Civitas Removes the Fig Leaf

Civitas has a luncheon every month or so to spin the results of their push polls. These meetings are primarily used to offer advice to Republican elected officials and GOP campaign workers on how to win elections. Given that Civitas claims a 501(c)3 tax free status, this ought to be illegal, but who honestly expects the GOP to play by the same rules as the rest of us?

Several of the statements made, particularly by Fetzer, are shocking in their cold ruthlessness. I think it is telling that nobody objected on principle to some of his ideas.

I think this is the best example:

Fetzer: This isn't like what we did with Reagan. Since we don't have anti-communism to unite the Republican party anymore we'll have to find new issues to agitate our political base.

An audience member then suggested, why don't we just replace fear of communism with fear of terrorism?

Fetzer: Yes, that's the plan.

Click here for a pdf of the poll.

Here are my notes (statements are paraphrases, not direct quotes):


D.G Martin, Tom Fetzer, and Jack Hawke were the speakers.

Jack Hawke started off the luncheon by giving thanks to Art Pope.

D.G. Martin: Education policy makers don't understand the enthusiasm and public angst over the immigration issue. There is a disconnect between policy and the public.

Hawke or Fetzer jumped in: We can "exploit" this. We should agitate on immigration concerns. This is going to resonate even more as we get closer to the election.

In talking about polls results that show that most North Carolinians intend to vote for Democratic candidates, Hawke and Fetzer made half-hearted little attempts to talk about why these stats didn't really matter (I think for the audience's benefit). There was an awkward pause.

Fetzer: Obviously Bush is hurting our chances. While Dole is going to get a pass because she is a "super star" woman, white male Republicans don't have that luxury. He then launched into a stern warning about how scary it is that Democrats could win Senate seats. "Democrats might win 60 seats." Fetzer urged the audience to take action to prevent this.

D.G. Martin: Federal Republicans have been blatantly irresponsible about tax cuts. They have cut taxes without reducing expenses. You have to pay for tax cuts, and the GOP has refused to do this.

Martin starts to talk about how federal Republicans have created a deficit, and Hawke can't control himself. He interrupts to insist that deficits caused by North Carolina Democrats are even worse. Martin tries to speak again about the federal budget, and Hawke interrupts again, this time apologetically, to reassure the audience that even when Republicans are bad, Democrats are always worse.

They start to talk about the presidential race. Hawke goes on a irritated tangent about how Huckabee is hurting the GOP's chances at winning the general, therefore he has a losing strategy. McCain is our man. McCain beats Clinton.

Martin quips, the Devil would beat Clinton.

Hawke: "Speaking of the Devil, Obama" performs better than Clinton against McCain. He goes on to talk about how if the Democratic nominee is Clinton, things are much better for Republicans.
Fetzer starts to talk about the possibility that the any Democratic nominee could win, and Hawke interrupts: "you're always ready to find bad in good." The good he is referring to is Clinton's negatives.

Fetzer agrees, Obama nomination is "dangerous" and "we would have a much better chance with Clinton as the nominee."

Hawke: Republican registration has gone down. "That's not good news for those of you who happen to be Republican." The audience laughs at the joke.

Fetzer comments the bad economy is going to help Democrats and that's not good news.

Talking about the gubernatorial race, Fetzer says: "Moore has a slim chance of pulling off the nomination, and he's going to have to run a much, much better campaign than he has been running if he's going to have a chance."

Hawke: Jay Reiff is a great campaign manager, the best out there, but Moore is too conservative for the Democratic primary.

Fetzer: McCrory is the front runner. He could get 40% and not even have to face a run-off.

D.G. Martin said something I didn't really catch about how Republicans with girls' names do better than Republicans with boys' names. I don't know if it was a joke or not.

He then makes a bunch of jokes about how Davidson is a really great school. I take it recent Republican Governors have been Davidson graduates: "It takes a liberal education to produce a successful conservative Governor."

