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.