A group headed by a Raleigh Democratic businessman prominent in the gay community has sent out a Wake County school board campaign mailer urging voters to "vote again Ron Margiotta and the Tea Party agenda."
The front of the mailer charges that board chairman "Ron Margiotta forced the Tea Party agenda on our schools" and says that "on October 11, we can fight back." The wording borders an image of an angry Margiotta standing next to a Raleigh police officer at one of the school board meetings that was disrupted by protesters.
"Wake County School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta is backed by Tea Party radicals with a right-wing agenda that is hurting our public schools," according to the inside of the flier. "This partisan, slash-and-burn agenda is draining resources from our schools and ruining their reputation. The results of Margiotta's agenda have been devastating — our schools' accreditation is now at risk, and $80 million in federal school funding has been jeopardized."
The flier has a comparison box in which it calls Margiotta the "Tea Party Candidate" and Susan Evans the "Common Sense Candidate."
It lists Margiotta as yes on the issue of "pushes radical Tea Party agenda" and no on "protect Wake County schools' accreditation," "opposes cuts in school funding" and "endorsed by Wake County's teachers and school employees." It lists the opposite on those four issues for Evans.
The back of the mailer has slogans such as"Stop the Tea Party," "Protect our schools" and "Vote October 11."
I'll post the mailer when I get a better set of images.
The mailer says it's paid for by Common Sense Matters, listing a Raleigh P.O. Box. It says its donors include the N.C. Futures Action Fund. As a 527 group, Common Sense Matters says it's not authorized by any political party, candidate or committee.
We have more information on Common Sense Matters because the group sent out political mailers in a Charlotte City Council primary to back a Democratic candidate vying to become the city's first openly gay elected official.
According to this Sept. 15 Charlotte Observer article, the IRS filing for the recently formed 527 group is Raleigh businessman Alan King.
King is chief operating officer of a company called Workplace Options. It was the title sponsor of OutRaleigh, a gay rights festival last May organized by the LGBT Center of Raleigh.
Raleigh attorney Michael Weisel, a former statewide Democratic candidate, is the group's secretary.
This flier is the latest effort by liberal groups to target Republican school board candidates in Wake.
You have the website set up this week by Progress North Carolina Action going after Heather Losurdo.
We're still waiting for the first signs this time around from the Wake Citizens for Good Government PAC, which has been actively rebuilding its campaign war chest.
The Sept. 15 Charlotte Observer article also shows that Common Sense Matters received $21,000 from the Fired Up and Ready to Go Action Fund.
The contact person for Fired Up and Ready to Go Action Fund, also a 527, is Scott Falmlen, a Raleigh political consultant and former executive director of the state Democratic Party.
According to its last IRS filing, Fired Up raised $21,700 last year, most from two contributors. One was Falmlen's company, Nexus Strategies. The other was the N.C. Association of Educators, which gave $15,000.