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In an apparent effort to shake its image as a party whose modern-day membership is confined almost exclusively to tea party extremists and/or members of the religious right, the North Carolina GOP announced this week that it would be opening up the tent to reach out to another group that once figured prominently in the party, but whose public participation has been less clearly visible in recent times.

I speak, of course, of that much discriminated against and long-suffering minority: Older, fabulously wealthy, thrice-married, beauty-contest running, spotlight-seeking gambling moguls. 

GOP officials announced that the keynote speaker at their state convention would be that  paragon of virtue and morality, the one and only Donald Trump. The Donald will speak on June 1 at 7 pm in Greensboro.

No word yet on whether the event will also feature another prominent casino owner, Newt Gingrich’s sugar daddy, billionaire casino king, Sheldon Adelson. My guess is that he puts up enough cash, they’ll be happy to include him.

More amazing hypocrisy from the local right-wing tea partiers this morning. According to Raleigh’s News & Observer, Americans for the Prosperous and the Pope-Civitasers still refuse to disclose who is paying the hundreds of thousands of dollars they’re spending on their so-called “Real Solutions” TV ad/traveling billboard campaign. Mind you, these are the same people who maintain a website they call “Carolina Transparency”!!

In this case, the only thing transparent, of course, is the blatant hypocrisy displayed by groups who are too chicken to tell the world which rich guys/corporations are bankrolling their efforts to hoodwink the people of North Carolina.

As most people are aware by now, General Assembly police officers and House sergeants-at-arms evicted 50 or so peaceful and respectful protesters yesterday from the second floor of the state Legislative Building under an obscure rule that purports to bar members of the public from the second floor of the Legislative Building if they do not have prior authorization. Mind you, this action was taken on a quiet day at the General Assembly in which there was no business on the House or Senate calendars and on which relatively few lawmakers were even present on a floor that literally teems with people during regular legislative sessions.

Interestingly. police and House Speaker Thom Tillis — who defended the action and, depending upon who you believe, may have even participated in it — took a decidedly different approach toward a gaggle of Tea Party protesters who visited the General Assembly during a busy session day last March.

Check out the video below to watch yesterday’s eviction juxtaposed with footage (posted by our friends at the Pope-Civitas Institute) of the Speaker and his Chief of Staff Charles Thomas speaking amicably with conservative protesters in the exact same second floor hallway

Evidently,  there is a bit of a double-standard as to which members of the public get access to the Legislative Building  these days: Agree with Tillis (or be a corporate lobbyist) and he’ll let you stay and even hang out with you. Disagree — even silently — and you get the boot.

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You can watch both of the original videos in their entirety by clicking here by clicking here.

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Today is the six-month anniversary of the big announcement that Wake School Board member, right-wing activist and semi-announced candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, John “Tea Party” Tedesco was taking over the newly formed North Carolina Center for Education Reform as “President and CEO.”

And here are the words that most accurately convey the evident substantive output of the group that employs Tedesco at $6,000 per month (at least from a pretty thorough review of the group’s website): Read More