to the potential for Democrats in the state legislature to follow its orders, especially on “crippling” & “eviscerating” state government via GOP leaders like the Governor and following and videotaping them everywhere they go (which is UNCALLED FOR, no matter that the national GOP and Democrat parties do it regularly). While it’s normal for the opposition party to want to limit the agenda of the majority party as much as possible, ultimately they have to learn to work with them – for better or for worse. Any of the Democrats in the state legislature who don’t understand how this is done should ask their GOP colleagues, considering the GOP as a party has rarely – and I do mean RARELY – been in control of both state houses here. Democrats have largely ruled this state going back well over a century, and that includes the Governorship, so Republicans have had little choice but to work with them when they could, and oppose them when they felt the need was necessary. Disabling state government was never part of the picture.
This is important to remember: Obstructing what you feel may be bad policy is one thing; trying to “cripple” and “eviscerate” state government via its leaders is another matter entirely, and threats to do so should not be taken lightly, no matter who they come from. And the fact that this doesn’t come from an actual Democrat party official in this state but instead a collective of liberal advocacy groups shouldn’t ease anyone’s fears as to how much this memo could influence lawmakers. Blueprint is a coalition of LIBERAL orgs, and they are based in the state capitol – Raleigh. Don’t think more Democrat movers and shakers in positions of power there aren’t listening and taking notes. They hate being the minority party – they aren’t used to it – and they aren’t taking it well at all.
If the NC House Minority Leader is using Blueprint talking points, I wouldn’t be too surprised to learn others in his party are as well. We”ll find out in the weeks and months (and years) to come as to just how far they plan to go as Gov. McCrory continues to ruffle feathers with his overhaul of state government and differing leadership style from past administrations. Keep this in mind, too: McCrory, an effective leader, is a Republican but not a “Tea Party Republican” – in other words, he’s going to do some things that will probably irk staunch conservatives in this state. Remember, he was elected as a multiple-term mayor here in Charlotte, a city dominated by Democrats. So he had to learn to work with city Democrats, and made the local GOP very upset at times, and in fact was more or less called a “RINO” by some locals on more than one occasion on hot-button issues like the NASCAR HOF, light rail, and Time Warner (Bobcats) Arena. In other words, we don’t have a diehard ideologue in the Governor’s mansion, but because state Democrats are so distraught over completely being out of control of state government they’ll treat him as such. This in spite of the fact that McCrory’s first and foremost priority as Governor has been to try and help make conditions favorable for economic opportunity and job growth to turn this state around out of its unemployment funk.
If state Dems do go as far as the forwarded memo above suggests, Republican politicos far and wide here need to hammer over and over again how state Democrats refused to work in bipartisan fashion in the spirit of getting things done and putting people back to work. Our unemployment rate is in the top five worst in the nation – thanks in no small part to the dismal policies of Perdue and company, and Democrats can either be a part of the solution to get people back to work again – or continue to be the bulk of the problem … with the help of so-called “non-partisan” coalitions. Their choice.
Hat tip: Neal Inman
Friday PM Update: Leaked attack memo could jeopardize group’s finances