Culture of Corruption – Charlotte edition: Dem Mayor charged w/ bribery, theft (UPDATE: CANNON RESIGNS)

Patrick Cannon and Anthony Foxx

Then-Charlotte City Councilman-now-Mayor Patrick Cannon (l) and then-Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (r) – now Obama’s Transportation Secretary – in happier times.
Image via PraiseCharlotte.com

Huge news out of Charlotte today:

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon was arrested Wednesday on public corruption charges, with the FBI alleging he took tens of thousands of dollars in bribes – including $20,000 in cash delivered in a briefcase last month to the mayor’s office where he also solicited $1 million more.

In return for the money, trips, hotel rooms and access to a luxury SouthPark apartment, Cannon promised to help agents posing as potential commercial investors with zoning, parking and other city-related issues.

According to officials, Cannon turned himself in to federal marshals after learning of a warrant for his arrest. He was immediately taken before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler of Charlotte.

Cannon, a Democrat, was charged with theft and bribery after the FBI sting operation, said Anne Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bond, pending indictment, which could come as early as next week. The court file shows Charlotte attorney James Ferguson is representing Cannon.

If convicted on all charges, the 47-year-old mayor faces up to 50 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. He remains mayor until he either resigns or is convicted, according to city officials. The case is still being investigated, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Cannon is the longest-serving elected official in Charlotte, having joined the city council in 1993. He is the region’s highest-ranking official to be charged in a corruption case since former N.C. House speaker Jim Black of Matthews, also a Democrat, pleaded guilty in 2007.

Cannon’s arrest follows a four-year investigation, which stretched from a Las Vegas resort to the mayor’s office on the 15th floor of the Government Center, which Cannon has occupied for only five months.

You can read the federal complaint against Cannon here.   Governor Pat McCrory (R), who was Mayor of Charlotte for a number of years, had this to say earlier today after the news broke:

The former 14-year Charlotte mayor spoke to Cannon for a roughly an hour at 10 a.m. Wednesday about the ongoing saga involving control of the Charlotte airport, just a couple hours before his arrest. The news came as a shock, he said.

“I’m shocked, I’m saddened, I’m angry – about the allegations, about the impact that has on a city I dearly love,” he said.

“I’m heartbroken about what’s happened and I’m angry at the same time because it’s someone I’ve known for a long period of time and I love this city,” McCrory said in an interview outside an event in Raleigh. “This city has had an incredible reputation for a long, long time about its high ethical standards. The city does not deserve that type of behavior.”

McCrory has known Cannon for 30 years. His brother Phil was Cannon’s “Big” in the Big Brother’s program; Cannon was a groomsman in his brother’s wedding. McCrory said he helped teach Cannon how to swim at age 13.

“He was very close to me and my family,” he said. “I’m just extremely disappointed and angry.”

The arrest and charges against Cannon bring to light some interesting questions: Will he be the only one charged locally? Or were there others who we’ll learn about later?  Will he step down? He hasn’t given any indication of yet that he will. And why has former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx – also a Democrat, who now serves at a national level as Obama’s Transportation Secretary – refused to comment?

Needless to say, news of the allegations against Cannon and his arrest today come at a very inconvenient time for NC Democrats who remain severely fractured after a series of high-level embarrassments, scandals (flashback!), leadership battles, and money issues so much so that Senator Kay Hagan is bypassing the state party in her re-election bid here and instead is will use the Wake County Democrat party HQ as her reelection hub.  I suspect Cannon will decide to not step down and instead stay on as Mayor while this thing plays out in court.  The case is still under investigation but if the trial starts before the election this year he may face increasing behind-the-scenes pressure from Democrats both at the city and state level to leave office so they can try and contain the damage.

Grab the popcorn and, as they say, stay tuned.

Updated – 8:05 PM: And just like that, Cannon has resigned:


Story here. As to who takes over the Mayor’s chair:

City Manager Ron Carlee tells NBC Charlotte that Cannon’s resignation is effective immediately. Mayor Pro-tem Michael Barnes will take over immediately in the interim until city council appoints a city councilmember as the new mayor.

Still wrapping my thoughts around this. Cannon was Mayor for all of 114 days. And he was an elected official on the City Council while some of the alleged bribes allegedly took place, and knowingly ran for Mayor with that in mind. Talk about stupid!

#NCPOL: USA Today issues big #MoralMarch story correction after ST inquiry

NC NAACP President / Rev. William Barber

NC NAACP President / Rev. William Barber, NC’s version of Al Sharpton.

Last week, I wrote to you about Moral Mondays and the prominent, opportunistic liberal demagogue behind the movement – Reverend William Barber, the President of the NC chapter of NAACP and NC’s version of Al Sharpton. There was a big march that took place this past Saturday called “Moral March”, an extension of the Moral Monday movement, and which saw liberal activists from around the state and bused in from out of state join Barber in a “call to arms” of sorts to rail against the state GOP for “racism, sexism”, etc. You know, the usual progressive “complaints” about the right.

The supposed ‘big news’ to come out of the march was that “80,000 to 100,000″ people were in attendance at the Raleigh rally, a number which – if accurate – would have allegedly made it the biggest civil rights march since Selma according to the left, a bragging point Barber and his devotees would love to be able to credibly use in order to help raise more money for future events and to, of course, rally the faithful. However, anyone who knows anything at all about Raleigh could look at the pictures and see there was no where near close to that amount of people there, even though the crowd was indeed a large size.

