Monday, June 28, 2010

'Conservative' reporter refused entry to lawyers' event

They didn’t refuse me entry because the hall was full. Or claim I was too old to come in. Or too ugly. Or too white, too Southern, or too Christian.

No, they said I couldn’t sit at their lunch counter because I was conservative. They would admit only “unbiased” journalists. The News and Observer, the Star-News, the Associated Press.This was the word sent down to me by whoever was charged with keeping out the undesirables and the unwashed at the N.C. Bar Association’s Senatorial Forum this past week-end in Wilmington.

The debate brought together the three NC candidates for the U.S. Senate, a contest that will be decided in the general election, November 2, 2010.

I presume that the event drew a large crowd because starkly differing viewpoints would be offered. That’s what debates are all about. There’s the drama – thrust and parry, attack and defend. Freedom of expression. The American ideal, and all that, you know.

But they refused entry to a journalist who didn’t pass their litmus test. Conservative – therefore “biased”.
Their response to my request to cover the posh, clubby event was delivered by a press official for Senator Burr’s campaign organization.

She was only the messenger. She delivered the word. No offense there. She was not complicit in any way. But the “word” was plenty offensive.

A conservative journalist for, which is a leading online news and political presence, I had earlier talked with David Ward, press secretary in Senator Burr’s Washington office.

I indicated that I was interested in covering the Senatorial Forum for, where I have often scorched Washington liberals for their hypocrisy, duplicity, and downright old-timey in-your-face arrogance. David was, of course, cordial, helpful, as he always is, and agreed that he might try work out a personal interview with the Senator if time allowed.

I came with some pretty fair credentials. Brought no malice. Ready to work.

So never would I have suspected that the haughty barristers of North Carolina – defenders of the weak, the defenseless, the downtrodden, the falsely accused (and now, in 2010, defenders of liberal news organizations to the exclusion of all others) would pull a bone-headed stunt like this – out in the open, in their proudest moment – at their 2010 annual meeting, which featured an address by David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst, plus a televised debate amongst three feisty combatants.

And, lest I forget -- and possibly offend Ms. Elaine Marshall, who won her spurs fighting gangs, “big business”, druggies, scam artists, and other scoundrels as the State’s star crimebuster – all attorneys are not public defenders. And that’s more than a good thing. So much to prosecute these days, so little time to do it.

Of course, this is the age of do it onstage, whether it's Washington politics or a strip show. Look at one-term President Obama, former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, and many others who more than deserve their own Democratic Party. After all, they made it what it is. And may now live to regret it.

They plunder and pillage America, struggle mightily to dismantle the Constitution, pull back-room deals, lie and cheat, then emerge into the spotlight to announce that they have done what everyone knows they shouldn’t have. They actually seem proud of it

But I profess that I digress. The little incident of political media selectivity I experienced could have easily gone under the radar. Except for the fact that I’m not going to let it. Not because I am somebody important. Far from it. But I am a pretty fair reporter, with 50 years of experience in the media trenches, and I care deeply about the singularly American principle of a free press. It’s worth defending. And it should be defended, even shouted from the rooftops – that the North Carolina Bar Association turned away a conservative journalist at the door because he was “biased”.

The News & Observer, though, and the Star-News, and the Associated Press? They are not biased? Au contraire, me hearties. The old reliable N&O, and the NYT’s beach darling, the Star-News, are notorious for letting their liberal philosophy bleed off the editorial pages and infect their “news” sections. The Associated Press? Less so, for sure.

And by the way, let’s also nominate WRAL-TV to the hall of shame. That’s where conservative hero Jesse Helms held forth with courageous conservative editorials during his years there. That fact is probably not proudly recalled by the current occupants of the studio, nor by the top brass. The news purveyors there seem to have deserted their early roots and gone cynical, citified and liberal

WRAL-TV was cordially admitted to the NCBA ego feeding frenzy. Their representative had a reserved seat on the front row, as a member of the official “media panel”, selected to ask totally unbiased questions. I'm certain that was accomplished handily.

It’s fine that we have liberal news organizations, as long as they don’t deny their bias, then strike from ambush in their news coverage.

