Mapped out

by | Jan 23, 2015 | Editor's Blog, NC Politics | 24 comments

Ok. I’m a bit offended. Civitas didn’t mention me as part of the vast left wing conspiracy. I mean, I’ve beaten up on the legislature, the governor, Art Pope and, yes, even Civitas as well as anybody. How could I have not made the list? I’m mean, hell, even AARP is part of the cabal.

Maybe it’s that John Wynne guy who keeps posting here. He might be watering down their animosity toward PoliticsNC. Maybe it’s those fights I occasionally pick with Democrats. I don’t know, but now I’ve got a goal. Maybe I can make it next year.

In reality, I have a hard time taking conspiracy theories from either the right or left too seriously. While I’ve never played in conservative politics, I’ve been in enough intramural squabbles on the left to know just how tenuous the alliances are. For the most part, the organizations listed are self-interested groups with relatively narrow focuses. They are less interested in promoting a left-wing agenda than their own agenda. Any alliances with other groups have more to do with our two-party system and a relatively limited number of funders than any sort of broad conspiracy.

When I first saw the Civitas map, I thought the group was just trolling progressives who have been making the connection to Art Pope for decades. Over the years, we’ve seen various maps that show Pope’s connection to virtually every conservative organization in the state. Progressive organizations and pundits have used these connections to accuse Pope of trying to buy the state.

However, this map is different and really is not believable. Civitas has accused virtually every nonprofit charity and social welfare organization of being part of the left. The list of funders really kills it, though. The left wing conspiracy in North Carolina is funded, in part, by The Wal-mart Foundation, The Bank of America Foundation, BB&T Charitable Trust, The Allstate Foundation, SunTrust Foundation, Citi Foundation, the Wells Fargo Foundation, Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Duke Energy Foundation, Food Lion Charitable Foundation, Inc., The Prudential Foundation and the The J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation. In addition, every major family foundation from Kellogg to John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is part of the equation.

Contrary to what the report says, there have always been groups that come together at campaign time to elect or defeat candidates. The groups and funders are usually evolving and changing. Art Pope is the exception because he’s been at it for so long. In the mid-1990s, Richard Mellon Scaife was the right-wing boogie man. About eight or ten years ago, George Soros was trying to buy the country and turn it into a left-wing utopia. Knowing who is funding what is valuable. Believing that funders are controlling and orchestrating the activities of the groups they support is fantasy.


  1. barry

    I would encourage PoliticsNC to ban trolls who spew venom like some on this thread. The “if you can’t stand the heat” argument is used to cover the fact that people don’t want to hang out on a venue which is dominated by hateful speech. People just tune it out and start hanging out on sites that don’t gross you out/get your blood boiling for no good reason.

    And that’s the goal for some of them – if civilized discussion is leading to conclusions that you don’t agree with – well then, prevent civilized discussion.

    “If you don’t like how the table is set, then turn over the table.”

    • Eilene

      Well, as I’ve been saying to Gregorious, polite political discourse would be a wonderful thing. We CERTAINLY don’t seem to agree on much, but if he would talk to us in a reasonable manner, it does us all well to hear the “other side” to see if we still whole-heartedly believe that our view point is correct, or if there is some logic in the opposition’s debate that we need to consider. The unfortunate thing is, I’m pretty sure we could bring Albert Einstein in here, and if he diagreed with Gregorious, I think Gregorious would call him stupid and insinuate that he was probably a closet homosexual, because that is what passes for an insult in his mind, if he thought Einstein was related to Mick.

      Not that I agree with John Wynne on much, but I do think his posts are food for thought, and appreciate his contributions. I wish Gregorious would say the same of us, and keep this whole thing on a more pleasant tilt.

      And “rant”, Gregorious? I’m bringing up some very real issues facing the state, and the country right now. I’m not ranting, I am posing some polite political dialog, to see what you think. You’ve said that you have been respectful towards me, and for the most part that is true, but let’s not call any argument longer than a paragraph a rant, or we’ll never get to a point where we might see some solution to our problems, anywhere. I don’t think we should automatically ban anyone who disagrees with the liberal bent of this site, but I hope we can convince the opposition to treat all of us with respect, or stop trolling the site. It’s annoying, but it accomplishes little else, and we can all just ignore you. I’d rather have the discourse.

      • Progressive Wing

        Barry and Eilene: Sounds like you think that being referred on these threads a “local half-baked and halfwitted Bolshie” or “thug” or an “EVIL NASTY CORRUPT democrackkk” is going over the line and being uncivil. Well, I couldn’t agree more. But one needs to steel oneself to the reality that respectful discourse is simply not what some folks want. As you say, Barry, if discussion is civilized and perhaps trending against someone’s hardened views, then that someone might just try to “prevent civilized discussion.” That said, I still hope to see the level of stridency and meanness conveyed in posts reduced way down.