What was the source of the 80-100K number? Originally, the NC NAACP tweeted this number out, and – according to conservative talk show host David Webb, who was at the event and tried to talk to Barber – it was given also given out in a speech Rev. Barber himself made to attendees of the march. Not long after that tweet, USA Today writer Jon Ostendorff – who also writes for the Asheville [NC] Citizen-Times – tweeted out that “Organizers” said there were that many at the march. Two hours later, in a piece he wrote on the march for USA Today, he used the number without attribution:

Rev. William Barber II made the promise before a crowd of between 80,000 and 100,000 people during the Moral March on Raleigh.

If he got that number from the NC NAACP’s tweet, Barber, or someone else affiliated, I don’t know because not only did he not note it in his report – which led readers to believe that the count was “official”, but he didn’t respond to repeated requests for clarification. After failing to get a response from one USA Today editor, I went to USA Today’s site on Tuesday and found the email and contact information for the standards editor and emailed and tweeted him. This time, I got a response:


The next day, a correction was issued, in huge letters, at the top of the story:

Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of this story should have attributed the crowd estimate to the Rev. William Barber II, president of North Carolina’s NAACP. The Raleigh Police Department has declined to provide an estimated number of march participants.

Questions, however, remain – not from USA Today but from local news outlets like Raleigh-Durham’s WTVD, whose Moral March coverage included this odd tidbit:

Rev. Barber expected up to 25,000 people from the Triangle and bused in from all over the state. Yet, NC NAACP logistics expert estimates between 80,000 and 100,000 people attended Saturday’s march. Last year the numbers were between 17,000 and 20,000.

“Logistics expert”? Really? I’d be interested in finding out who that “logistics expert” in the NC NAACP was. Was it Barber? I suspect WTVD wouldn’t be too keen on giving out the answer, seeing as they didn’t source the number to begin with beyond stating it came from a “logistics expert” within the NC NAACP. But it might be worth trying to contact them to find out. Whether they would answer is another matter, considering how sympathetic they and other local media outlets appear to be with Democrats and their left wing allies in NC.

In any event, a big thank you to standards editor Brent Jones for promptly addressing the issue and having the correction posted where readers wouldn’t be able to help but see it. As a daily reader of the USA Today’s online edition, it’s comforting to know that they’re willing to at least review correction requests if not act on them later. Now if we could just get the “progressive” sites that gleefully ran with the 80-100k number – insinuating it was an official estimate – to do the same …

(Via @NCPlottHound)

#NCPOL: NCDP Chair to nominate anti-Semite w/ sexual harassment issues as exec. director (UPDATED)

Popcorn

Grab the popcorn! This is gonna be very entertaining ….

Hey, don’t take my word for it. Via the Raleigh News and Observer (bolded emphasis added by me):

A day after ousting the executive director, the chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party appears poised to nominate former civil rights and Nation of Islam leader Benjamin Chavis to the post, a contentious pick that may not earn support from party leaders.

Democratic Chairman Randy Voller said Monday he would name an executive director Wednesday who is a “North Carolina native and national leader.” The party’s First Vice Chairwoman Patsy Keever said Voller intends to name Chavis, who also served as executive director of the NAACP before being ousted nearly two decades ago amid a sexual harassment scandal.

“That is Randy’s intention,” she said.

Party attorney David Harris refused to offer details about the announcement. Over the weekend, a Twitter account in Chavis’ name posted: “I am now preparing to return to North Carolina. I want Democrats to win big: 2014 in NC & across America.” Voller promptly re-tweeted it.

If Voller selects Chavis, the state’s executive council must vote to confirm the pick.

Voller, the former Pittsboro mayor, abruptly fired the party’s day-to-day manager, Robert Dempsey, on Sunday, throwing the party into turmoil just as it sought to regain footing after falling from power and enduring months of questions surrounding its own sexual harassment complaint.

[…]

Chavis is a longtime civil rights advocate who was jailed for four years in 1970s as a member of the Wilmington 10, a group convicted but later cleared in a fire bombing that spurred a race riot in the city.

He became leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1993 but served less than 17 months after being ousted for striking a secret deal to pay an employee $332,400 to settle her sexual harassment claim.

Chavis, an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ, later converted to Islam, taking the name Benjamin Muhammed. In 1997, he became second-in-command to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, leading the organization’s East Coast ministry, according to reports at the time.

Three years later, a woman connected to the Nation of Islam alleged in a lawsuit he sexually harassed her. It was settled in 2006, and the woman received $135,000 from the temple. Chavis did not pay any sum to settle the case, and he made no admission of liability.

Chavis did not respond to emailed questions.

Well, in his defense, he HAS been busy … editing his Wikipedia page. Wonder why? /sarc

The Chavis issue isn’t the only one confronting the NC Democratic Party this week. In fact, after just a day and a half, things already don’t look good:


Considering all the racial/misogynistic demagoguery and serious attempts at deliberately “crippling” the NC GOP-run state government by NC Democrats over the last year or so – in concert with the Moral Monday movement (the more cleaned up NC version of Occupy Wall Street), I don’t feel one bit sorry for the lot of them. They’ve frequently accused the NC GOP of bringing “national embarrassment” to the state, and most of the time it’s been over issues state liberals have embellished. Well, now’s their turn to shine in the national spotlight, to answer for stupid decision-making.

