Snobbish and Fake Wannabes

skull and bones
“I despise fake people, and even more, I despise fake snobbish people.” – Bryan “Richard” “WASP 101” Holloway.

“There’s another old saying Senator. Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.” – Fletcher, in Outlaw Josie Wales.

When the news first broke that Rep Bryan Holloway was outed as “Richard” the author of the WASP 101 preppy fashion blog I didn’t have much of a problem with it. I thought it displayed a streak of humanity notably absent from some of his Republican colleagues. I told a Democratic House member that he should embrace it. What annoyed me was his denial. That denial prompted me to find further evidence of what was already obvious. His subsequent evasion in the face of overwhelming evidence has been a burr under my saddle, but one that I largely ignored in the face of the more serious and outrageous actions of the Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly, helped along by Holloway’s votes.

In recent weeks I’ve had an inordinate number of conversations with people about Holloway and his assistant Isabel Villa-Garcia, many not by choice, and most off the record. Continue reading

Rainmaker stirs teacup, Civitas sees storm.

A swarm of securities class action law firms have been bad mouthing each other and their clients as they jostle for position of lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit related to the lackluster Facebook IPO. Civitas has taken the spurious claims of pugilistic legal underdogs, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, as evidence of “a sordid affair” that “underscores the need for North Carolina to convert to a 401(k) style retirement plan”. Hardly.
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Scott Brown’s America filmed Abroad

Yesterday I wrote about a clip in Scott Brown’s “Let America be America” video about American small business actually being stock footage of a butcher in Dublin, Ireland. It turns out that two more clips in the video are also stock footage of small businesses in other countries. A scene, at the 0:32 mark, with what looks like a produce wholesaler was also shot in Dublin, Ireland. Another scene with a chef, at the 0:48 mark, was shot in Barcelona, Spain.

The clips can be found at Getty Images. They are clearly identified with locations and the keywords “Non US Location”.

close up PORTRAIT man standing with arms crossed in front of truck loaded with boxes of food / Dublin, Ireland


Pride, T-Shirt, Industry, Looking At Camera, Outdoors, Europe, Close-up, Caucasian Ethnicity, Occupation, Manual Worker, Republic of Ireland, Irish Culture, Horizon, Day, Gray Hair, Dublin – Republic of Ireland, One Person, Mature Adult, Arms Crossed, Color Image, Real Time, Cinematography, Film, One Mature Man Only, One Man Only, Portrait, Capital Cities, 10 Seconds or Greater, Adults Only, Horizon Over Land, Non US Location, HD Format

close up PORTRAIT chef smiling + talking / people in background / Barcelona, Spain


City, Uniform, Small Business, Looking At Camera, Indoors, Europe, Human Body Part, Close-up, Human Face, Latin American and Hispanic Ethnicity, Occupation, Chef, Smiling, Talking, Cooking, Spain, Restaurant, Barcelona, One Person, Adult, Color Image, Real Time, Cinematography, Film, One Man Only, Portrait, Chef’s Whites, 10 Seconds or Greater, Adults Only, Non US Location, HD Format

The Irish man stands resolute while the voice of Lyndon B Johnson talks about “our men”. The Spanish chef smiles while the voice of Gerald Ford talks about remarkable progress in the United States. Stock footage is par for the course in political ads but if Scott Brown really wants to “Let America to be America Again” it’s more likely to happen on the streets of Boston, not Dublin or Barcelona.

Scott Brown uses butcher in Ireland to say let America be America

The latest Republican pile-on in response to Barack Obama’s comments about small business is a 2-1/2 minute video from Senator Scott Brown that uses stock footage of American presidents and American entrepreneurship set to heroic music asking to Let America be America Again. In one scene, at the 1:05 mark, a butcher stands in front of his store, O’Connor’s, a family butcher and local produce store, while the voice of Ronald Reagan says “like the owners of stores down the street”. Except that it’s not down the street. It isn’t even in the country. It’s a butcher shop in Dublin, Ireland that appears in stock footage from Getty Images. The clip information specifically says “Non US Location”.

