The Foundation for North Carolina can take unlimited donations and legally does not have to disclose its donors. Gov. McCrory’s association with such an entity designed specifically for his benefit is a gaping loophole for corporations and lobbyists to circumvent campaign finance law. The potential for pay-to-play and conflicts of interests is staggering.
After witnessing McCrory's 2011 non-campaign campaign, in which he toured the state raking in speaker's fees and God knows what other forms of income, this Foundation gimmick comes as no surprise. What is a surprise is how casually the mainstream media has approached this issue. Back in the day, tons of money from unknown sources collected for vague reasons used to be a flag for reporters that corruption might be present, but today? Nary an eyebrow raised.
The sick state of North Carolina's Republican Party came into sharp relief this week when one its masters of sleaze, Jack Hawke, resigned as an adviser to Paraclete, aka Tim D'Annunzio, aka Jesus Christ. Steve wrote about this yesterday, as have others, but I want to cover it from a different angle.
Hawke said he parted ways in part over D'Annunzio's posts on a blog called "Christ's War," which combines politics with Biblical references and end-times theology. Hawke said he advised the candidate to take it down after a February Observer story quoted passages from it.
"He took it down, told me it was down and down to stay," said Hawke, who advised former Gov. Jim Martin and gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory. "Next I knew it was in the N&O telling me it was back up. ... I don't think any candidate should get up at 3 or 4 in the morning, sit down in front of a computer and pour your heart out. It's just not a smart thing to do."
With Jack Hawke, ex-ringleader of the Civitas Circus, now blowing hot air into Pat McCrory's corporate sails, the shape of the general election for governor is clear: On the Democratic side, you'll have a dedicated public servant who understands how government works and why it's important to work toward the common good. And on the other side you'll have a guy like Pat "Duke" McCrory, purveyor of free-market talking points galore: Gummint is bad, greed is good, and I'm the man to protect yo wallet from the pinko comminists in Raleigh.
But as our handy-dandy (and updated!) map of the Show suggests, the Puppetmaster has infiltrated major media outlets and at least one major university, so they are definitely worth keeping an eye on. Which is why I was so pleased to see this post by Rob Schofield at NC Policy Watch yesterday. It's a doozy.
First off, Chris Fitzsimon at NC Policy Watch smacks Rick Martinez (News Puppet at WPTF-AM) upside his wooden head with a great column on public education.
The market fundamentalists are relentless in their crusade to privatize public schools and don’t mind ignoring facts and social science if they have to. They are even willing to temporarily put aside their normal demonization of the poor.
I was reading a new post at Progressive Pulse this morning, where I learned that one of the regular commenters there is being paid to blog by the Puppetmaster. His name is Max Borders (no, it's not a joke) and he is a self-avowed soldier in the so called freedom movement.
I've seen Max's name many times, but always assumed he was an honest broker, another run-of-the-mill free-market fundamentalist without a real job. When I discovered he's actually a shill for the Civitas Circus, I wrote this:
I appreciate the background on Max. Even though I’ve seen scores of comments from him here, I never realized he’s a paid shill for the Puppetmaster. Thanks for saving me the trouble of reading his future commentary.
Note to Civitas: If you’re going to spend a boatload of Art’s money upgrading to a fancy new website, why on earth would you plaster the incoherent ramblings of Jack Hawke on your welcoming video? Just sayin’.
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