  2. Gregorious Collo-Rosso

    Eilene politics is a blood sport and as I mentioned earlier, if you can’t stand the heat…
    I would remind you of Alinsky’s RULES FOR RADICALS #5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.” All I’m doing is running the leftist playbook back at ’em and actually doing it a lot more civilly than most leftists I don’t mind telling you. Plus I’m only insulting and obnoxious to the insulting and obnoxious (usually, if they’re a real idiot I sometimes bend this rule). But as evidence have I not treated you with respect?

    As to your assertion that liberals/leftists respect the Constitution, I’m afraid that has not been my experience. From my perspective they are constantly trying to invent rights that are not mentioned, implied or otherwise in the Constitution (abortion, gay “marriage” for example) and deny clearly enunciated rights like the 2nd. Amendment. You say nobody has ever tried to take our guns away. I would direct you to the District of Columbia or Chicago or most of the New England states where for all intents and purposes it’s impossible for the average citizen to exercise her or her gun rights.

    The rest of your…well, RANT I’ll save for another day. But chew on this, the only thing in the middle of the road is flattened possums.

  3. Eilene

    OOOOH! The righter-than-right-wingers have found the site! You’ve made it to crazy-town, after all, Thomas!

    • Gregorious Collo-Rosso

      That’s right Eilene, the party is over. If you can’t stand the heat….

      • Eilene

        Hey, maybe I like you just a little, Gregorious… you’re one of the first people on the planet to spell my name right. Party? Have you seen our sad little Democrat hang-out lately? Not much partying going on. However, the far-left Pelosi party that has hijacked my party, and the ultra-right wing loonies who have hijacked yours need to shut the heck up and let a few moderates do what’s right for this state, and for this country. And if the shoe fits, Gregorious…. and seriously, Queer Nation? Are you sure you aren’t still in the 60’s? And the silly little homophobic insinuations towards Mick are a sign of an immature mind. Grow up.

        • Gregorious Collo-Rosso

          Well “Mick” is a dick so I never miss an opportunity. He got me thrown off the N&O comment section and had me banned a couple of times from FB. I’m sure he’s working mightily on the editors of this fine blog to have me banned here too. You see he comes from the Stalinist school of bullying, intimidation and shout-downs and I’m sorry, be it mature or immature I’ll will fight guys like him until my dying day…by any means necessary (with all that that implies).
          I know many liberals, I have many liberal friends and family members and we get along just fine (lively political discussions as you might imagine). You sound like a thoughtful, reasonable liberal deserving of respect. However “Mick” is not a liberal, he’s a thug by other means. So there you go.

          Oh, I take your point on Pelosi but I am curious how you define “ultra-right wing loonies”. If you are referring to someone who believes the Constitution is the greatest political document written by the hand of man, then you may count me in.

          • Mick

            Gregorious Collo-Rosso/Gregorious Caroline du Nord/Thuaidh Cearuilin (or whatever you might call yourself tomorrow):

            Yes, I did report your posts to the N&O and FB for their name-calling crassness, personal attacks, and at times sordid sexual or medical accusations against posters, and they both took appropriate action to ban you. And you are now doing the same sort of things here on this site. And yes, in all honesty, I wish that would ban you here, too.

            I’ll end this post by just suggesting that posters re-read and compare your and my posts, whether just on this one comment thread alone or on any of the other comment threads on these blogs, and then decide for themselves who is being a bullying, name-calling, and counter-productive contributor.

          • Gregorious Collo-Rosso

            I give as good as I get “Mick” and whatever I have said to or about you has been in response to the arrogant, hate filled, condescending ‘New York Über Alles’ drivel you consider political discourse. But I would never try to silence you, under any circumstances!
            I almost feel sorry for people like you, but the fact is you and your kind are dangerous. You are un-American. If history teaches us anything it’s that people with attitudes like yours gets other people shot and shoved in ovens. As I am one of the “other people” I don’t intend to go quietly.
            So get me banned if you can, that’s just who you are.

          • Eilene

            Why do right-wingers always assume that they are the only ones who can read the constitution or a bible? It’s a straw-man argument when you don’t have a very good argument… deflect, deflect, insult.

            As for “right-wing-loonies”, I think you know exactly what I mean. Don’t let the environment or any sorts of regulations ever get in the way of the business class, since they are the ones creating jobs… even at the expense of public health and clean air and drinking water. Most of the jobs they are creating are low-wage crap jobs, and their employees end up on public assistance anyway.

