Under the Dome

Republicans mistakenly broadcast private meeting, leak strategy

House Republicans held a behind-closed-doors caucus meeting to discuss their strategy on the budget and other issues Friday, but did not know all their remarks were being broadcast live into the press room through an open microphone.

House leaders warned members against asking about a redistricting provision in the $19.7 billion budget they plan to approve this afternoon.

If any questions come up, said Majority Leader Paul Stam, Rep. David Lewis should answer them.

"On one point, I only want David Lewis to talk," Stam said, an Apex Republican. "The talk about redistricting and this thing in the budget is extremely sensitive to the other people not in this room who are voting with us. No one but David talk. David can obfuscate more than anybody I know."

The "other people not in this room" is an apparent reference to the five Democrats voting with Republicans on the budget.

House Speaker Thom Tillis reminded members not to talk about "Democrats," but to counter individuals by name.

"This is not about Democrats, because we have Democrats voting for this budget," he said. "Please, do not go after the Democrats. If you want to go after an individual member for saying something stupid, gut punch them. These five Democrats are going after her (Gov. Bev Perdue). We'll go after the governor; when we have a veto override."

UPDATE: Perdue had some fun at the Republicans' expense at her afternoon media conference. Walking up to a bank of microphones, she pretended to fumble with them and quipped: "Are these things on? Is there a switch I need to ..."

After the press corps broke into laughter, she added: "I'm pretty competent with microphones."

The governor's dig was a reference to Stam's comment (included after the jump) that she is "incompetent." 


Tillis told members that the House Rules Committee would take up a Senate bill that the N.C. Association of Educators is fighting. It would prevent members from having dues to the organization taken directly from their paychecks.

NCAE has sent mail to voters in the districts of five Democrats voting for the GOP-authored budget.

"The NCAE has gone into all five districts with mailers hammering these Democrats," Tillis said. "We just want to give them a little taste of what's about to come. It's going to be in Rules, and they're going to be mad."

The news of Perdue filling an executive order to restore unemployment benefits broke at about the time House Republicans were meeting.

Tillis suggested they respond by saying it's illegal or that she should fire her lawyers.

Stam went further.

"Either way, she's incompetent," the Apex Republican said. "We really need to crack on her for this. This is probably one of the worst things she's done."

Rep. Mark Hilton, a Catawba Republican, told members of his caucus that groups supporting a constitutional gay-marriage ban need a vote this year so they can organize their get-out-the-vote campaigns.

Hilton called the session "one of the most conservative, pro-family legislative sessions I've ever seen."

The marriage amendment "is important to conservative groups," he said. "They need to be able to get their ground-game working to get out the vote for it to be on the November ballot." House Speaker Thom Tillis "assured us it would happen this year," he said.

Other conservative items of interest: illegal immigration and "gun issues."


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Right you are.........and the President is in the same boat.  Unless the economy bails them both out, you will see some further changes in both DC and Raleigh in 2012.  Further, unless the Dems come out with a real tangible economic strategy that actually cuts REAL spending, then our danger is that one party will control all of it again........and we didn't like what happened the last time when Pelosi, Reid, and Obama had enough votes to do whatever they wanted.  One party, either of them, does not work to the advantage of anyone.


Well.....considering that the budget passed with a veto proof majority, seems like this strategy worked even if their opponents knew about it ahead of time........

This is hardly a news story..........

Fascist conservatives

NC General Assembly:  Where are the 17,000 jobs you said you would create?  Nada.  Throw the Fascist conservatives bums in the General Assembly out in 2012!  They have created no jobs.

Lib Mental Illness

Ok. Summarize. You cannot. Because you did not read it.

Give us the Cliff Notes. You cannot. Because it is incoherent and a diatribe of the insane.

Who picked these folks?