But censorship at the door by a professional organization with a State charter is way out of bounds. From a moral standpoint, and probably from a legal standpoint as well.

Should I sue?

NOTE: The North Carolina Bar Association is registered through the office of the Secretary of State (Elaine Marshall) with status listed as “active”. The organization was founded and chartered in 1899, and enjoys special tax privileges as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation with “perpetual duration”.

Does the N.C. Secretary of State know where her 501(c)3 chilren are? And what they’re doing?


Thursday, June 24, 2010

BULLETIN: Obama fumbles ball again. NC Coast may suffer.

Wilmington, NC: Ilario Pantano, the Republican nominee for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District, calls on the Obama Administration to immediately reinstate the charter for the Minerals Management Services’ (now known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Policy Committee and to immediately appoint a representative from North Carolina to the committee.

“It is frightening to me that in the midst of the worst oil spill on record in U.S. history, and during the middle of a review and potential revision of offshore energy regulations and policies, that the OCS Policy committee, the group of experts whose job it is to advise the Secretary of the Interior on such issues, no longer exists because President Obama let their charter expire,” Pantano said.

The Outer Continental Shelf Policy Committee’s charter expired on June 5th effectively disbanding the committee. The Committee had been in existence since 1975, and its expired charter stated that the purpose of the committee was to advise the Secretary of the Interior by reviewing and commenting on all aspects of the leasing, exploration, development, and protection of OCS resources. North Carolina has not had representation on the committee, despite the fact that North Carolina has the largest OCS acreage on the east coast (64 million acres) and the fourth largest in the nation.

"This is another example that President Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar are asleep at the wheel,” Pantano said. "They are not focused on solving the problem. Instead, they are busy trying to politicize this crisis in order to pass their potentially disastrous cap-and-tax energy policy. This is one of the worst disasters in the history of our nation. It deserves our full focus. We must bring every asset to bear from the US Navy on down to plug this leak now.”

Pantano also noted that while other North Carolina leaders including Senator Burr, Senator Hagan, Congresswoman Myrick, and Congressman Butterfield have advocated for North Carolina representation on the OCS, Congressman McIntyre appears to have remained silent.

“While the odds are slim that oil from this disaster will reach the North Carolina coast, we must be proactive and we must be prepared. As a former Marine, I know that the best defense is to take charge and attack the problem before it gets to us. We must do what is necessary to mitigate the damage that would be done to both our environment and our economy if the oil does reach our shores,” Pantano concluded. “It is imperative that the OCS be re-chartered with North Carolina representation.”


UNC Wilmington's Steve Ross is among researchers who have studied a deep-sea coral reef, called the Viosca Knoll, that is near the Gulf oil slick. Pristine, deep-water coral reefs also lie off the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Florida.

A thick blanket of oil could smother the living coral, Ross said. Oil droplets that attach to debris sinking to the bottom could also rain onto sensitive bottom-dwelling creatures. Researchers aren't sure what to expect.

"We have serious concerns that are difficult to answer because the appropriate studies have not been funded," Ross said. "Both we and (government) agencies have been remiss" in not assessing such risks sooner.

The ocean currents that could sweep Gulf of Mexico oil up the Atlantic coast might also become a contaminated highway for billions of young sea creatures, some of which will grow to maturity off the Carolinas.

Commercially valuable seafood species such as snappers and groupers sometimes spawn in the Gulf, their larvae riding currents to settle onto N.C. reefs. Coveted Atlantic bluefin tuna, which brought N.C. fishermen $1.4 million last year, are spawning now within miles of the oil leak.

Rare turtles are also swimming onto beaches in the Gulf and Carolinas to lay their eggs.
Scientists say oil could stunt the animals' growth, cause breathing problems or kill them outright. Fish larvae and eggs are especially sensitive to toxic substances.

The odds remain low that the spill will reach N.C. beaches. But oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon well has reached the Gulf's Loop Current, which flows south around the tip of Florida and then northward up the Atlantic coast on the Gulf Stream.

"The Gulf Stream stitches us all together," said Duke University marine biologist Larry Crowder.
The key questions, he added, are how much oil the Gulf Stream will deliver, for how long and in what form?