And I, for one, will be watching and chuckling, with popcorn in hand.

Update – 2/12/14 8:15 AM: As of last night, the party’s executive council, after a heated conference call, delayed plans to nominate Chavis:

The party’s executive council, a 51-member body that must be consulted before hiring a new director, met via a conference call Tuesday night. Voller did not address Dempsey’s firing. However, he did say that he began talking with Chavis when he learned the North Carolina native and civil rights leader was planning to move back to the state.

“Our main concern is to turn anger into action,” Voller said, referencing the discontent Democrats and others have displayed through the Moral Monday protests. He said Chavis could help the party “win elections from Sen. Kay Hagan on down to county commissioners.”

But, he told those on the call, “I’m not submitting his name at this point.”

During a sometimes contentious, nearly two-hour conference call, Voller struggled to get the council to approve the appointment of an interim director, Casey Mann, as members talked over one another and the conference call system struggled to determine which line was muted or not.

Mann was finally confirmed and the meeting was called to a close shortly afterward.

Voller originally said he hoped to have a face-to-face executive council meeting in Greensboro 10 days from now. Later in the call, he and other members said that meeting could take as long as 30 days to organize.

As they say, stay tuned! ;)

#NCPOL: A primer of sorts on the Saturday activist left #MoralMarch in NC

NC NAACP President / Rev. William Barber

NC NAACP President / Rev. William Barber, NC’s version of Al Sharpton.

Tomorrow is going to be a pretty big day for the unhinged professional activist left here in NC as “Moral March” – an extension of the Moral Monday movement you may have heard about on the news (especially if you live here in NC) – will get under way in Raleigh, NC:

(RNS) North Carolina’s weekly protests against Republican-backed legislative initiatives last year brought thousands of people to the state Capitol in Raleigh each Monday chanting, “Forward together, not one step back.”

Now the movement is ready to reprise its demonstrations, which recall the tactics of the civil rights era.

The Rev. William J. Barber II and his Moral Mondays team are making final preparations for the kickoff event, dubbed the Moral March, scheduled for Saturday (Feb. 8). Barber hopes it will be bigger than the Selma march for voting rights in 1965 that drew 25,000 people.

Barber, who is president of the North Carolina NAACP and a Disciples of Christ pastor, launched the 2013 demonstrations to protest legislators’ efforts to scale back unemployment benefits and decline Medicaid expansion through the new federal health law. Protesters also criticized voter ID laws, cuts to public schools and tax-reform proposals they said would reduce benefits for the poor.

Clergy were especially prominent in the demonstrations, and many, including Barber, were handcuffed at the North Carolina General Assembly and arrested on charges of second-degree trespass and failure to disperse.

In all, 945 people were arrested in 2013, as demonstrators refused to leave the General Assembly building.

The movement, which brought national media attention, has since spread to Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Yes, this is the same Rev. Barber I’ve been telling you about for the last several months, the one who believes you’re not a real Christian if you don’t believe in big government, who believes the new voter ID laws here in NC equate to “the crucifixion”, and who has been unapologetic over recent despicable remarks about how he thinks black conservatives like Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) serve as nothing more than puppets and Uncle Toms to their white Tea Party “masters” who seek them out to use them as “mouthpieces” for their conservative agenda.   You see, in Barber’s mind, you can’t have a mind of your own if you’re not towing the liberal line about racism … or something.

Anyway, because I know both the local media and national media will be absolutely salivating over tomorrow’s events, painting the marchers – many of who are going to be, you guessed it, bussed in from other states – as “grassroots” independent types who are just fed up with the actions of the Republican-run state legislature and are “rising up” for “change”, I wanted to give you a primer of sorts on what the true picture looks like here as far as this movement is concerned, so you won’t be fooled by what I anticipate to be epic spin on the part of rally organizers and starry-eyed media types.

In reality, “Moral Monday” consists primarily of disgruntled activist North Carolina Democrats in the left wing Triangle and Western areas of NC  who are sick that the Democrats’ century-plus domination of this state came to a halt in 2010, and even more so in 2012 with a GOP super-majority and GOP Governor. The Triangle area, I should note, is where most of the left wing Blueprint NC think tanks are located, and I’d be remiss in my duties as a citizen journo if I didn’t note that it was reported last February (surprisingly enough by the local media)  that these think tanks more or less agreed to coordinate to  try and”cripple” state government in order to try and get what they wanted because they knew they could no longer do it legislatively.  Now, I’m sure there are rank and file people who are part of Moral Monday who have previously never demonstrated before, but most of them are there because the professional left here – led by “spiritual leader” Barber – have convinced them that the state GOP are racist, sexist, evil capitalist “white men” who want to take us back to  60s and before. Ironically enough, that sad and reprehensible time in NC politics happened to be when Democrats were in control, but why bother with that inconvenient little fact?

