While the media is reporting on an important political story, WRAL is leaving out key information about its deep connections to the group at the center of the story . The Charlotte Observer posted a story on BlueprintNC, a liberal group responsible for coordinating activities on the left, after a “confidential” 38 page strategy memo was leaked. Wral picked up on the story and posted the memo on line. But what has WRAL left out of the story?
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.
Wral is also actually doing one of the items in the strategy memo. The memo on page 3 calls for tracking McCrory “Campaign Promises” and “slam him when he contradicts his promise.” WRAL appears to have taken that for action by launching their “Promise Tracker”, complete with cute little “Skull & Crossbones” symbols.
Civitas has previously written about BlueprintNC including this chart back in January 2010 (this contains a handy list for “legislative leaders” who might be interested in groups wishing to “eviscerate” or “cripple” them) . It played a key coordinating role leading up to the 2008 election and its extensive network became evident while investigating the role of ACORN in North Carolina. We also wrote about its role in the news you are getting.
It should also be noted that the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation which has given $425,000 to Blueprint and $2.7 million to the Justice Center which housed Blueprint, was headed succesively by Tom Ross the current UNC system President and Leslie Winner a former Democratic state senator and UNC VP.
“We want to be a change agent in the state,” Tom Ross told Todd Cohen in an interview for the Business Journal of Charlotte back in 2002.
And so he was.
Flying in the face of all the noise and cries of “besmirching” one of North Carolina’s great leaders coming from NC Policywatch’s Rob Schofield, Civitas recently discovered an article detailing the fundamental changes enacted by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation under Ross’s tenure.
Cohen’s article describes “sweeping changes in grantmaking” of Z. Smith Reynolds, an ideological shift in North Carolina’s largest philanthropic organization that relegated its traditional grant recipients (historical preservation, health care, construction and capital campaigns, etc.) in favor of more “progressive” organizations. These new beneficiaries would hail from the realms of “social, economic, and environmental justice.”
With the then newly selected Tom Ross at the helm, Z. Smith Reynolds took a sharp left turn and became actively engaged in the practice of “backing progressive public policy.” Now he is to be the next UNC System President.
John Hood of the John Locke Foundation summarized the implications of this shift to left-wing activism saying the Z. Smith Reynolds “is going to give less money to charities providing direct services to the public and more money to public policy charities of the left-wing variety.”
Hood added, “I suspect that the previous generations of the Reynolds family who engaged so successfully in our capitalist system would be horrified to find how much their money will be used to subvert that very system.”
So much for being a “mainstream group, funding mainstream causes,” as Mr. Schofield described Z. Smith Reynolds under Ross’s administration. Ross played a lead role in diverting the focus of Z. Smith Reynolds from a well respected philanthropy foundation to a sweetheart of liberal activist groups of all flavors.
North Carolina Congressman Patrick McHenry has ACORN in his sights and and is readying to take the shot. At the Sept. 30 hearing conducted by the House Financial Services Committee, as reported by not by CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, New York Times or the Washington Post but by BigGovernment.com, he was on the hunt.
McHenry had a union boss on the hot seat at the meeting from ACORN’s big labor partner ; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Anna Burger flatly stated that SEIU had cut all ties with ACORN. McHenry continued to press her for details:
“What was the extent of your financial ties with ACORN?” the congressman asked.
“I will get that information for you for the record,” she said. Called the “queen of labor” by some, Burger is an officer of George Soros’s Democracy Alliance, a left-wing billionaire donors’ collaborative that has steered funds to ACORN. She also chairs the powerful labor federation known as Change to Win.
So the cozy relationship between SEIU and ACORN is over? Which group wanted to protect its reputation? ACORN or SEIU?
ACORN has long used public sector unions to shakedown politicians to increase their funding and grow their membership. The election of former Congressman Rod Blagojevich as the Governor of Chicago Illinois is a classic example of the con game run by ACORN.
The unholy alliance between ACORN, Big Labor and Darth Soros is just beginning to be seen in public with the efforts of leaders like McHenry and California Congressman Darrell Issa, the blogs of the right while the mainstream media refuses to run any story connected to ACORN until the Congress symbolically votes to cut their federal funds.
Read the whole sorted affair at the American Spectator Blog.