Art Pope, Fred Eshelman and a bunch of other rich so and so's who want to drive NC back by a century.  This legislature was bought flat out by money from in state and more money from out of state.  And, you can see the shoddy quality that it bought.  These buzzards are sitting around conniving instead of working out the best for North Carolinians.  They give a bad name to human beings.  Taliban Stam and his bunch of crazies is going to turn NC into another MI or SC--unless sane people gather and vote this bunch of asses out of office.  Their only goal is to do as much damage before they get thrown out as humanly possible.

Lib Mental Illness

I read it.  It does seem to be a complicated issue.  A time-line of sorts would elucidate the problem for non-Mental Health insiders.  

Lib Mental Illness

"drhammond". No one is going to read your lib diatribe.

Can you summorize your points in a simple list with references?

Where's the Mental Health, Republicans?

Obfuscation which also includes the creation of chaos--- can occur in various venues, one of them being mental health 'reform' in NC---and the Republicans are utilizing the Medicaid Waiver (gonna save some money, dontchaknow) via Piedmont Behavioral Health LME (over in eastern NC: pbH, a cute, friendly logo, yes?) as per the Non-Disclosure Agreement being hoisted on the other LME's across the state by pbH at the behest of a misguided NC DHHS.  No, we don't need to recreate the wheel LME by LME as re: they taking up the management of Medicaid and public mental health (thus has pbH been 'encouraged' to share its Medicaid Waiver knowledge which they have been honing since 2005) but neither do we need The Borg taking over the LME's and preventing citizens' access to public records----which is the gist of the Non Disclosure Agreement created by pbH. 

Too bad the Non-Disclosure Agreement has been just this past week to be deemed 'illegal'  as associated with not attending to public records law as outlined by the NC State Constitution by the Institute of Government at UNC Chapel Hill (gosh what will we do now that 15 or most of the LME's have glibly signed off, hook line, and sinker, such that the citizens/ consumers under their catchment area will have a helluva time getting their medical records?).  Bear in in mind that its been two Dems that have been the co-chairs of the joint legislative oversight committee on mental health reform, specifically, Nesbitt and Insko, and the scrambling re: pbH's lunge to be alpha dog of the week is pretty obvious.  Insiders state that its a tug of war between the newly minted state legislature Republicans (were they the guys who couldn't keep control of their microphones?), bought and sold by Art Pope of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank.  This is not to deny that the Dems have been clumsily attempting to manage NC mental health reform which had as an original agenda of the creation of mental health services for evry NC citizen.  The only problem is that no private company can make money off of people with Severe Persistent Mental Illnesses (SPMI).    

As a provider, being whipped around by the mental health reform movement in NC, whose purpose was to 'privatize' (let's privatize the schools and the mental health and all the places where money can't be made and where public tax dollars are at work, finally choking the entire beast associated w/ the education of childrenn and the creation of public mental health such that it whirls down the do our futures....)----has been one long 'teaching moment'---as per my experience and similar others----trying to advise the LME's on why demanding an 18 page recertification form in order to continue to serve Medicaid consumers is a bad idea.  I'm a licensed psychologist; certified Medicaid provider; certified medicare provider; have a national NPI number; and so I ask you: why this Medicaid Waiver punch in the gut in order to save some money because the NC Republicans refuse to extend the .1 cent tax?  Its unbelievable the chaos they have created w/ this attempt to 'drown government and watch it go down the drain.'  

The WHN LME Board today ,discussed at its annual meeting, that, "....Other associated comments included that pbH has 'state legislators now in control of the mental health reform process' whileas Martin Nesbitt, co-chair of the NC Joint Legislative Oversight Committee (D-Buncombe) has lost some impact even though he is the head of the NC State Legislature Senate (must be some pretty powerful Republican state legislators; yes, they're Republicans).