Not only is this movement controlled by the hateful Barber (the Daily Tarheel today correctly described Barber as the “face” of Moral Monday), but it – and he – have the full endorsement of the NC Democratic party (more here) who, naturally, are never called upon by Raleigh-area news outlets to answer for his outrageous comments, unlike the state GOP, who are forced to answer for every ridiculous and offensive comment a local yokel with no real connection to the party makes.   The Democrat party here has been trying to rebuild itself for the last couple of years after a series of corruption scandals rocked the party to its core. They haven’t really recovered from it yet, and are more than happy to latch on to a movement they believe can help them one day return to their power and glory days.

@LadyLiberty1885, my partner in crime here in North Carolina, does an outstanding job daily of calling out and exposing the hypocritical left and their emerging extremist bent, and has many posts on the true nature of Moral Monday and the activist NC left.   Here, she writes about  Occupy/Union/Socialist ties to Moral Monday, and here, she debunked myths being spread by the left about educational spending in NC. She also did a series of posts at Da Tech Guy blog on left wing NC extremism, which should be considered must reads.  Her latest rips the media-aided rise of Rev. Barber, whose star will continue to be elevated after Saturday’s march, which he’s hoping will eclipse Selma in terms of the number of attendees.

Last but not least, I have a category here devoted to the NC left’s actions over the last year, which I hope you’ll check out – in addition to my Storify page, where I documented hysterical, unhinged tweet ravings from leftists over a variety of issues the NC General Assembly addressed over the past year. In case you’ll be around on Saturday, make sure to grab some popcorn and check out the #MoralMarch Twitter hashtag, which the left has already been posting to in advance of the big day.   This tweet, for example, pretty much encompasses the level of brainpower we’ll see on Saturday:


Need I say more? Ugh.

#MoralMonday / NCNAACP “leader”: Tea Party uses minority voices as “mouthpieces”

NC NAACP President / Rev. William Barber

NC NAACP President / Rev. William Barber, NC’s version of Al Sharpton.

Because he didn’t dig a deep enough hole with the disgusting, race-baiting bile he spewed a couple of weeks ago about Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), NC NAACP “leader” and Moral Monday founder /”spiritual adviser” / de facto head (unofficial) of the NC Democrat Party Bill Barber decided to keep shoveling today with continued swipes at minority conservatives (hat tip):

An NAACP leader in North Carolina said Tuesday that the tea party is actively seeking out minorities to use as “mouthpieces.”

“They frantically seek out people of color to become mouthpieces for their particular agenda,” the Rev. William Barber said on a conference call.

Barber, the head of the North Carolina NAACP, recently caused controversy by comparing Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the lone black Republican in Congress, to a ventriloquist’s dummy at an event in South Carolina last month.

“A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” Barber said the day before Martin Luther King Day in Columbia, S.C., according to The State. Barber added that “the extreme right wing down here finds a black guy to be senator and claims he’s the first black senator since Reconstruction, and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the tea party.”

[…]

Barber said Tuesday that his comment wasn’t meant to be racial and that many others serve as mouthpieces for the tea party.

“It amazes me that people are concerned about a metaphor that says, whether you’re [South Carolina Gov.] Nikki Haley or whether you’re Gov. [Pat] McCrory of North Carolina or [North Carolina Senate candidate and Assembly Speaker] Thom Tillis or Sen. Scott — it has nothing to do with color,” Barber said. “The issue is: Who are you a mouthpiece for when you fight the implementation of the Affordable Care Act?”

Barber added: “We have to challenge that. It has nothing to do with someone’s intellect.”

Sure it’s not about race, “Reverend”, which is exactly why you singled out the the only Republican Senator in Washington, DC and made sure to reference the fact that he was black.

Barber, unfortunately, will not be out of the news anytime soon. There will be a “Moral March” held this coming Saturday in Raleigh (NC’s state capital), which will be a revival of sorts of the “Moral Monday” progressive “spiritualism” movement designed to promote socialism that we saw here during the spring and summer of NC Democrat discontent.   The North Carolina media (and I suspect MSNBC and other left-leaning media types from all over the country) will be there with bells on – perhaps some of them will even march, considering their political leanings – so I’m sure we’ll get tons of video/pix/interviews and whitewashing (no pun intended) of what actually takes place.  I’m hearing that there will be “busloads” of people coming in from other states as well, so the cray cray quotient should be high.

Oh, and where is the North Carolina Democrat party on Barber and Moral March?  Today they reaffirmed their support of both the movement and its demagogic “leader” who believes black conservatives are token conservative puppets whose strings are pulled by white Tea Partiers.  They first put their support for Barber and the Moral Monday marches in writing last June, and have never wavered in spite of the routine embarrassment Barber causes for the state with his deliberately inflammatory rhetoric and bigotry – both of which would get the state GOP in big trouble with the local and national media if/when anyone on “their side” said/says remotely the same thing … as we saw back in October over a local yokel who had ZERO influence or pull within the party.

Move along here, nothing to see … just a race hustler doing his thing, a liberal state party in disarray latching on desperately, and the local media holding them both to vastly different standards than they would conservatives.

#NCSEN: Will #Obamacare plus pro-choice record doom @KayHagan?

Barack Obama, Kay Hagan

President Barack Obama is greeted by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. as he arrives at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Monday, June 13, 2011, in Morrisville, N.C. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Bad news hit the re-election campaign of Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) yesterday with fresh polling information out from Rasmussen Reports that shows her now definitively trailing two GOP candidates who want to take her place:

A new statewide survey of Likely North Carolina Voters shows Thom Tillis, the Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives, leading Hagan by seven points – 47% to 40%. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate, and 10% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Tea Party activist Dr. Greg Brannon leads Hagan by four – 43% to 39%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and 14% are undecided.