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tim D'Annunzio shines bright, stands tall while losing in NC-8 GOP runoff.

You will hate yourself in the morning. Oh, yeah? Not us – not those of us who supported and cheered on our hero Tim D’Annunzio!

No, we arise with a clear conscience. We fought the good fight. Gained appreciation for an admirable man who, despite being the target of lies and abuse from the new Country Club Republicans of North Carolina, stood tall and did not sink to their level.

Did we lose? Did Tim lose? I don’t think so. There were many positive things that came out of this.

For one thing, the foes of truth in politics and government introduced themselves to us. They showed us not only what they are, but who they are – name, rank and serial number! Now we can zero our mortars. Let’s fire when the time is right.

Also, we will now see, the Lord willing, that losing the battle does not equate to losing the war. All is not lost. Heck no. We have to know that. Loss and tribulation build character. Now, we don’t want to build too much character in this particular way, but we will see that we are stronger and wiser.

Tim? Well, getting to know this guy is a wonderful gift. Through friends like Jonathan Alligood, Scott Manning, and others, who clued me in to the fact that a conservative Christian candidate was being bloodied by smear tactics, then encouraged me to keep on writing about Tim’s candidacy, I got involved, got really charged up, and maybe gave some useful perspectives to the mayhem.

What really hurt was actually not seeing an honorable conservative candidate lose to the new NC Republican machine, but knowing how much it hurt Tim’s family. That is collateral damage that we don’t often think about.

In my last column on election day, I reported what Tim confided to me – that he often found his wife in tears, and that his fourteen-year-old-son was distressed to see his father characterized as a villain – while this young man new of his father’s decency, love for God, country and family, and determination to lead an honorable, and set a good example.

That’s the Tim D’Annunzio I have come to know, and I am certain that there are many out there in the Eighth District and across the Cap Fear Region who agree. Unfortunately, I am disappointed that all who agree did not translate their beliefs into action at the polls.

And that’s something else we need to do better on. That’s where the engine for change is located. That’s where battles are won and lost.

I want to put together a collection of supportive comments addressed to Tim D’Annunzio and his family. I think we owe him this. Please send your comments in response to this column. I’ll use all of them I can. I will not use, and will delete, any comments which are contrary to this request.

That’s it for now. God bless America, and God bless our friend and political mentor, Tim D’Annunzio. Let’s go to work.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

The D'Annunzio Perspective: A letter to Harold Johnson from the Eighth District Tea Party of North Carolina.

To Mr. Harold Johnson: June 19, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Since the North Carolina 8th district Republican congressional race entered a runoff it has become one of the most contentious races in the nation. One candidate claims support from the Republican Party establishment and the Tea Party and the other candidate is being attacked by the Republican Party and attacking back while also claiming support from the Tea Party. Along with the runoff candidates espousing very different ideas of how to fix our country there abounds concerned conversations with Republican Party interference and Tea Party endorsements.

Not to be lost in all this is the real reasons we are faced with this unlikely and volatile mix to start with. It boils down to this; we have been ruled by two political parties that have financially bankrupt or nation. Their mismanagement provoked a reaction in the people who assembled en-mass to protest and form Tea Party Groups who have set out to do something about it. The result of all this is a very nasty political runoff in the 8th district.

All of this has come about because of the failure of both parties to govern with sound fiscal and moral principles and then, after seeing the response of the people they continued to turn a deaf ear. Setting the Democrats aside it is clear that the Republican establishment has failed miserably to recognize why the Tea Party exists. Early on they began damage control and sought to capitalize on the Tea Revolution by pulling the Tea Partiers under the big tent. They wooed many by saying we share the same values while laughing at us behind closed doors. This is not just the spirit of our time; it is the result of many years of poor management of our nation’s resources and the Party that is supposed to represent conservatism bears the larger part of the blame. I ask you, has the party that gave us McCain shown they have changed? What Next?

First, everyone should already know but just in case, the “Tea Party” is not a political party and doesn’t intend to be. (This should put you political operatives at ease….at least on this one issue). Anyway this is why I call it the Tea Revolution. Additionally it will be necessary to give some history of the groups in the 8th district in order to clarify which candidate has the support of the Tea Revolution in the 8th district runoff and why.