Fetzer returns to immigration, again stressing the need to make every issue about immigration: you see the level of intensity go higher on immigration once it starts to bleed over to other issues.

Martin suggests balancing the emotional aspects of immigration with pragmatic concerns and human decency, and the crowd start grumbling. Hawke pushes back against this idea. Hawke does a little speech about how all immigrants are illegitimate people that ought be denied anything possible to deny them.

Fetzer: The conservative movement and the Republican party are "by logical extension" one and the same. We here in this room have been sleeping too long and we need to get to work for the Republican party.

Fetzer, shockingly candid: This isn't like what we did with Reagan. Since we don't have anti-communism to unite the Republican party anymore we'll have to find new issues to agitate our political base. Audience member suggests, why don't we just replace fear of communism with fear of terrorism? Fetzer, yes that's the plan.

Hawke moved to the next slide which illustrated the point that many North Carolinians don't think that the government should pay for everything for everybody. Apparently not satisified with that simple point, Hawke volunteered that he personally didn't think that he should have to pay any taxes at all.

Martin started to talk but Fetzer interupted: Voters don't understand health care, they aren't intelligent enough to understand it, and that helps the Democrats.

Martin takes objection to the blatantly skewed poll question:

Is health insurance getting so expensive that the government should raise taxes and pay for the healthcare of everybody?

Hawke refuses to acknowledge that the poll question is even the slightest bit skewed and tries to change the conversation about how the government is always bad always. Martin somehow manages to continue making articulate, well-mannered replies, to Hawke's increasing shrill anarchism.

Fetzer refers to Obama as Hussein Obama, and says that Republicans will need to be "hostile, mobile, and agile" to win the election.

At that point I figured the luncheon had jumped the shark and I left.

Comments

I don't know how you stand it

... being in the same room with such vile and slime.

Fetzer has alliances with McHenry

and apparently has abandoned an earlier tie with Bill Graham to get in bed with McCrory. (Graham's numbers didn't go up like expected with all his push polling). I've heard Patty's people are also now with McCrory. Dole, of course, is part of this crowd. Debbie Clary, who wants Walter Dalton's state senate seat also aspires to be their peep. Nice bunch, eh?

You're brave, Jerimee.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

And Jack Hawke is an idiot

Hawke: Jay Reiff is a great campaign manager, the best out there, but Moore is too conservative for the Democratic primary.

Riiiiiiight. Reiff came on board with Moore well within striking distance of Perdue. And he has steadily driven Richard over the cliff with all his attack ads. Moore's not too conservative for the Democratic primary in North Carolina. His only problem is that he's been running a crappy campaign. We're nine weeks out and he has zero momentum that I can see.

The only way Perdue can blow it is to adopt Moore's losing strategy and keep it up with their current stream of attacks. Perdue has a chance to rise above the slime, but her boys are letting their testosterone get the better of them.

If Hawke believes the nonsense he's saying he's worse than the doddering old joke I imagined. He's flat out delusional. Which exactly why I'm so glad he's advising McCrory. The McHorny/McCrory/Fetzer/Dole crowd is on the verge of imploding, especially with Hawke as dead dumb weight.

Imploding

Let's hope Democratic candidates (and the party) can keep it together to take advantage of the carnage. Here's to retaining the Governor's mansion, gaining a US Senate seat, and future freshman Congressman Daniel Johnson.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

As is Martin?

Sorry Grier, but someone needs to talk to any Democrat that would stand up and say:

They start to talk about the presidential race. Hawke goes on a irritated tangent about how Huckabee is hurting the GOP's chances at winning the general, therefore he has a losing strategy. McCain is our man. McCain beats Clinton.

Martin quips, the Devil would beat Clinton.

With all due respect, f(*k that.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Good point.

That's the elder Grier, correct?

Just checking. I tried to picture that statement coming out of young Senator Grier's mouth, and I just couldn't picture it.

Yep.