            And speaking of, no free hand-outs to the poor and down-trodden… but to the giant defense contractors, petroleum industry, etc…. handouts are awesome!

            And don’t even think of taking my guns away… but nobody has ever even tried. A few common-sense regulations to try to help make sure that ex-felons and psychiatric patients don’t end up with AK-57’s is not taking away anyone else’s right to bear arms… although, I am one of the few Democrats that think most gun regulations are useless, because if an ex-con can’t get one legally, they’ll just get one illegally or our of their grandpa’s closet, anyway.

            The alarm is constantly ringing at all the terrible things that the Democrats are trying to do… even when they’re not. There is a middle of the road that nobody wants to meet at anymore, and it’s not just the Democrats that are acting like petulant little children.

            And, Gregorious, could you please try to have a civil conversation? “Fighting until your dying day” can still be done without acting so trashy. Nobody even tries to be civil anymore. What must our children think of us? What will they grow up to be like?

  4. RedHotPoker Remember THESE are the power mongers that want to CONTROL every aspect of YOUR life!

    • Mick

      Gee, the “power-mongers” and “life-controlling” types I am aware of are those trying to dictate/restrict what goes on in the bedroom between two adults; in what/how teachers teach; in matrimony between two adults; in an OBGYN doctor’s office; in gaining eligibility for affordable healthcare; in accessing the voting booth; and in disclosing corporate fracking or hog farm information, among other things. Ya know, conservative Republicans…..

      • Gregorious Collo-Rosso

        I agree “Mick” KEEP THE GOVERNMENT’S HANDS OFF MY BODY…(whisper whisper) unless it’s Obamacare and then the gov’t can decide anything they like about “your” body.
        You know “Mick” this ain’t the 60’s when there were (much to your chagrin no doubt) anti-sodomy laws and such. Nowadays we offer special protections for members of Queer Nation such as so-called “Hate” laws. We make abortion not only available but more often than not free. And affordable healthcare, ask the 85% who liked their healthcare who have seen their coverage reduced and the deductibles and premiums increase. Chucky Schumer did, and he’s very distraught that the Democrats stomped all over their “Micks” to appease a very small leftist minority at the expense of half the Democrat Senators who voted for the piece of trash in the first place.
        So keep it up “Mick” I’m loving every minute of it, and I sure hope your fellow Dems are listening.

  5. Gregorious Collo-Rosso

    I know just how the author feels. All of my adult life it has been a goal of mine to make a prominent Democrat’s enemies list. Since the days of Hilary Clinton having hundreds of FBI files in her possession (Chuck Colson was sent to prison for have one) to Obama’s “Of course we don’t have an ‘enemies list'” enemies list, I just can’t seem to make the cut. I guess I’ll just have to settle for the undying enmity of local half-baked and halfwitted Bolshies.

    • RedHotPoker

      It is great fun to be recognized as an enemy of the enemy of the state! Democrackkks are the greatest ENEMY of Amerikkka! EVIL NASTY CORRUPT CRIMINALS.

  6. BattleDem

    The bad thing about this “map” is that the Corporate Media will “report” this as an intellectual study and many well-meaning but uninformed voters will believe these lies because the truth will not be presented along side of the “report”.

  7. Lex

    If you’re an N.C. progressive and you’re not on the list, as with Nixon’s Enemies List 40 years ago, then that means UR NOT DOIN IT RITE.

    The good news is that you can add yourself to the list by going to The bad news is, why would you want to? It would be like inviting Westboro Baptist Church to protest your own funeral: unseemly; campaigning for something that one’s own actions simply should make inevitable.

  8. Tom Sullivan

    Don’t feel bad. It looks as if anyone who shows up on a board of a group that files a financial statement makes their list. Otherwise, you’re not a threat. It speaks to their worldview, doesn’t it? Money is the measure of all things.

    • RedHotPoker

      NO Tom, FREEDOM is the measure of all things Amerikkkan, but as a nasty progressive democrackkk you wouldn’t know about that…

  9. Mick

    Wow. Civitas just goes public and straight ahead with a demonstration of their paranoiac, conspiracy-theorizing mindset. Seems as if each and every news release/pronouncement from this group of late is trending even more toward the absurd (e.g, see their recent position that Medicaid expansion wouldn’t have substantive positive economic impacts in NC).

    • RedHotPoker

      huh? NO CONTENT at all? of course there isn’t, just a photo of the next UNC system President, Mr. Art Pope.

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