BluePrintNC, The Mad Blinker & The Pilot team up to smear Senator Tillman


I am sure many of you have been keeping up with the whole BlueprintNC scandal —  a bunch of lefty non-profits scheming about “eviscerating” North Carolina Republican leaders.  It now appears that this nastiness has made its way to Southern Pines and Moore County.

The members of BluePrintNC include The North Carolina Justice Center, which gives us NCPolicyWatch, which begets Chris “The Mad Blinker” Fitzsimon.  You may know Fitzsimon from his rabidly lefty, and unchallenged, commentary on WRAL radio, and his weekly appearances on NCSpin where he entertains viewers with his lefty nonsense AND a faster-than-the-speed-of-light eye blinking demonstration.  

Benefactors to BluePrintNC include the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation,  a lefty non-profit that has had formal relations with the current owners of The Southern Pines Pilot.  The current owners of The Pilot owned that big smelly pile of fishwrap, The Raleigh News & Observer, until the late 90s.   The Pilot now employs John Cole, long-time cartoonist for the lefty web site NCPolicyWatch, as its regular editorial page cartoonist.   In fact, Cole helped The Pilot re-design its masthead and layout.  

Quite a tangled web of ghoulish lefty-ism, huh?  Anyway, we — in Moore County —  got “treated” to an unsigned editorial in Sunday’s edition of The Pilot that lashes out at NC Senator Jerry Tillman — the majority whip — in a very mean, very personal manner.  The op-ed was accompanied by a Cole cartoon, and featured language very similar to that frequently used by Fitzsimon henchman Rob Schofield in his attacks on Tillman:

Moore County residents have at least a couple of reasons to be surprised – they should be appalled – by the suddenly surfaced effort to revive the infamous payday loan industry in North Carolina.

For one thing, this misguided and unsavory campaign is being sponsored by one of our own. Actually, let’s rephrase that. Though state Sen. Jerry Tillman represents our county, among others, he is not really one of us, hailing instead from up Archdale way. This is all the more reason to elect somebody else next time around – someone who is from here and shows more evidence of sharing our values.

Wait a second guys.  You LOVED Tillman’s legislation reforming the state’s procedure for rewarding high school diplomas.  For some reason, you neglected to mention that the legislation was Tillman’s.  You even neglected to cover Gov. Pat’s trip to Randolph County to sign the Tillman bill — the first to be gubernatorially-endorsed in the McCrory era.  In fact, you were about the only regional media outlet that didn’t bother to cover the event.   Can’t let the facts get in the way of your partisan smear agenda. 

By the way, attacking people for NOT being from Moore County is pretty weak.  You’re offending a huge chunk of your target market.  In fact, I don’t believe ANY of The Pilot’s owners are Moore County natives.  Does that make them “ill-equipped” to serve as our lone source of local news? 

Payday loan schemes seek to prey on the most vulnerable in our midst by ensnaring them in loan upon revolving loan until they’re hopelessly mired in debt. In the past, investigations showed that some North Carolinians ended up paying as much as $8,000 in fees on a loan that originally totaled $200.

Tillman claims that the new payday loan industry, if there is to be one, will be kinder and gentler and less voracious in the usury it inflicts on its victims. We’ll believe that when we see it. The step he proposes seems certain to create far more problems than it solves.

The bill DOES NOT force people to get loans from these particular lenders.  Their interest rates are lower than those charged by many credit card companies.  The Tillman legislation actually provides a venue for people with less than stellar credit to obtain needed financing.  That little ol’ insignificant thing called capitalism dictates that the greater the risk that is present, the more precautions the parties involved need to take.   The customers in the payday lending arena are highly likely to default on repayment.  The lenders are right to protect themselves and cover their costs.  As long as the state ensures that no fraud or deception is involved, what’s the problem? 

The baseball-capped Tillman has struck us from the beginning as singularly ill-equipped for the state Senate position he now holds, and this does little to assuage such doubts.