DG's a good guy ... a great guy ... he was no doubt trying to lighten the mood, having found himself in Civitas hell.

I don't understand why any Democrat other than Jerimee (who goes to document the creepiness) would spend one minute with these people. This sort of reaching across the aisle into the slime of the Puppetshow makes no sense to me whatsoever.

What I would prefer.

From a Democrat would be something more like:

"At least if you are facing Clinton, you won't have what some are calling the "YouTube vs. Feeding Tube" election."

Or:

"I think at this point anyone with a pulse stands a good chance of beating the Republican nominee."

Or:

"I guess it depends which John McCain shows up, the 2000 "Independent" or the 2007 "Bushie"."

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Yes, I wasn't trying to suggest...

it was Grier. However, knowing he reads the site I wanted to acknowledge that....well, it stinks to have to say something bad about someone's dad to be blunt.

However, I would hope that Democrats in NC would not buy into the hating-Hillary, right-wing meme.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

the Devil

He said it kind of, I don't know how to describe it, like in a voice. It's possible he was saying, in effect, "To hear some people talk, you'd think the Devil would beat Clinton."

These are just my notes. I didn't tape the meeting.

- - - - -
The GOP will try to suppress the vote in 2008.

Certainly DG Martin has done more for the party....

than I could ever hope to do. So, I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I'd definitely give DG the benefit of the doubt

but I think you do a lot for the party Robert. You bang your drum pretty loud, if you know what I'm saying. That's important.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

OT but a mustsee: newsatnorman has taken gloves off re: McHorny

Here's a tidbit but go read the whole thing:

McHenry Seems To Blow With The Political Wind

sycophant
SIK-uh-fuhnt\, noun:
1. A person who seeks favor by flattering people of wealth or influence; a parasite; a toady.
2. One who seeks to gain through the powerful and influential.

suck-up
suk'up' noun: Informal
A person who flatters or defers to others obsequiously; a sycophant.

U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry gives new meaning to the words sycophant and suck-up and it's long past time for the media in the 10th Congressional District to quit giving him a free pass.

 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

More inside secret stuff from Pope's Civitas lodge meeting?

Audience member suggests, why don't we just replace fear of communism with fear of terrorism? Fetzer, yes that's the plan.

And than another member jumps up and suggests, why don't replace fear of terrorism with love from fascism? Fetzer, yes that was the plan, but we can't find anybody to dress up like Hilter.

And than another member springs up and suggests, why don't we replace Congressman McHenry fear of terrohomoism with love from fascism? Fetzer, yes that was the plan, but we can't find anybody to dress up like a transgender sissy bath house stripper from San Francisco.

And than 3 members leap up and suggests, why don't we replace the fear of Mexican lawnboys with love from fascism? Fetzer, yes that was the plan, but we can't find any Alien Lizards from cyberspace to dress up like the Mayor of Charlotte.

McHorny a suck up?

Who knew?

Great story, DQ. Thanks for the lynx.

Totally bankrupt.

Morally, ethically and creatively. Terrorism, the new communism? Ooohh, that's original.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

So Fetzer says R's need to be "hostile, mobile and agile"

to win.

Well, they've clearly got one out of three down cold.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

He forgot "slippery."

The 7 dwarfs of Republicanism

Hostile, Mobile, Agile, Slippery, Sleazy, Arrogant, Short-sighted, and of course, Dopey.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Hahahahahahahaha!

It's complicated, but....

everything with the IRS is.

To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

However, there are certain circumstances in which an exempt organization can get around these requirements. I just learned this tonight as I was all fired up to file a complaint about Civitas. Heh. More research that I have no idea how to do. Where is that gadfly when I need him?

Whether an organization’s attempts to influence legislation constitute a substantial part of its overall activities is determined on the basis of all the pertinent facts and circumstances in each case. The IRS considers a variety of factors, including the time devoted (by both compensated and volunteer workers) and the expenditures devoted by the organization to the activity, when determining whether the lobbying activity is substantial.emphasis is mine. LC

I imagine that it is quite subjective, and by having a Democrat come to the Civitas luncheons, they get away with a lot. However, statements such as the ones Jerimee quoted above leave little to the imagination as to where they stand and what their plans are.