Hagan was elected to her first term in the Senate in 2008 with 53% of the vote but has come under increasing criticism at home for her support of the new national health care law. Republicans will hold a May 6 primary to choose their Senate nominee.

Earlier this month, even the reliably left wing NC polling outfit Public Policy Polling indicated that Hagan’s prior leads in match-ups with potential 2014 Republican candidates had evaporated.   Obamacare and Hagan’s unfailing support for it is largely to blame.  Hagan, who rode in on the Obama 2008 wave but who now does whatever she can to distance herself from him, has to be worried.

In spite of both President Obama’s and Senator Hagan’s repeated promises to the contrary, some 473,000+ North Carolinians lost their healthcare insurance as a result of Obamacare regulations and many more found out their premiums were rising by percentages in the double digits. So it’s no surprise that close to 60% of residents view the so-called “Affordable Care Act” unfavorably .  It’s also not shocking  how fast NC’s junior Senator – whose favorability rankings are tanking –  is trying to run away from it.  But while it’s clear this issue is negatively impacting the Hagan campaign, another issue that could also cost her voters this November is her staunch support for abortion.

North Carolina, like many states,  is one that is divided on the issue of the legality of abortions.  But while polling information on the issue is scarce, a 2011 poll taken by Elon University showed that over 60% believed abortion should be available only in cases of rape, incest, or health of the mother.  A September 2013 poll, also conducted by Elon, showed that 45% of North Carolinians supported making access to abortion tougher while 41% opposed.  There is a clear pro-life tilt to this state that should concern Team Hagan.

Being pro-abortion in a Southern state is not exactly a badge of honor many Democrat politicians wear on their respective sleeves, and Kay Hagan is no exception to that rule.  Not only does she not mention her support of abortion on her campaign website (she covers it with vague language about “protecting and strengthening women’s health care” – which is code for “abortion”) nor on her official Senate page, but it was discovered recently that Hagan might be trying to cleverly disguise pro-choice donors on her campaign finance disclosure forms.  Why hide it, Kay?

With that in mind – plus the fact that she rarely talks about abortion outside of the abstract, the casual news watcher/observer would never know that Senator Hagan consistently gets a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, was endorsed by the pro-abortion group Emily’s List last year, and hobnobbed with Planned Parenthood at the 2012 Democrat National Convention, held in Charlotte, NC. In fact, it was recently announced by Planned Parenthood NC that Hagan was going to get the help of the national Planned Parenthood organization in her fight to keep her seat in the US Senate.

The Senator may talk a moderate tone on “women’s health”, but she certainly doesn’t walk it.  North Carolinians – especially those not yet born – deserve better.

Where is the @NCDemParty on Rev. Barber’s Tim Scott slur?

Care-o-meter

The NCDP’s silence speaks volumes.

Yesterday, I wrote about the sick Uncle Tom line of attack Moral Monday founder/leader/”spiritual advisor”/ NAACP President Rev. William Barber – NC’s version of Al Sharpton – used on Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.   Scott, as I noted in my write-up, responded with his usual class, noting that Barber’s line of attack on the eve of MLK day would “remind me and others of what not to do.”

Barber, unsurprisingly, has continued to stand behind his reprehensible remarks – as the Charlotte Observer’s political reporter Jim Morrill reported earlier today:

He told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Tuesday that he was the target of “philosophical bigotry.”

“What we’re hearing is baseless rhetoric about the same old things that have not worked so far,” Scott told her. “We’ve had a 50-year war led by the government on poverty, and it hasn’t taken people out… In this country, conservatives, free market capitalism, produces greater success than the government can ever do.”

The North Carolina Republican Party Wednesday released samples of the national reaction in a news release headlined, “America meets Rev. William Barber.”

[…]He defended his comment Tuesday night in Charlotte and in a statement Wednesday.

We believe leaders should not be echoes of the voice of extremism,” he said before an appearance in Charlotte. “The indignation should not be so much about the language. The indignation should be about the actions.”

In a statement Wednesday, he said, “Unless we stand for justice, we cannot claim allegiance to or pay homage to Dr. King. Democrat or Republican, Tea Party or no Party, we need to talk about what’s right versus what’s wrong. Who is anybody speaking for regardless of party or color if you support extreme policies.…

“This is a critique that must be offered for all people, regardless of skin color.”

Except for the hypocritical Rev. – who obviously does not practice what he preaches – his extremist rhetoric is usually reserved for white Republicans and, of course, black Republicans like Senator Scott who have the audacity to believe they have a right to think for themselves … out of the box.