For now it is necessary to digress so that we may set the stage before the runoff.
Last year when the Tea Revolution started it appeared to be a sudden reaction to the new Obama administrations massive bailouts and spending. I would like to point out that this was only a spark that ignited the Revolution. It is what lies beneath and what came before that provided the fuel for the revolution. The Tea Revolution is a visible, public display of something that has been fomenting for years.

Here are two examples.

1. For all of my adult life I have heard, “The Republicans are taking us over the same cliff, only slower”. We would laugh as if it were a joke but the truth is this statement came out of an underlying knowledge that we were headed for a disaster and both parties were complicit in creating it. We have felt this way for more than 30 years.

2. In 2007 congress decided they wanted to push amnesty which was in effect a pool of cheap labor for industry (Republicans), and more voters (Democrats). Citizens barraged congress to voice their opinion and “burning up the phones” became a household term used to describe how conservatives of all stripes stopped Amnesty. Being a year before Barak Obama was on the radar and two years before the bailouts, what caused this sudden move to stop congress?

Revolutions are never a sudden change in the attitude of the populace. They are a public manifestation of an attitude that was in the making for some time before. It is an underlying social discontent. Some historians refer to “massive social discontent” as the term used to describe what precedes a revolution.
In this nation, unlike any other in history we are we are faced with a rare opportunity to change our government peacefully because our Forefathers – and the churches - were wise enough to pen the Bill of Rights that secures our freedom to respond to this problem. I might add that this is no small entry into the annals of mankind. Consider this transcending quote by William Cobbett, "Tyranny has no enemy so formidable as the pen”. Our First amendment guarantees that we will never have to use the Second as a defense against tyranny.

Seeing that a peaceful revolution was occurring it was my intent to build a member organization capable of channeling that discontent into productive and meaningful actions that would challenge our politicians and/or replace them. After all, is there anybody that would disagree that this would be the ultimate aim of the Tea Revolution? Yes, all of us who identify with the principles will act accordingly on their own but it is just as true that without organization you will accomplish little. Imagine if no one had taken the time to organize the Obama/Celgard protest in Charlotte. So more than anything it is how much organization is needed and in this case I am asking you; how much organization is needed to save our nation from despotic dysfunctional Parties and tyranny?

Now who are those who we call Tea Revolutionaries and who are those groups in the 8th district that both candidates are referring to when they claim they are the Tea Party candidate?

The Tea Revolution is primarily made up of fiscal conservatives and those who recognize that expansion of government is directly tied to shrinking individual freedom. With this said the core values of most “Tea” groups in our nation are fiscal sanity (which includes principles of free market economy), less government, and individual liberty. In addition there are many people who identify with the principles the Tea Revolution but have never attended a meeting of any sort. Although these people believe the same, they are not a “member” as the term implies.

Throughout the 8th district there are four tea groups. One is ours, We The People NC (WTPNC) and from ours came one, We the People Stanly (WTPS). Separately a group was born in Cumberland County called We The People of the Sandhills (SWTP) and another called Tea Party Patriots (TPP) which resides in Richmond County. The Richmond county group has a philosophy that is a mix between conservatism and socialism. It is a small group of about a dozen and because their core philosophy does not concur with that of other Tea groups they have alienated themselves from the mainstream of the Tea Revolution in the 8th. The Sandhills We The People started as a tea party in the spring of ’09 with around 350 patriots. Since, they have become more formally organized and have joined forces on several occasions with WTPNC. We The People Stanly, as mentioned earlier, began when a group of Stanly residence who were attending the events held by WTPNC decided to start their own organization in Stanly County. They comprise of around 250 and are currently somewhat inactive. WTPNC is comprised of a list of around 700 and holds meetings in the range of 300 – 500 which makes us the largest and most active in the 8th district.

Because we are at the center of the controversy it is necessary to elaborate some on who we are. The mission of WTPNC is “To Unite and Equip People to Preserve, Protect and Defend the U. S. Constitution”. (You can find our statement of beliefs at ( Dedicated to the principles of free market economy, less government and individual liberty we have worked hard to grow an organization capable of managing the activities that we see are necessary to fulfill our mission.