Wow.  So, wearing a baseball cap suggests that you are less than competent or are “ill-equipped”? I suggest that the author of this unsigned op-ed step outside the gated community where he lives, take a trip to Robbins or Vass, or Carthage, and make that argument.  (Don’t worry.  We’ve got some first-rate medical care here in Moore County.) 

I’ve seen plenty of news media footage and photos showing Tillman not wearing a hat.  Yet,  The Pilot can only seem to find one blurry photo featuring Tillman — fresh off a medical procedure – wearing a baseball style cap.  

For some reason, The Pilot refuses to mention that Tillman is the majority whip in the state Senate — the #2 spot in that chamber.  We’ve inherited a hell of a lot of influence in Raleigh.  During the final years of the Richard Morgan era,  The Pilot’s op-ed page fell all over itself to tell us we needed to keep Morgan in office because of his seniority in the House.  (Never mind that he was holding the meaningless, powerless positions of co-speaker and speaker pro tem — conveyed upon him as a result of his deal with the devil, Jim Black.) 

I suppose I should not be surprised that stuff like this comes from a paper owned by hardcore Democrat partisans.  The family that owns The Pilot has been fiercely loyal to the North Carolina Democrat Party for generations — even during the period when it was little more than a thinly-veiled front for The Ku Klux Klan.  (Read more about that in Rob Christensen’s must-read book on North Carolina politics.)  

Party loyalty is one thing.  Teaming up with shadowy leftist non-profits, hiding inconvenient facts and outright lying to push a partisan agenda is nothing short of despicable.  


6 thoughts on “BluePrintNC, The Mad Blinker & The Pilot team up to smear Senator Tillman

  1. Every time these lefty attacks happen from the BluePrint crowd, we need to openly slam their paymaster, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and its leader, far left political hack Leslie Winner.

  2. Way to take it to their a$$, Haymaker. These sore losers have been whining like they were already in the minority way back before the GOP even had won. Follow the money.

  3. I visited the legislature today and enjoyed a wonderful visit and lunch with Senator Tillman. We talked about the Payday Loan program and I agreed that people will be seeking loans with or without State controls. It is in everyone’s best interest to place some reasonable controls over these loans to protect the people who will seek them and limit the huge rollover interest payments that lenders have been receiving.

    And by the way, I love the baseball cap!

    Nancy Fiorillo, Mayor
    Village of Pinehurst

  4. Seems like our resident blogger is playing both sides of the fence. It was only Feb 26th when the story here was “Is the BlueprintNC brouhaha REALLY all that big of a deal?” And in the story it was clearly stated that, “Basically, I haven’t seen or heard ANYTHING earth-shattering, surprising, or even new in connection with this story. The PACs, political consultants, politicos and PR spinners are in a frenzy trying to manage this story and make a little hay. Meanwhile, we’ve still got record unemployment and anemic economic growth.”

    But wait, now after further review, it’s good to see that you admit there is something there and you let off the “seen it all before” attitude. Because you, nor any one else here has seen this before. a massive coordination of millions of dollars, over 50 activist groups and its all in writing. those of you that take this lightly do so at your own risk.

    1. Not really taking both sides on the issue. My point was THIS: These guys have been beating on conservatives / Republicans for a long time. Why the shock NOW? I saw people trying to make hay and fundraise over this. I say NO to that. Our leaders need to stick to their guns and push through some serious reforms. If they stick to their conservative guns, folks like me — and a lot of others in the grassroots — stand ready to return fire against the lefty hordes. With this piece, I came out and called BS on a clear piece of misinformation, disinformation and all around cheap shot against a guy who is sticking to his conservative guns — so far — in Raleigh.

  5. Guys, read the bill. Even WRAL got the story wrong. They are not limting the interest rate to 15%, they are limiting the 30 day loan to a fee of 15%. Simple math is 12 months if one were stupid enough, times the 15% fee equals a grand total 180%. If anyone doesn’t think this is usary, they need their head examined. The feds outlawed this for soldiers, and it should apply to everyone.

    Tillman is a dufus anyway.

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