Contrarily, in terms of the 15 other LMEs who maintain their head in the sand 'go along to get along' as regards signing the pbH Non-Disclosure Agreement ('just sign the stinkin' form'), on 6.3.2011,  the Western Highlands Network (WHN) LME Board, overseeing public mental health of 7 western NC counties, after refusing last month during its board meeting to sign off on the Non-Disclosure Agreement, declared again today that they would 'go their own way' re: the Medicaid Wawiver until such time that pbH could create a legal document that paid attention to already in place NC Constitutional law protecting public records.  It seems that when the Board utilized the 'open records' law to prod pbH to give out some of the information associated w/ the Medicaid Waiver, the work having beenn created by tax dollars, pbH, a government entity paid for by tax dollars, would have nothing to do w/ the WHN LME request.    

As one of the members of the WHN LME Board stated today, "sometimes pbH----a government entity----acts like a private entity, when it is to its advantage to do so----and other times it acts like a public entity---supported by tax dollars." 

Gee, they must have been schooled by other 'private enterprise' , so near and dear to the Republican heart, that took public tax dollars and performed alchemy on the bucks in order to stick it into the pockets of private enterprise.  Hey: let's have some more of that 15-20% administrative costs as associated w/ the 'pretend' private enterprise Medicare companies like Humana, taking tax payers dollars, instead of government (gasp) run Medicare with its 5% and less administrative costs.  Its a slight of hand like gerrymandering, which the Republicans were broadcasting today while the microphone was on.  

The release of public records and the rights of citizens to obtain them is more or less like leaving the microphone on, so I say, GO GET 'EM, Bev Perdue.  Lay waste to Art Pope's bought and paid for, via The Heritage Foundation, NC Republican lawmakers, who can't see their way towards funding mental health and creating learning environments for our children.  Every last one of them needs to be buried and an epitaph created indicating that they couldn't see way to keeping the .1 cent sales tax----and so they eviscerated mental health and public schools.  

Heckuva job, Art Pope, The Heritage Foundation, and Republican lawmakers----and any Dems that vote with them.  For more discussion on this Medicaid Waiver matter, see: NC Mental Health Reform blogspot, since 2007 :

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, NC






Where is the Palin Bus???

A little off topic. But libs are furious that Palin does not release her bus tour schedule.

Maybe they can bug her bus and hack her email??? Relates back to story. Maybe the libs rigged the open michrophone???

Where is congress man weiner? Calling the cops on a CBS reporter.

How did that story die???

Can you spell???

Wow. I wish I could use big words like you. Now can you spell them correctly? Obviously you do not know about spell check???



1 : marked by unruly or aggressive noisiness : clamorous

2 : stubbornly resistant to control : unruly

What obstreperious fellows.

What obstreperious fellows. Their obfuscation belies their intelligence and obviously obliterates their ability to obviate their demise. :)

Maybe this was on purpose???

I think this was on purpose. Yo bev. Don't veto any more of our bills. We have a super majority if the rino's fall in line...

When will she realize she cannot win 2012? When will the DNC realize this and primary her?

Geez!!!What short memories

Geez!!!What short memories everyone seems to have. Tony Rand and his highness Mark Basnight had the same kind of meetings when the dems were in power. I remember when they lied to a N&O reporter about a meeting in which they said the budget was not going to be discussed. When someone who was running late passed by the reporter on his way to the meeting, the reporter asked him what the meeting was about and was told it was about the budget. No open microphone but the next best thing, a newspaper reporter!

"If you understand the word obfuscate, thank a teacher"

or "Obfuscation (archaic): Term once used widely by educated American English speakers until public education was eliminated during the 21st century period of vulture capitalism, in which public resources were transferred to wealthiest 1%."

I think Option B is too long for a bumper sticker. Few people will be able to read them anyway. 

