Party of Spend Wants Your Tax Dollars to Finance Their Campaign for More Taxes!!!!!
Tactics Conflict with NC Settled Public Policy
written by Richard Ford
The campaigning on the Twin Tax Increases has begun with a bang – an illegitimate one by the Party of Spend. Although the tax hikers view themselves as being on the side of the angels, a quick look at their tactics makes you realize this is just a ploy to disguise their “take no prisoners attitude” toward getting their hands on our tax dollars, especially improperly using public money and resources.
Settled law in North Caronia forbids the use of public dollars and resources in an election campaign. The N.C. Court of Appeals ruled in Dollar vs. Cary,153 N.C.App. 309 (2002), ‘Where the advertising, however, is designed to promote a viewpoint on an issue in order to influence an election, it is impermissible.”
The Party of Spend, along with our local governments and agencies, is not respecting this prohibition.
This past Tuesday (10/4), the Durham City TV Channel 8 devoted an entire show, moderated by City employee Beverley B. Thompson, Director, Office of Public Affairs, to the pro tax hike message. The first half of the show featured a pro-transit activist and a city official. The second half of the show was a fawning interview with the co leaders of the pro transit tax front group Transit Referendum Campaign Committee.
Remind you of Soviet style propaganda? We have our government – your tax dollars- being used against us.
Let’s look now at Triangle Transit Authority, a public agency, i.e. funded with your dollars. Back at its Board meeting in June, they mouthed the high road. Per their minutes:
“Chair ….. Said that this Board is trusting those in Durham County who have seen fit to have a referendum this fall and it is not the board’s place to decide whether that is a good idea or not. “
But the reality is that, barely two months later, Casey Steinbacher, Chamber CEO and spearhead of the pro transit crowd, was featured at the Board meeting, reporting to the TTA Board, our fiduciaries, how the pro campaign was going, bragging that she had the endorsement of the left-wing People’s Alliance.
The board was even interested in tactics. Ms. Steinbacher shared her campaign’s slogan, while a Board member asked about opposition. Ms. Steinbacher crowed there was no organized opposition locally and if others oppose the tax, she would “isolate them as outsiders.”
What is even worse, Ms. Steinbacher persists in claiming the tax hike campaign is a local, grassroots effort, although the only substantial money supporting them, per their own campaign reports, is from Duke Power and BBT. Grassroots? Local?
Finally, from the same August TTA Board minutes, in a real lovefest, Ms. Steinbacher thanks the Authority –our taxpayer paid employees – for being such a great resource to answer anti-tax arguments.
By September 14, the taxpayer-paid General Manager of TTA was touting the tax at a Duke meeting, thankfully sparcely attended.
This is only the beginning. Already this week, the Orange County Commissioners paid -with taxpayer dollars – for a newspaper ad lauding the sales tax increase proposed for their County. Will Durham County be far behind? Is this consistent with ”Hands Off Taxpayer Dough” in campaigns?
Expect more: use of our kids as mini-me tax hikers as they are sent home with propaganda, more media paid for by our tax dollars, meetings in places where the lights are turned on by our tax dollars but no anti- tax advocates will be invited, public resources supporting their pro-tax fronts and more propaganda from our government.
The sooner we call them on this the better. They know it is improper but think they are beyond obeying the rules in their crusade for more taxes.
Please report to the Durham GOP and the Board of Elections any examples of this type of government abuse. Regardless of your views on the tax hikes, we all know that the government needs to step aside while the voters decide. It’s the right policy and it’s the law.