Several weeks ago I penned a column where I referred to the weekly protests by political leftists at the General Assembly as “Moron Monday.” I was completely off base and now realize my mistake.
With the latest revelations from the Raleigh-based Civitas Institute, I should have referred to the demonstrations as “Money Monday.” Researchers at Civitas have spent many weeks compiling flowcharts and tracing money flows not only to Reverend William Barber’s groups (receiving over $1 million a year from state coffers), but also to allied organizations that have raked in $100+ million from the North Carolina Treasury in the last few years.
Far from being a moron, William Barber is as “clever as a fox.” In his own words, Barber acknowledged that the Monday protests were not a “spontaneous action.” He admitted that the protests were built around the coalition he formed called “Historic Thousands on Jones Street.” The group’s name is printed on many of the signs the protesters carry.
The coalition consists of some two dozen affiliated, not-for-profit organizations including development centers, community foundations, credit unions and other assorted groups. Altogether, they have received more than $100 million in direct grants from the state in the last few years – when the Democrats were in charge.
It is indeed interesting to go through the list of the organizations and observe the six-figure salaries paid to the officers and directors. It is also enlightening to observe the benefits and perks received by Reverend Barber’s protest partners. Civitas has painstakingly detailed all this information on their website.
Imagine the collective shock the coalition members felt after last November’s elections when Republicans consolidated their power base by winning the governor’s office and maintaining control of the General Assembly for the first time in over 140 years. The screeching sound of the gravy train coming to a halt must have been deafening in the offices of Barber’s coalition members.
Kudos, at least for ingenuity, should go out to Barber and his partners. Rather than sit back and cry while their hand-outs were cut by fiscally responsible Republicans, they cranked up their engines and went on the attack. Let’s face it, they had $100 million on the line and were not about to sit by and watch the goody train come to a halt.
Besides, they had several things going for them. First, the NC Democrat Party was in complete shambles, destroyed by dissension and scandal. In this power vacuum, the party’s liberal base was looking for anyone to lead them. Barber was more than happy to volunteer. Second, the Reverend was well aware that the left-leaning, drive-by media is always looking for discord and strife to sell papers and advertising. His protests would deliver lots of contention. Put it all together and, presto, you have “protests a la carte.”
In the end, you have to give it to Barber and company. For them, social work can be very lucrative. Up to this point, they have been screaming so loudly that no one has pulled back the curtain to reveal what is really going on. These liberal puppet masters have depended on state largess for far too long. It is past time for the General Assembly to reform government, cut taxes and stop funding these special interest groups. The gig is up: it’s not Moral or Moron Monday, it’s Money Monday!
Thom Goolsby is a state senator, practicing attorney and law professor. He is a chairman of the Senate Judiciary 1 and Justice and Public Safety Committees.