Interestingly enough, and not widely known outside of North Carolina is the fact that the North Carolina Democratic Party passed a resolution of support for Rev. Barber and the Moral Monday movement he created and (still) leads last June using similar (yet toned down) rhetoric to Barber’s:

Introduced and passed from floor of the 13th Congressional District and subsequently passed by the NCDP State Executive Council on June 2, 2013 in Greensboro

WHEREAS, our great state of North Carolina is being dragged back into the 19th Century by Republican legislators passing regressive legislation signed into law by Republican Governor Pat McCrory.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the the North Carolina Democratic Party supports the Moral Monday effort at the NC General Assembly to show our objection to these regressive actions; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the North Carolina Democratic Party encourages Democrats to go to the NC General Assembly in Raleigh to support Moral Mondays

R. Voller, Chair, NC State Democratic Party

So there you have it, in plain English, the state Democratic Party of North Carolina essentially adopting the language of a typical Rev. Barber rant against the political opposition: “our great state of North Carolina is being dragged back into the 19th Century” – translation: we’re returning to slavery, folks!! (of course they omit the fact that it was under Democrat rule in NC that slavery occurred, but that’s another topic for another day…).  Furthermore, the state party actively encouraged via the resolution for their party members to join up and participate in Barber’s inflammatory demagoguery about the Republican-led state legislature.

With all that in mind, and with the national backlash that has resulted from what Rev. Barber said about Sen. Scott, you’d think the state Democrat party would be rushing to distance themselves from him via a statement or something, right? Wrong.  There has been nothing. Zilch. Zip. Nada.  It’s business as usual for them. And, frankly, why should there be any statement, when you consider the fact that the local media  here in North Carolina isn’t pushing the issue with them at all.  In fact, WRAL – a major player on the NC news circuit, especially when it comes to state politics – has exactly ZERO articles to date up about Barber’s comments about Scott, by my search criteria.   Not exactly a surprise, mind you, but it’s still noteworthy nevertheless.

Now, if you bring this up to a Democrat – or media type – in this state, what you’ll get is, “Rev. Barber has a right to say what he wants and besides, he’s not a Democrat party official anyway.”  While both are true, neither rule applies when the shoe is on the other party’s foot, as we saw during the ridiculous Don Yelton voter ID dust-up a few months ago where the national media and local Democrats, thanks to the Daily Show, pinned the wacko racial rantings of an obscure Buncombe County, NC political gadfly who no one there likes on the state GOP, which in turn prompted numerous party officials at the state and local level to denounce.  As Asheville radio host Pete Kaliner noted at the time (bolded emphasis added by me):

Yelton was billed as a mouthpiece for the party and someone who knows why Republicans in the General Assembly REALLY passed all the voter law changes. But Yelton was a precinct chairman. For folks who don’t know, these are ridiculously easy posts to attain. You, basically, show up.

Yelton won his chairmanship by a vote of 2-1, thanks to his wife being with him.

Once you get this post, you are part of the county Executive Committee. There are hundreds of members. He is not a GOP “official” in any honest understanding of the term.

But these facts don’t matter.

The liberal Huffington Post called him a spokesman (he’s not). Leftists are urging people to vote him out of office (he doesn’t hold office) and celebrated when he got ‘fired from his job’ (he resigned his volunteer position).

Yelton’s history with the Buncombe GOP (and the Democratic Party before that) is tumultuous. Talking with him yesterday, he obviously thinks he settled some local scores.

Yelton’s history with both parties in this state (at the county level in western NC) go back a ways, and the story is complex, but the underlying point there was that the media went and leftists out of their way to paint him as some widely known and respected state party leader who made racist remarks, when in fact he was only in the “precinct chair” position at a very local level because he and his wife voted him in!

But, as Pete pointed out, who gives a rip about the facts? The state GOP had to rush out a statement of condemnation and demand the resignation of a guy who they had nothing whatsoever to do with, had never endorsed, elevated, etc.  In contrast, the NC Democratic Party who last summer made a point to draft and pass a resolution of support and encouragement to Rev. Barber and his Moral Monday movement, don’t feel any pressure to do anything remotely similar with regards to Barber’s slur of Tim Scott – because they know the national media will look away when it comes to their endorsement of them, just like their Moral Monday allies in the local media have done.

Move along here, nothing to see!

BTW, even if they do issue a statement at this point, does that mean the issue is “settled”? It shouldn’t – it didn’t for the state GOP, and it shouldn’t be for the state Democrat party, either.

Sen. Tim Scott responds to Uncle Tom slur by NC NAACP “leader” Bill Barber (UPDATED)

Senator Tim Scott

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) -
Keepin’ it classy.

South Carolina’s “The State” news outlet published what equates to a puff piece this past weekend on the now-nationally recognized opportunistic NC NAACP President/Reverend William Barber.  Barber is the so-called “leader” of the unhinged “Moral Monday” movement here in NC that has waged a vicious war against our GOP-controlled state legislature (otherwise known as the General Assembly) since former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) was sworn into the Governor’s office last January.   NC Democrats, drunk on FULL power here for well over a century, are not used to being in the passenger seat and are taking the “any means necessary” approach to trying to return to their glory days where they had little to no opposition.  I’ve written about both Barber and the “Moral Monday” activist left here, in case you’re curious about the back story.

Anyway, back to the puff piece, journalist John Monk reported on a “fire and thunder” speech Barber gave Sunday night at a church in Columbia, SC in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

COLUMBIA, SC — In a speech of fire and thunder Sunday evening, one of today’s best-known civil rights activists denounced what he said was narrow-minded political and religious thinking that has “put extremism on steroids.”

