The disappearance of Dan Forest

haveyouseenThe 2012 election cycle didn’t offer a lot for Tea Partiers to get excited about.  One candidate we could embrace was a tough-talking, passionate architect-turned-amateur-politician from Raleigh named Dan Forest.  Dan was running to replace Walter Dalton, who — at the time — was the most invisible lieutenant governor the state has ever had.  

Dan traveled the state in a campaign bus for two years prior to the vote.  He shook a lot of hands and spouted a lot of good solid positions on the issues, like THESE.  A lot of Tea Party – aligned folks — us included — thought we finally had a leader we could get behind.  

Well, Dan squeaked by Democrat Linda Coleman and got sworn in as lieutenant governor.  Since then, he’s made the news twice — once for   a belated statement on driver licenses for illegal aliens, and a second time for headlining a fundraiser for House speaker Thom Tillis.  

There have been some really pitched battles in Raleigh.  GOP leaders in the legislature, and the GOP governor, had to be dragged kicking-and-screaming to the fight against ObamaCare.  Not a word out of our Tea Party-backed lieutenant governor.  There has been a real fight over voter ID — another vital issue for the grassroots.  Not a peep out of the lieutenant governor.

Well, ABC NewsChannel 11 seemed to be thinking along the same lines we have.  They ran a segment, narrated by Larry Stogner, called “Who is Dan Forest?.”  Stogner opened his piece this way:

“Folks got a look at Dan Forest in campaign ads before the election , but since then he’s been all but invisible to the public.”

(Google backs that statement up.  Most of what you find about Dan comes from his 2012 campaign site and coverage of the November recount drama.)  In the Channel 11 piece, Stogner AND Forest attributed the ”invisibility” to the nature of the office, and not necessarily anything Forest has or has not done.  Forest said he spends a lot of time presiding over the state Senate.  That’s funny.  President Pro Tem Phil Berger does too, and he doesn’t seem to have any difficulty getting face time in the media.  Berger didn’t have to run statewide, either.

(I would bet a lot of money that if the lieutenant governor sent out word that he had something to say about voter ID or ObamaCare implementation, while either issue is being debated, he’d get some press attention.)

Stogner illustrated his “invisible” theme by showing several men (and women) on the street a photo of Forest, and asking them if they could ID the man in the photo.  None could.  One well-dressed, seemingly-educated man swore the photo was of Channel 11 sportscaster Mark Armstrong.  

Stogner pointed out to Forest that he got elected with a lot of support from the Tea Party.  Forest acknowledged that, but did mention that his job is not to compete with the governor, but to act in a “support” role.   (Did Bob Jordan “support” Jim Martin?)  I would agree with that IF he ran as a ticket with Gov. Pat.  But, he didn’t.  And any honest GOP campaign insider can tell you that Gov. Pat and his team did next to nothing to help Forest get into office. 

I don’t think any of us are asking Forest to attack Gov. Pat.  I think people would simply like to see Forest take a more visible role in state government and give voice to the issues and positions he campaigned on.  Our state and country are in such a precarious position that we NEED someone in a position of influence advocating for the ideals of freedom, liberty and limited government.

29 thoughts on “The disappearance of Dan Forest

  1. Brandt???? OPEN your eyes, keep up and you might just see what Dan Forest has been up too. He STAYS busy. EVERY SINGLE DAY!! IF you need examples, stories, whatever, I will be happy to comply. Squeaked by??? How many times was it? Geeesh, this is all you could find to write about? I just wonder who you showed this photo too and in what area?

  2. Lt. Governor Dan Forest has been working VERY active, working hard in his new role. Making headlines does not equate with real progress. Those of us who have been working in Raleigh for positive change see the impact of Dan Forest.

  3. I like Dan. Nice guy. I agree he has been out of the media but I don’t have a problem with that as long as he’s doing the job he was elected to do. He probably is so all good.

    The Lieut. Governor sits on the board of the NC Community College System. This government within a government has schools with 4, 7 & 8 percent graduation rates. System-wide, graduation rates are at a pathetic 24 percent. With all the data and no matter how many times I bring up that schools like, for example, AB Tech in Asheville with its 19% graduation rate are sucking state money and paying administrators top dollars while failing their mission at rates up to 96%, I get silence from the Lieut. Governor and most others.

    We wouldn’t want to fire NCCCS President Ralls over this would we? We wouldn’t want to reduce the school’s presidents salaries to the percentage of their graduation rates would we?

    No, we want to keep feeding these institutional failures more and more money year after year to build legacy buildings, pad salaries and provide training that corporations can provide.

    Do I need Dan in the news? No. I need Dan to work with me to change the way business is done in the NC Community College System.

    Is the same problem prevalent in the UNC system. One thing at a time. I don’t want to depress you.

