NC progressives accidentally expose national strategy in leaked memo

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A progressive left organization in North Carolina was exposed last week for using “bad judgement” on how to attack Gov. Pat McCrory and other Republican leaders in that state, but does this story have national implications that are being missed by all?

A leaked memo detailed a number of suggestions by Blueprint North Carolina, and was emailed to groups with a warning: “It is CONFIDENTIAL to Blueprint, so please be careful – share with your boards and appropriate staff but not the whole world.”

As reported by the Charlotte Observer, the list of recommendations given to North Carolina progressives included:

• “Crippling their leaders (McCrory, Tillis, Berger etc.).”

• “Eviscerate the leadership and weaken their ability to govern.”

• “Pressure McCrory at every public event.”

• “Slam him when he contradicts his promises.”

• “Private investigators and investigative reporting, especially in the executive branch…”

All in all, a careless decision and the organization deserves any scrutiny coming its way, however, did this bonehead move betray a greater overall strategy to target battleground states ahead of the 2016 presidential election?

On page two of the leaked memo, there is a reference to Florida: “Use wisdom from other states — Invite the Florida minority leader up to brief us, etc.”

While it’s not clear if “minority leader” is a reference to the Democrat leaders of the Florida Legislature, both House Minority Leader Perry Thurston, Jr., and Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith were named “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class,” by Progress Florida, a progressive left organization closely aligned with Florida Watch Action.

Which is relevant, as the “Pink Slip Rick” campaign is also mentioned in the North Carolina memo.

The campaign stalks Florida Gov. Rick Scott at public appearances and is the handiwork of Florida Watch Action, a progressive organization seen as one of the successors to now-defunct ACORN Florida. It was founded by Susannah Randolph, a former political director of ACORN.

Randolph served as U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson’s campaign manager in his failed reelection bid in 2010 and was rehired to serve as district director upon his subsequent election in 2012. She has since handed control of Florida Watch Action over to protege Amy Ritter.

And talk about the best of both worlds, her husband, Scott, is a former state representative who now serves as chair of the Orange County Democratic Party.

As reported previously, Florida has built a model for grass-roots political organizing not unlike the so-called “Colorado Model” that turned that Western state from red to blue. And it’s having similar success.

The book, “The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care),” details what took place in Colorado and would explain the North Carolina group’s name.

Blueprint North Carolina is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Charlotte Observer notes. According to its website, it is “strictly prohibited from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.”

On a grander scale, how many other battleground states are undergoing a similar phenomenon and what role, if any, does Florida play? About the only certainty in all this is that these far-left community organizers continue to operate with little hindrance from the right.


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Tom Tillison


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