We were started as an organization; not as a “Tea Party” but we fully espouse the spirit of the Tea Revolution. Our meetings in 2009 were designed to reach others who were concerned about where our country was headed. Our monthly meetings grew in size very rapidly until we were meeting at 500+.

We are governed by a CEO, President and a board of directors that preside over the many activities we are engaged in. Most all activity is governed by parliamentary procedure. In addition our weekly board meetings are attended by many members who are invited to be part of the “round table”. These members are able to have as much input with their ideas as any board member. The only qualification for this participation is that they adhere to our mission, values and beliefs. This we believe has formed a successful model where there is solid management coupled with grass roots participation of the many different types of people who make up the Tea Revolution.

Our organizational structure is based on the goal to educate, organize and engage. It is made up of two legs; education and activism. Our education ranges from economic literacy and constitutional studies to training candidates and volunteers for future races. Our activism ranges from open protests to letter writing and organizing events for mass meetings.

Following our mission, vision and values it is necessary that in order to affect change we also needed a committee that can legally speak with a political voice and raise money for the candidates that we feel will advance our mission. Therefore we established a Political Action Committee (PAC). (More on this later.)

Now, which candidate and why:

Several weeks ago a controversy started when an article came out in the Independent Tribune with a title that originally said, “Local Tea Party Members Endorse Johnson”. The article tried to paint a picture that these people mentioned were all in the 8th district when in fact most were in the 9th and 12th. Since it is now proven that only one of those mentioned is a leader in the 8th district the Independent Tribune changed the title to “Regional Tea Party leaders support Johnson”. This article was a blatant attempt of the Johnson campaign to paint Harold as the tea party candidate. We didn’t even look at ourselves that way until Johnson chose to attack us and now the attacks continue with Harold saying he is the “real tea party candidate”.

It was through WTP-PAC that we researched and had face to face Q and A meetings with many candidates with whom we asked questions that reflected our core values of free market economy, limited government (shrinking government) and individual liberty. The conclusions of that committee culminated in the endorsement of eleven politicians which were publicly recognized on April 19, 2010 at an event held at the Cabarrus County Government Center. Additionally we published the endorsements in the Independent Tribune and on a voter card which was handed to voters on Election Day. One of those endorsements went to Tim D’Annunzio.

I would like to confirm that Harold Johnson is the tea party candidate…. of some…. in the 9th and 12th districts. Trouble is that you are not running in the 9th or 12th.

Harold, we had nothing against you and said nothing derogatory about you. You simply failed our qualifications when you sat across the table for 2 and ½ hours and answered questions. It was absolutely clear that you were just as uninformed on the issues in early April as you were in December and woefully empty on solutions. In addition, with the state of our nation as it is there was no sense that you were on a mission to go to Washington with a passion to save our nation from collapse.
Further it was very disturbing to find that you were asked to come to the eighth district so that the Republican Party would have someone to run against Tim D’Annunzio.

You also failed to meet with and otherwise fill out a questionnaire that We The People Sandhills asked you to fill out. You have not earned the right to call yourself the tea party candidate in the 8th district and in fact have shown by your actions that you are more prone to do exactly as the Party have done and that is to show distain for any Tea Revolutionaries that disagree with you.

Your own rule is that when the other guy attacks you have the right to attack back but I have more integrity than that so here is my answer to your penchant to drive a wedge in the Tea Revolution. We continue to grow stronger and there are other elections coming up. Who knows, maybe by then if there are still elections you will understand these are perilous times or maybe you will still be just another empty suit given to us by a power hungry Republican Establishment who still hasn’t got it.

If there are others that think that you are capable of doing the job I hold nothing against them. If their desire is to have someone who “can beat Kissell” and it is not important that we stand up to the Party that has proven themselves so inept, so be it. If others believe as you do that we need to “slow the growth of government” instead of stopping it and reversing it, so be it. And if as you said “government must do for the people what the people can’t do for themselves” is what others agree with, then so be it. After all this is only about whether or not we will even exist as a free and prosperous nation in 2 – 4 years.