“We must not give up the so-called high moral ground to the right-wing extremists,” said the Rev. William Barber II, 50, president of the N.C. NAACP, to about 300 at Zion Baptist Church in downtown Columbia.

Issues such as voting, health care, environment and education “are moral issues, faith issues,” Barber said in a pre-Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech to Columbia and S.C. NAACP members and guests.

“Any profession of faith that doesn’t promote justice and standing against wrong is a form of heresy,” said Barber, adding that pastors who obsess about topics like prayer, homosexuality and abortion while neglecting justice, poverty, fair play and equality issues “are just running their mouths.”

In the past year, Barber has become one of the most publicized activists in the country as he has led growing “Moral Monday” demonstrations that have attracted thousands to protest against the Legislature in Raleigh. Hundreds, including Barber, have been arrested for acts of civil disobedience.

Yada yada blah blah. Here in NC, we’re used to hearing about Barber’s rants about how you’re an inauthentic Christian if you don’t support big government.  What should have been more of a focus of Monk’s article, but of course wasn’t, were Barber’s repugnant remarks on South Carolina Senator Tim Scott:

Barber had special criticism for blacks who he said aren’t following the MLK spirit. That includes black youths who kill each other and others “who wear their pants down to their knees.”

He also singled out U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., the conservative black Republican appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley.

“A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” Barber said. He said “the extreme right wing down here (in South Carolina) finds a black guy to be senator and claims he’s the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the Tea Party.”

In other words, Senator Scott and other black conservatives who have strayed from Barber’s House of Victimhood and who dare to think differently from Democrats who continue to mindlessly parrot the Democrat party line are nothing more than ‘Uncle Toms’, a disgusting slur black Democrats have been guilty of using against go-against-the-grain thinkers like Scott for decades.   Scott could have really blown up about Barber’s sickening remarks, but instead chose to keep it classy. Via Daily Caller:

“To reflect seriously on the comments a person, a pastor, that is filled with baseless and meaningless rhetoric would be to do a disservice to the very people who have sacrificed so much and paved a way,” Scott told The Daily Caller in an emailed statement. “Instead, I will honor the memory of Dr. King by being proactive in holding the door for others and serving my fellow man.  And Rev. Barber will remind me and others of what not to do.”

[…]

“I did not meet him when I was failing out of high school.  I did not see him on the streets of my neighborhoods where too many of my friends got off track and never recovered.  I did not meet him when I was working 85 hour weeks to start my business, nor did I meet him when I was running for Congress against long odds.  But who I did meet were people everywhere across this state who were willing to work hard and to help me succeed — and I them,” Scott said.

Make sure to read more of what Scott told the Daily Caller at the link above.

A couple of things: 1) Before Scott was appointed Senator by Gov. Haley, he was easily elected – twice - in SC’s District 1, which is 75% WHITE, and over 60% Republican.  Barber’s insinuation is that if Scott wasn’t sent to DC courtesy of Nikki Haley voters in “white” Tea Partiers in SC would have never VOTED to send him there, which is not true.  Not surprising that the Rev. is short on facts.  Secondly, isn’t it kinda ironic that Barber preaches about “rising up” to make a difference socially yet he argues that it should be done using the same (failed) tactics Democrats have used for decades – all the while deriding others like Scott who think outside of the box to try and make a difference?  Nothing like someone who tries to inspire you to be an “instrument of change” by pushing for policies that keep you in the same place you’re trying to escape.

Then again, maybe that’s exactly Barber’s goal, hmm? :-?

UPDATE – 10:10 PM: Via The Right Scoop: NC NAACP doubles down, says Tim Scott can’t pay homage to Dr. King and be a conservative; TIM SCOTT RESPONDS

Related:

#NCSEN: Senator Hagan will dodge Obama’s visit to NC

Barack Obama, Kay Hagan

President Barack Obama is greeted by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. as he arrives at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Monday, June 13, 2011, in Morrisville, N.C. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Surprise! Another vulnerable Democrat Senator up for re-election this year decides to distance herself from our toxic celebrity President:

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, who finds herself in a tough race for re-election this year, will not attend a speech President Barack Obama is delivering in her home state on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Hagan confirmed to CNN on Monday that because the “Senate is in session on Wednesday,” the Democratic senator will not attend Obama’s event on the economy in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Senators and representatives from the same party as the President generally attend White House events in their home state or district. And Hagan’s absence at the event has already received attention from national Republicans hoping to unseat the senator in 2014.

“Hagan may not be in North Carolina on Wednesday, but her presence will be felt since she can’t hide her support of disastrous policies like ObamaCare and the failed stimulus,” Brook Hougesen, National Republican Senatorial Committee press secretary, said in an email to reporters. “Kay Hagan has put the President’s reckless policies ahead of the people and she simply can’t hedge or hide that from North Carolinians.”

The White House is “defending” her decision to stay in DC – noting that the Senate is currently in session, but she’s been here before to greet him when the Senate was in session. We all know the reason why she’s avoiding him.  One word: Obamacare.

You can run, Kay, but ya can’t hide!

Selective Outrage: #NCPOL media plays favorites on Nazi comparisons

Raleigh-area media

Selective outrage alert.

