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Blueprint disowns memo calling for attacks on GOP

Posted February 23, 2013

@NCCapitol

— The executive director of Blueprint NC is distancing his group from a strategy memo that calls for inhibiting conservative policies by attacking top Republican leaders.

On Thursday, an electronic document that contained a polling memo, cover email and three-page strategy memo was leaked to reporters. The document originated with a source who attended a Blueprint NC-organized meeting of left-leaning groups but came to reporters through an intermediary. WRAL News agreed not to specifically name its source in order to obtain the documents in question. 

The email from a Blueprint NC staffer describes a "talking points memo" as well as polling information. 

"The email from Stephanie is referring to the slide deck, the POLLING MEMO and the data," Blueprint NC Executive Director Sean Kosofsky wrote in an email on Saturday. "This document from early December is not our document at all. We never drafted that. All these news outlets have been had.

"This is a James O'Keefe-style splicing of two radially different things," he continued, referring to a Republican filmmaker and provocateur whose work has frequently been called into question. 

When interviewed on Thursday , Kosofsky defended his group's involvement with the documents, saying that it was appropriate for 501(c)3 groups to discuss ways to push their agenda. The Charlotte Observer reported Saturday that a major Blueprint NC funder was unhappy with the memo and reviewing its funding for the group.

"If you want to push against a policy, one strategy is to take advantage of your opponents weaknesses," Kosofsky said Thursday. He said Saturday that he did not realize the three-page strategy memo with the aggressive language was what WRAL News and other reporters were asking about. "Research is perfectly safe for your partners."

Kosofsky describes Blueprint NC as a "back office" for nonprofit groups, helping to coordinate activities and take advantage of economies of scale that small nonprofits would not have on their own. He insists the organization is nonpartisan.

Asked if he was saying Blueprint had never seen the document before, Kosofsky said, "That is not what I am saying. It is not ours."

"I think i have seen it at this December planning retreat, but it is not a Blueprint document at all," he added.

The three-page document is labeled a "North Carolina 2013 Legislative Strategy: Draft" but does not bear a date. The polling data included in the pack comes from late January and early February. Kosofsky insists that the two things come from different meetings and are not linked.

Asked it was appropriate for his organization to participate in meetings where such memos are distributed and whether he endorsed all the ideas in the memo, Kosofsky replied via email:

Darn right. C3 nonprofits should absolutely try to stop bad policies that hurt the poor and hurt the environment, women and the middle class. If they need to exploit weaknesses of lawmakers, they should. I stand by that.

The meeting in December was of over 50 organizations. People bring their own idea. I am not going to claim or distance myself from things without greater context. The only thing that matters to Blueprint is what Blueprint does. I cannot speak for others. We cannot be held to what others do at meetings we are at. that is completely unfair.

I am not going to cherry pick ideas from that draft plan and say which ones we approve of or disapprove of. I will say this...The stakes are high for the people of NC. This governor and legislature are approving raises for their cabinet while gutting benefits for folks already injured by unemployment. Blueprint and our partners are passionate advocates for policy passed in the public interest, not passed for special interests. Our partners can educate the public, educate lawmakers and absolutely hold them accountable when they vote against the interests of the people of NC. the public should know that charitable groups can and do advocate strongly. they should. Blueprint doesn't lobby or do any public advocacy. This isn't about us at all.

It is worth noting that many of ideas contained both in the polling memo and the three-page strategy document have shown up elsewhere.

House Minority Leader Larry Hall used language identical to the poll information in his response to Gov. Pat McCrory's State of the State speech. And groups linked to Blueprint NC have been using strategies such as calling McCrory's ethics into question.

33 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • mrday69 Feb 26, 8:54 a.m.

    Saul Alinsky tactic from Rules for Radicals.

    The third rule of the ethics of means and ends is that in war the ends justifies almost any means.

    The Democrats and the media only care about regaining power in our state...they will ridicule, lie, cheat, steal...hmmm, who else came to this world to lie, cheat and destroy?

  • Danny22 Feb 25, 6:43 p.m.

    Looks like the crooked Soros is got his hand in the Blueprint group too.

  • Karmageddon Feb 25, 2:41 p.m.

    "To all you folks fuming about how liberals are illiterate, brain-dead and maniacal"

    You left off "uncompromising" and a few other words that wouldn't make it to this post

  • Crumps Br0ther Feb 25, 2:36 p.m.

    Won't do any good......They will just do what ACORN did....regroup under a different name and keep doing the same thing
    Karmageddon

    I just posted the same thing. I guess I should have read the comments first

  • warrenschatz001 Feb 25, 2:08 p.m.

    To all you folks fuming about how liberals are illiterate, brain-dead and maniacal, you seem to have some misdirected thoughts; This article isn't about any of the above and it's not about corrupt politicians.. It IS about "nonprofit groups" or special interests rousing great partisanship in government and between parties (as seen this over and over again in the last election). It is special interest "contributions" and likewise lobbying and Pork-barrel spending that has hijacked our representation and gridlocked Washington, these must STOP before we can end this bipartisanship and get our govt working again- for us! All this miss-directed hate does not help the root of the problem. If we consider the bad apple politicians as strictly that- bad apples and not representatives of their entire party we can end this bipartisan nonsense, come together and devise real solutions to the real causes of this nations problems. EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY!

  • will2 Feb 25, 1:58 p.m.

    And remember, if you get caught; deny deny deny and then be "outraged" at the mere suggestion that you're involved. Gosh I love Democratic politics.

  • driverkid3 Feb 25, 11:27 a.m.

    terrie::::WRAL is forwarding it's own right wing agenda, yet again.

    So you honestly think WRAL is "right wing"? I'd love to see what you consider as left wing or even in the middle. WRAL is in the pocket for the dems, and if you don't know that by now, you are truly hopeless!

  • Karmageddon Feb 25, 11:24 a.m.

    "Yank their 501c3 status"

    Won't do any good......They will just do what ACORN did....regroup under a different name and keep doing the same thing

  • jamzwilkins Feb 25, 10:46 a.m.

    Yank their 501c3 status.

  • readme Feb 25, 10:32 a.m.

    This just shows what we all knew anyway. These leftist, "progressive" groups are more rude and selfish than the typical pasty, old white conservative.

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