Let the record be known as it is written here that Tim D’Annunzio is the candidate that was endorsed by WTP-PAC and represents most who call themselves members of We The People NC and We The People of the Sandhills, the two largest and most active tea party groups in the eighth district.
Michael Kelly
Founder WTPNC

Categories: NC District 8 | URL:

This excellent and informative presentation was provided to this Web site by my friend and D’Annunzio supporter Scott Manning. Verne Strickland 6/20/10.

Scott Manning
Adjutant, VFW Post 9925
Member of American Legion Post 32
Senior Vice-President, Cumberland County Veterans Council
National Rifle Association Member
District Director, FairTax NC-07

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tim D’Annunzio’s battle plan to win NC-8 GOP runoff found in Holy Bible -- Joshua, Chapter Eight.

On June 22, Republicans in the Eighth Congressional District of North Carolina will choose their nominee to go up against Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell in November.
The choice will be Timothy D’Annunzio or Harold Johnson.

D’Annunzio can win, and probably will – if his supporters go to the polls and vote.

Harold Johnson has the machine. But Tim D’Annunzio has the cause. People don’t love the machine. But they will die for a cause.

The turn-out will be low. This makes every ballot cast for D’Annunzio a stampeding herd. Don’t underestimate that power.

Liking Tim D’Annunzio won’t be enough. That’s only an emotion. You have to go to the polls and cast your vote. That’s an action. You have to do this. It’s the right thing to do.

In a recent interview, I asked Tim about his battle plan – his strategy to prevail in this important run-off election.

He said, “Joshua, Chapter 8.”

That is what he said. And here’s how he explained it.

“Joshua, Chapter 8, is the story of how the Israelites had been put to flight in some of their recent battles, and God tells Joshua to take half his forces and hide them on the side of the roads. Then go up against the city of Ai again, but showing only half the force.

“When the enemy, seeing only a weak force, comes out of the city to attack, act like you are going to run away. Then, as you’re running away, the Israelites who are in hiding on the sides of the roads should come out in an ambush that leads to victory. That is what God told Joshua. And that is what happened.

“I’m thinking that, in the same way, there is this group of people no one knows are there – hiding on the sides of the road – waiting to come out on election day . . . (he pauses) . . . look, I believe in a big God. I think, if it’s His will for me to win, it doesn’t matter what the polls say. Doesn’t matter what the odds are, I’m going to win.

“If He has a different plan, that’s what’s going happen. Either way, I’m fine with it. Of course I have my preferences with how I think it should play out, but I always try to come back to that final understanding – no, not my will, but Thine be done.

“I believe that truly it is God’s will that is contained in those pages, and I believe this is the plan God has for me.”

Tim has said that it would take “a miracle” to win the runoff election. I asked him if he believes in Miracles.

“Well, absolutely. That is how I would classify a victory in this case under any circumstances. But I sense there is some sort of silent groundswell out there that will be ignited on the day of the run-off. And what I would tell those people who are waiting in ambush is to attack at the polls and win this election. Just get out and vote. Put the power that God gives us into action.

“I knew this time would come, the attacks would come. This is the way the enemy always works. They always attack in this same way. One of the reasons they do it is because it is so effective.

“When these attacks come, rather than ripping into them in any depth, we must run from them, just as Joshua did in God’s battle plan. Run from the attacks and the demonization. That’s where we lose. These same attacks are going to come, and they have.

“It has been widely reported that the polls have turned against us. This is directly related to these negative attack ads. But in our own poll we asked what would voters think if they knew that the attacks were completely unfounded and baseless? With that question, we returned to our position in the lead and winning.

“So we are just trying to get message out – the attacks are baseless. Just misrepresentations and mischaracterizations, exaggerration in the extreme of events that have happened in the past. That’s where our full effort will be now. Getting our message out. And we believe that will get our people out.”

This note from our friend Jonathan Y. Alligood: “Early vote today for TIM D'ANNUNZIO at your local Board of Elections in the NC-8. Those of you in the NC-13, please vote for BILL RANDALL. Now is the time to decide and ensure that we have true conservatives running for Congress in November. JUST DO IT!!!”!/alligobbler