    Alan Rosenthal

  4. Wow, this is what we do, we put people in office, only to tear them down? That’s what we have the liberals for..No wonder it’s hard to find good men and women to step up and serve, we act like rabbid dogs on the attack once they are in there.. Really disappointed in this article.. If at any point and time, there was a feeling of Dan being ‘incognito’, I’m sure he would have welcomed you in his office to find out what he could be doing better, to make you a satisfied constituent, he is VERY welcoming of all.. I’m just sayin, before you had to go and write an article throwing him under the bus, again, that’s what liberals do…

    1. Evidently Velvet Cownan. Sad isn’t it? YOU and I both know how terribly busy Lt. Dan Forest has been .. EVERY day. He is doing a TERRIFIC job. My ENTIRE family voted for him and so VERY PROUD of the job he is doing.

    2. I don’t see this as throwing him under the bus. Has Dan made any statements about the Obamacare debate, or the debate over the panthers funding, or voterID since his election? If not, then we would like for him to advocate on our behalf on those issues, when they are being heard and it is most important for him to do so, which is what he was elected to do right? What is wrong with asking him to simply make a statement? If his statement would counter McCrory’s agenda, then that’s McCrory’s problem!

  5. No, he wasn’t elected to “compete” with the Governor,but he wasn’t elected to support the Governor either. Unless, of coarse, the Governor puts forth policy and action consistent with his own. Please tell me that’s a misquote.

    1. The governor’s stances really should hinder Dan from stepping out & advocating for his own stances. He campaigned against Obamacare, stating that he believed NC should opt out. He campaigned on free markets & against corporate welfare. He wasn’t afraid to say these things then, so why should he be now? There have been HUGE debates over NC’s cooperation with Obamacare & the state potentially funding Panthers stadium renovations. This is really the time when we need the people who stand with us on the issues to step out & say so.

        1. Bingo. People in elected office are accountable to “their” voters, not other elected officials. Seems there is a problem understanding this in Raleigh, and DC.
          To address a comment below, I like Dan. I know he’s a good man, and haven’t seen anyone say anything to the contrary. Also Larry Stogner is a good guy, and so is Mr Cilfton. Not even close to the media description below.

  6. One of the dangers of throwing yourself completely into the election of any particular candidate to any particular office is that once they’re in, you’re emotionally invested and instinctively defend them no matter what they do (or don’t do).

    I’ve seen Forest speak boldly and correctly (since this election) about issues pertaining to reducing the size and scope of government, and I’ve seen him get squirmy and uncomfortable when asked direct questions about the possibility of seeing true nullification legislation being brought forward this session, and that’s in the same appearance.

  7. What do YOU expect? the news media is Full of Anti God, Anti Country, left wing liberals. They will never accept and respect a Republican Governor and Lt Governor. Dan Forest Is a Good Man. He will do a Good Job as Lt Governor.

  8. You must pick your battles but at some point, conservatives must step to the plate and cease following the Establishment GOPers in leadership positions. Nothing wrong with following a leader if he/she is going in your dirtection.

  9. When Dan Forest first ran, I wondered about his conservatism due to who his mother was and her very strong establishment ties. Then came the early endorsement emails – from the usual GOP establishment suspects, and I became more suspicious. On doing some more checking, I uncovered the fact that he had some pretty strong ties to the Heritage Foundation, which does NOT sound like an establishment drone. Then in the runoff, he got a long string of Tea Party endorsements, which made me more comfortable with him. But on the other side of the coin, he seemed to always be having Mike Huckabee doing things with his campaign, and that was a real turnoff since Huckabee in 2012 was running all over the country endorsing the GOP establishment candidates against the Tea Party candidates (Huckabee has already started doing that in 2014 wuth the SD Senate race). Given all that conflicting data, I kept my fingers crossed that he was a good guy.

    I was impressed with Forest’s stand on the Drivers Licenses for illegal aliens, which he is to be commended for. The registered Unaffiliated Transportation Secretary, however, decided to follow the whims of the leftwing Democrat AG instead of the conservative Republican Lt. Governor, unfortunately. Forest seems less involved with issues since, and I wonder if he got called down by somebody in the McCrory apparatus for that. Hopefully not, and hopefully he will continue speaking out strongly on the conservative side of issues like he did on the Drivers License issue.

    1. The Lieutenant Governor is elected directly by the people and is nobody’s running mate….I’d be disappointed to learn that he took a “chill” call from anyone.

  10. Those of us who go to Raleigh to push for conservative legislation know that Lt. Governor Dan Forest is hard at work for the people of NC. He is undoubtedly one of the busiest, hardest working folks at the NCGA – yet he is very accessible to his constituents. His office is called “The People’s House” for a reason. You don’t have to make the headlines every day to get things done. In fact, if someone is in the media constantly – I have to question whether they are getting things done, or just trying to make a name for themselves.

    1. Jennifer,here’s the rub. If the voters don’t see, hear, or feel the work that’s being done, it doesn’t exist. If someone has a record of voting, they can provide that as evidence of their work. This office doesn’t have that advantage. Fair, unfair,doesn’t matter. It’s a fact.

      1. Perfect example of liberal logic lulling the “useful idiots” to sleep. At what point in time will we, the actual people, take responsibility for our own thoughts?… you know, actually vetting the information we get or engaging the many resources available to obtain that information. I’ve had no problem seeing, hearing, and feeling the good work of our Conservative Majority in North Carolina. I can’t say that same sentence in the context of the previous administration(s).