Two elected officials make ridiculous comparisons between Nazism and modern day policy. One is a Democrat. The other is a Republican. The media, predictably, focuses on the Republican.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Well, no, don’t, because we have another instance of this routine double standard to talk about – and it happened right here in NC, courtesy of the usual suspects in the Raleigh-area mainstream media who, to put it charitably, lean left (as I’ve written about previously). Frankly, so does much of the media in the rest of the state, but the heaviest concentration is in our state capitol.

Anyway, over the weekend State Senator Bob Rucho (R) posted the following tweet:

 

As you might have guessed, this generated a lot of outrage across the political spectrum here in NC, and – naturally – beyond our borders, as the story also went national (surprise!). State and national journos, politicos, pundits, activists, etc all called on Rucho to apologize for the tweet, to explain himself, etc – some have even called for Rucho, an elected official, to resign, especially seeing as he won’t back down from nor apologize for it, claiming it was ‘misinterpreted.’ Whatever the case may be, the standard rule of thumb in politics is Godwin’s Law: First one who makes Nazi/Hitler comparisons automatically loses the argument, and Rucho clearly broke Godwin’s Law here and desperate Democrats in this state – including their bored media allies – jumped all over the tweet, and even played the “Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon” game by tying as many politicians to Rucho as they could, including NC Governor Pat McCrory as well. The McClatchy-owned liberals at the Charlotte Observer, unsurprisingly, led the way in this tactic. Editor Taylor Batten tweeted:

 

Rucho – who is not well-liked by the media here anyway – likely will continue to stand by his remarks, while local media types, analysts, politicos will still marvel over the fact that Rucho won’t retract them. With the massive outrage over Rucho’s tweet – his same-day explanation at his Twitter account didn’t make things any better – you’d think the North Carolina media (not to mention state Democrats) would have a standing rule that anyone making such types of inflammatory remarks be immediately rebuked, with apologies demanded. But – and I know you knew this was coming – here in NC, that is simply not the case.

Flashback to September 2011. Then NC State Senator Doug Berger (D) didn’t just take to Twitter to express his opinion on an issue with which he disagreed with Republicans, he stood on the floor of the NC Senate for SIX MINUTES, comparing the North Carolina Republican Party to … Nazi Germany and Hitler. Why? Because the elected Republicans were pushing to put Amendment One, the amendment that effectively banned alternative forms of marriage in NC, on the ballot the following May:

Democratic North Carolina state Senator speaks very passionately and thoughtfully about the vote the North Carolina state Senate took Wednesday that will un-constitutionally allow voters to decide whether or not to write a ban on same-sex marriage directly into the state constitution. North Carolina already has a law on the books banning gay marriage. North Carolina Senator Doug Berger spoke for over six minutes, explaining his Jewish heritage, and detailing Hitler’s rise to power, and closed with the famous poem, “First They Came,” attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller.

“Some of you might not realize that Adolf Hitler came to power through the ballot box,” Senstor Berger said. “And even though he was elected by the people, he was able to use the instruments of government to take away the rights of individuals. And it wasn’t simply communists, it wasn’t simply socialists, it wasn’t simply trade unions, it wasn’t simply Jehovah witnesses, it wasn’t simply Jews. One of the target groups that the Nazi regime went after were gay people. In fact, if you were gay, you were required to wear a pink triangle, to signify that you were a member of that despised group.”

“I believe if we pass this motion to concur, we are essentially putting a pink triangle into our state constitution,” he added.

Audio of his comments:

Whatever people thought of Amendment One, which was very controversial here at the time (currently now playing out in court) – dividing Republicans and Democrats alike (it eventually passed in May 2012) – the comparison Berger (not to be confused with current NC State Senator Phil Berger – a Republican and Senate Leader) made was disgusting and reprehensible …. and got little to no coverage nor outrage from the local media and the other usual suspects who would have been screaming at the top of their lungs for days had it been a Republican who said that.

Let’s recap: Rucho’s comments were posted on Twitter. Berger made his on the floor of the state senate. Both should have been called to the carpet, but only one was. Did Observer editor Taylor Batten make any judgment calls as to what state Democrats and their muted outrage and condemnation regarding Doug Berger’s remarks said about their party?? Nope.

What’s the explanation as to why the differing levels of coverage and media saturation? I’ll speculate: 1) Doug Berger is a Democrat. Rucho is a Republican. That in and of itself is enough for the double standards in these parts. But there’s another component I suspect was at play here: 2) Berger was a staunch opponent of Amendment One, and so were state Democrats as a party, as were most major newspapers here in NC. The NC media, and Democrats (but I repeat myself), probably looked the other way on his speech either because they didn’t want to make a major scandal out of it – which would have hurt the party (already hobbled by various scandals), agreed with Berger, or both. On the other hand, Berger made a Nazi comparison with Obamacare, and liberals in our state (including the media) strongly support President Obama’s signature legislation. Insulting Obamacare is a big no no to them – especially if you’re a Republican, and you only compound it when you make stupid Nazi analogies to try and prove a point.

In other words, same sh*t different day here in NC as it relates to the local media coverage and their corresponding, enduring narratives. Move along here, nothing new to see ….

**Hat tip for the Berger quote to WWNC talk radio host Pete Kaliner**

PS: If anyone out there can find substantial contrary evidence to what I’ve written here about the muted reaction to Doug Berger’s comparison, please let me know. Google searches found very little, and searching specific news sites found nothing.