Here’s the full list of keywords:

Food and Drink, Built Structure, Food, Pride, Individuality, Meat, Window Display, Retail, Small Business, Looking At Camera, Outdoors, Europe, Caucasian Ethnicity, Occupation, Standing, Republic of Ireland, Store, Irish Culture, Day, Dublin – Republic of Ireland, Owner, Apron, One Person, Doorway, Adult, Arms Crossed, Color Image, Butcher, Butcher’s Shop, Real Time, Cinematography, Film, One Man Only, Portrait, Food And Drink Industry, Capital Cities, Less than 10 Seconds, Adults Only, Non US Location, HD Format, Entrepreneur.

The video had 325,246 views when I first came across it. Comments had been disabled. Simple observation reveals the wording of a sign reflected in the store window: “Solicitors”, the term for attorneys in Great Britain and Ireland. The name “O’Connor’s” is obviously Irish and the street scene would present some familiarity to anyone who had travelled in Great Britain or Ireland. An image search of a screen shot went directly to Getty Images where the clip was described as one of five depicting: “PORTRAIT male butcher standing with arms crossed in doorway of “O’Connor’s” butcher shop / Dublin”.

Can’t Scott Brown just let Ireland be Ireland?

Gurley Men With a Dash of Tedesco

With a week to go to the Republican primary runoff election for NC Lieutenant Governor and early voting underway a small custom super PAC, “A True Direction Committee“, better described as a micro PAC, popped up to support Tony Gurley in his race against Dan Forest. The committee was organized June 28th by Daniel Spuller, political consultant and, fundraiser for Wake Tech Community College. There are two modest initial contributions to the committee, a $38 in-kind contribution from Spuller and $2,500 from Gurley’s Medical Supply LLC in Durham, a company recently set up by Tony Gurley’s brother and often business partner Danny Gurley. Because of the closeness of the election the full extent of contributions and spending will likely not be known until after the election.
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NC Business Super PAC Prepares for Deluge

A new super PAC is planning a $320,000 advertising blitz next week for ten NC General Assembly candidates, all incumbents, nine Republicans and one Democrat. The Carolina Business Coalition Education Fund reports receiving $350,000 from the related Carolina Business Coalition, Inc. in May and reports spending $321,660 on electioneering communications for five House candidates and five Senate candidates planned for June 11th. The super PAC will spend $61,128 on Senator Neal Hunt’s re-election alone.

The Carolina Business Coalition, Inc., has been in existence since May of 2011 but publicly dormant until recently. Originally set up by Roger Knight, a campaign finance attorney with fingers in various right-wing pies, the organization switched the record of responsibility in April to Peter Barnes who filed paperwork for the Carolina Business Coalition Education Fund with both the IRS and the State Board of Elections on May 10th. Roger Knight serves as a director of the parent Carolina Business Coalition which is chaired by Allen Gant, President and CEO of Glen Raven, Inc. a major contributor to Real Jobs NC set up by Fred Eshelman, and for which Knight has served as Executive Director. In 2010, largely funded by the Republican State Leadership Committee, Real Jobs NC spent $1.6 million on state races, a big factor in the Republican takeover of the NC General Assembly.

Other directors of the Carolina Business Coalition include business executives like David Murdock of Dole Foods, Martin Holton of Reynolds American, and John Allison, former Chairman and CEO of BB&T. The group website features a quote from Fred Eshelman though he is not listed as a director. Allison also serves as a director of the Texas based Job Creators Alliance which appears destined to be the engine of a national superPAC. The Alliance features several other NC business executives like Fred Eshelman, Art Pope, John Kane, Jim Anthony and Steve Zelnack. Eshelman is also noted for setting up the national group Right Change with former State Rep Jeff Barnhart and State Sen Fletcher Hartsell.

Candidates and amounts spent on them by the Carolina Business Coalition are: Sen Warren Daniel, $19,053, Sen Jim Davis, $45,766, Sen Neal Hunt, $61,128, Sen Wes Meredith, $32,013, Sen Mike Walters, $3,087, Rep Bryan Holloway $46,467, Rep Jonathan Jordan, $16,470, Rep Tim Moffit, $45,766, Rep Tom Murry, $44,415, Rep Mike Stone, $7,497, all totaling $321,660. With the exception of the sum spent on Walters, these amounts are far in excess of the normal limit of $4,000 per candidate on regular PAC and individual spending. Sen Mike Walters, regarded as one of the most business friendly Senate Democrats, was appointed in 2009 to the Senate seat of David Weinstein who left to head the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

The NC super PAC flood is only beginning.