      2. Ham Biscuit, I only have one thing to say to this silly comment, learn a little something about the structure and operations of the NC State government and then you won’t embarrass yourself like this again. Mr. Forest’s job as designed is NOT political, it’s functional and operational and he is doing a superior job.

  11. I do not need to hear more “talk” from elected officials! I need to see results. I need to see that they are actually doing what they said they would do if elected. We have that in Dan Forest. He is a man of his word and he and his team work diligently on the people’s business in Raleigh. Most of the work that has to be done to get things cleaned up will not be on display for all to see (how do you take a photo of efficiency for the local paper). This isn’t glitz and glamour and drama folks, it’s business…. finally! Instead of treating our government like a candy store or a drama studio, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is hard at work to help restore what had been badly broken.

    Listen, there are only a few people in office that an average person would recognize (because most people are out of touch), and I would dare say that the ones they would recognize are probably the ones I would like to see less of! We have had enough politicians that stand in front of a TV camera to tell us that we don’t understand the problems in government and just trust them to take care of us.

    If you are looking for a person of integrity and someone who doesn’t mind telling you how he feels about an issue, then go up to the Lt. Gov. office any day. Walk right in and see what you find. They are accessible. They are not ashamed of where they stand on the issues. They work very hard for the people of NC every day.

  12. Riddle me this… Why does Brant Clifton, ABC News Channel 11, or any other liberal media person think that I, as a God Fearing Constitutional Christian Conservative, would expect Brant Clifton, ABC New Channel 11, or any other liberal media outlet to cover ANYTHING Lt. Governor Dan Forest was doing. To invoke a liberal strategy of “not covering Dan Forest” and then Blog, Post, or Produce a News Segment that Lt. Governor Dan Forest hasn’t been seen is a demonstration of the liberal left thinking the Conservative is as “dumbed down” as the low/non-informed subjects of the left. Brant, I’m afraid your piece on Dan doesn’t pass muster and demonstrates from my perspective your inability to provide accurate information about your subject and furthermore reduces your credibility as a blogger/reporter. You sir now have an integrity problem. I follow our Governor, our Lt. Governor, our Speaker, and many other elected officials all the way down to the members of my County School Board. If you haven’t seen our elected officials its because you are leaving it up to inaccurate reports such as yours for your information. I and only I am responsible for verifying the information I consider worthy. My many Conservative God Fearing friends who helped turn The Great State of North Carolina back to its proper color of “RED” in the 2012 elections feel the same way. Brant, I would love nothing more than for you to join the ranks of the respected and accurate news reporters/bloggers. God knows, you would be a Big Fish in a small pond there! Hither to hath The Lord helped us; Jesus, still Lead On.

    1. It’s always heartening to see someone combine the invocation of The Lord’s name AND a personal insult into ONE rant. Nice going, Mr. Isley.

      You’re the second person EVER to label me a Liberal. (The first one was a complete nut case.) If you bothered to research this site’s archives, you’d see that we (1) published an interview with Dan that he re-printed on his campaign web site, (2) endorsed Dan in the primary and general election, and (3) declared that his election in November was a great victory for the Tea Party. (We even linked to #3 in the story you griped so much about.)

      I — like many others — pinned hopes on Dan that he would be the water-carrier for the Tea Party in Raleigh. It’s clear that neither Thom Tillis nor Pat McCrory would do it. Dan has a powerful bully pulpit in Raleigh. We just wish he’d use it to rally the troops and lobby for some of the issues he campaigned on during the election.

      In the future, I recommend that you do a little more careful reading, and some research before posting another rant under your real name on the Internet. (I’d hate to see you make a fool out of yourself AGAIN.)

  13. I just saw Lt. Dan yesterday when he stopped in and spent 30 minutes+ with our County Chamber of Commerce members who were visiting the Capitol . He is leading in doing a lot of good work in learning and evaluating how to best work to restructure a lot of the overloaded bureaucracy that the Dimocrats have built in Raleigh over the last 10 DECADES. It might not be big headlines and sexy like the news media likes, but it is what a REAL administrative leader does. Oh, and by the way Mr. Clifton with ABC News Channell 11, just a quick little government/civics lesson, if you want to SEE Mr. Dan Forest?, he’s sitting up on that platform in the front of the Senate Chamber, PRESIDING over the Senate whenever the Senate is in Session. I realize that you “news people” are challenged in your ACTUAL knowledge of how our State government works, but that presiding over the Senate thing is responsibility #1 of the Lt. Governor’s job description. You just might want to make a note of that? REMEMBER BENGHAZI!!

  14. Shoot the messenger I reckon. I would think it’s probably not a good idea to throw out insults to voters that have, and do, support any elected officials that one is supporting. Probably not a good idea to attack any media source that promoted, and endorsed, my candidate’s during their campaign. Just a couple more of my silly, uniformed thoughts. And by the way, these are the same type of comments I heard from Libs at the polls about Where’s Waldo Walter Dalton, when people said “Who?”. I don’t want them laughing at me, as hard as I was laughing them next go round. Didn’t work out to well for Walter What’s His Name. Did it? Time for my finger paint lessons. Don’t remember, RAISE HELL ABOUT BENGHAZI!!!!

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