There does seem to be a loophole in the law about 501c3 corporations lobbying or attempting to influence elections.

Organizations other than churches and private foundations may elect the expenditure test under section 501(h) as an alternative method for measuring lobbying activity. Under the expenditure test, the extent of an organization’s lobbying activity will not jeopardize its tax-exempt status, provided its expenditures, related to such activity, do not normally exceed an amount specified in section 4911. This limit is generally based upon the size of the organization and may not exceed $1,000,000.

I don't know if Civitas has made such an election and wouldn't know how to go about finding out. However, since they are organized as a 501c3, their tax info is public, and should be available for an enterprising searcher who is not as tired as I am right now.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

That long post started because I was going to say

The IRS should investigate them. But I don't know how to make that happen.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I agree

The IRS should investigate them. I was thinking that as I was reading Jerimee's description of the meeting. I wouldn't want 501(c)(3)'s to be prohibited from political action altogether - think of the Sierra Club, for example - but for Civitas, political action seems to be their whole reason for being. That can't be within the law.

Welcome back!

You've been missed.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Hawke-ish

When I last saw him at one of these things in 2005, Hawke was rubbing his hands together about how great a wedge issue immigration would be for them.

"The party of ideas" - bent on giving the country a wedgie.

Adams 2 Pope 0

I wrote recently how the John Locke Foundation was suckered by a satirical post by conservative Mike Adams. This time it's the turn of Civitas to be suckered by satire. Max Borders writes this morning at Red Bait Citizen with no hint of irony: The Reeducation of Mike Adams

It looks like UNCW is forcing Mike Adams to enter into a reeducation seminar to get his head on straight, due to some Chapter Titles in this book [Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts "Womyn" on Campus] they got a hold of prepublication.

The titles of these chapters were all deemed to be insensitive and, therefore, in violation of the hostile environment "sexual harassment" code at my university. As a result, I am writing you from a mandatory re-education seminar I have been forced to attend as a result of violating the harassment code. In fact, I will be attending these seminars for the next ten weeks. If I miss a week, I will be fired.

Now, if you think Mike Adams has it rough in the academy, how do you think your kids are being treated?

This evening a commenter took pity on Max and wrote:

I got the Mike Adams diversity training email, but at the bottom of mine it said " P.S. - I'm not actually in a diversity re-education seminar - but I will be if you don't buy my book today!" I think this one was a promotional gimmick and a pretty darn clever one.

Art Pope sure is flushing his money down the drain.

Can't expect Puppets to actually think

That's his big problem.

What an uncomfortable way to live

with someone's hand up your...um...well. You know. All the time.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Oh that is hilarious!

What a bunch of - well, the new me is too polite to say what they are - but it's bad.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Oh, the new you?

I liked old Betsy. She didn't mind dropping an "f" bomb or two. When can she come out and play?

Not that I don't like the new you. It's just ...different.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Oh...don't worry....I'll be out playing

You know me. :D

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

If this Adams guy isn't fired....

it just goes to show that Republicans are NOT THE MBA party. They value loyalty over performance every time.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Here's a photo of Fetzer with Ken Starr

fetzer-star.jpegIt's from Indy Week in 2000.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

DQ can you ask for this photo to be released

DQ can you ask Indy Week to release this photo under a non-restrictive creative commons license so that we can put it up on wikipedia?

Speaking of wikipedia, yall should check out this website: Wikileaks

- - - - -
The GOP will try to suppress the vote in 2008.

I know no one at Indy Week

James? Betsy? I don't even know where they publish. Does anyone know them? I got the link from a commenter at PatGoByeBye.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Didn't we do a live blog with their new editor?

Lisa Sorg