Is The Charlotte Observer Doing the Democrat’s Bidding As A Mouthpiece for the Blueprint NC Organization?

The North Carolina Republican Party strongly rebuked the recycled hit piece on Governor McCrory written by the Charlotte Observer. The story editorializes, fails to report any new information and is one-sided in its presentation of the facts.


Problem #1: A partisan liberal hatchet job.

The Charlotte Observer misleadingly called the group Democracy NC a “campaign watchdog group,” and fails to note that Democracy NC has liberal ties. The truth is that Democracy NC is actually a hyper-partisan liberal attack organization that was a founding member of BlueprintNC. In 2013, a leaked memo from BlueprintNC outlined a strategy for their members to “eviscerate, mitigate, litigate, cogitate and agitate” Governor McCrory with coordinated attacks.

Other prominent BlueprintNC members include ProgressNC, ProgressNC Action, The Justice Center, The Justice Center’s NC Policy Watch, the Justice Center’s Budget & Tax Center and Larry Hall, the Democrat leader in the NC House of Representatives.

Problem #2: Story downplays or omits key facts.

The story says, “The governor [McCrory] was squarely in the middle of North Carolina’s debate over coal ash last year,” yet either downplays or fails to report the following facts:

  • Coal ash has been a long-standing issue in North Carolina for more than 60 years.
  • Governor McCrory was the first governor in North Carolina history to sue Duke Energy.
  • The governor is leading the first administration in North Carolina history to take any enforcement action on coal ash.
  • The governor’s administration fined Duke Energy a record $25 million.

Problem #3: Incorrect facts that mislead readers.

The story states: “The Republican Governors Association gave $5 million in 2012 to help get McCrory elected, Democracy North Carolina reported.”

This statement further proves that the reporting is shoddy and slanted throughout the entire story.

The Republican Governor’s Association, an independent organization that cannot coordinate activities with the campaign, did not give Governor McCrory $5 million dollars to help get him elected. “Give” implies that a transfer of money occurred.

Problem #4: Editorializing.

The story is clearly editorializing when it referred to the RGA as a so-called” 527 political organization. According to the its definition, the term “so-called” is often “used to express one’s view that a name or term is inappropriate.” The RGA is actually a 527 political organization.

Problem #5: Questions, not facts.

The Charlotte Observer plays into the BlueprintNC handbook by making accusations through questions, yet offers no facts to back it up. They allow the BlueprintNC group to raise a question, and not offer any facts to back up their accusations.

“’It puts McCrory in a compromising position and raises legitimate questions, when a corporation he’s regulating gives this much money to a financial backer, of how objective he can be,’ said executive director Bob Hall.”

Yet when the North Carolina Republican Party gave an interview with the Charlotte Observer to raise questions about the other BlueprintNC organization ProgressNC Action and their secret donors, theCharlotte Observer failed to report our views and questions.

Problem #6: One-sided reporting.

The Charlotte Observer failed to report that when ex-Governor Bev Perdue took office in 2009, donations from Duke Energy to the Democrat Governor’s Association (DGA) spiked. When she was elected to the leadership board of the DGA in 2010, donations from Duke Energy to the DGA spiked yet again.

After the DGA received an influx donations from Duke Energy, Bev Perdue failed to act on long-standing coal ash issue.

This is in sharp contrast to Governor McCrory, who was the first governor to not only sue Duke Energy, but also to take decisive action against coal ash in North Carolina.

Problem #7: Duke Energy Paid for the Democrat’s National Convention in Charlotte.

The Charlotte Observer failed to mention “Duke Energy guaranteed, and ultimately paid off, a $10 million credit line the Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee relied on as fundraising fell far short of a $36.65 million goal.” (Susan Stabley, “All DNC bills paid, with Duke Energy picking up much of tab,”Charlotte Business Journal, 8/30/2013)

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