N.C House passes budget

The Republicans who ran for state office in N.C. made it very clear that they were united on two major issues:  1. cutting taxes, and 2. jobs in N.C.  They are working diligently to accomplish both of these goals, cutting taxes and cutting jobs in N.C.  This is called "obfuscation."  One of the most egregious mistakes in N.C. legislative history was cutting  the sales tax on food, a favorite issue of those seeking higher office at the time, and now another mistake is the move to eliminate the one cent sales tax as a revenue source.  These taxes, sales taxes, are the only tax money that we will reap from a large portion of our population, many of whom are filling our classrooms with children that must be educated, with the valuable help of a teacher assistant, and creating a demand for new classrooms that taxpayers must provide.  School children today are a very different generation from the generation I attended school with in my day.  In my day, discipline was reinforced more at home and the "problem" students were often allowed to quit school, thus ending many disruptions.  This is not the case today, with increased emphasis on school attendance.  Still, discipline is a major issue.  Voters should remember a very basic rule in politics from their civics class:  radical cuts in taxes paid will result in radical cuts in services provided.  Remember this at the next election on the state and national level.  I have been a teacher in the classroom since 1970 and I have "observed a lot just by watching."

Stam comment



It just reinforces that politics is all aboout crushing the other guys and nothing about improving the lives of the people, what a sorry bu ch of human beings.

Not the dimmest either

Unfortunately some majority of voters put them there, but they're not the dimmest either. Some of those people still do support them! Now that's a dim bunch!

gut punched

These idiots need to be gut punched to the unemployed line. And shame on Bev is she writes an executive order to give them unemplyment.

Thank you DOME

Didn't change anything, but it was kinda fun to read anyway.  It's sad, though, to see the kind of leadership that is running the General Assembly these days.   What a bunch of jerks. 

Good point -

First attempt, how about:

The NC REPUBLICAN PARTY, This Obfuscation is to you!

or maybe

Vote Obfuscation, Vote Republican, You'll never understand what hit you!

Surely somebody can do better....


these guys are like the national GOP, completely shameless at their willingness to harm NC citizens.  As bad as they are , if voters accept it, it's so much more upsetting.

Yeah, good riddance!

Yeah, those public jobs should be the first to go! After all, they weren’t doing anything but sitting around working to keep you safe, educating your kids, providing highways for you to travel on, ensuring you get what you pay for at the gas pump and retail stores, collecting your trash, providing clean water and treating your sewage, sacrificing raises since the 1980”s so you wouldn’t have to pay higher taxes to balance the budget, and all those other wastes of your hardly earned tax dollars! I say good riddance (and don't gripe about the potholes, crime rate, untreated sewage, spark knock from that $4 gas, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum, that those public servants did for you every day of your life!).

the wrong ones, no doubt

Advocating deliberate obfuscation by a public servant is apparently okay.

But accidentally allowing the public to hear that this is what your boss is doing is a fireable offense. 

And this is from the party that claims the moral high ground on "values?"

Just remember ....

Remember, you got it from me first!  :-) ...... One head has already rolled.  Others will likely follow.  The N&O will report that in a week or so, maybe.

As for the overall sharpness of politicians in general.  "Lack of" is a non-partisan affliction.  "Underestimating their enemy" tends to be a Repub affliction.

somewhere in Stam's comment is a very good bumpersticker


Not just fear - Racism and Bigotry

But it's not just fear - It's fear based on latent (as well as blatant) racism and bigotry, i.e. blaming the "black guy" (Aka President Obama) for everything they have kept from happening! Without this tactic, the Republican Party would have never gained control of both houses in the NC Legislature. As Jim Neal stated in his blog: “In North Carolina we are witnessing an attempt by state legislators in the majority- abetted by a few in the minority- to effectively repeal the 20th century.” I only hope this shows the Democrats who "abetted" these crooks just how stupid they have been.

Open Mike

What collection of clowns!  Instead of trying to figure out how to help the citizens of NC, these fools are trying to figure out how to stick it to the Governor and democrats.  You get what you vote for.

Let me help with this

Majority Leader Paul Stam, "... David can obfuscate more than anybody I know."

Obfuscate definition:

  1. To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand: "A great effort was made . . . to obscure or obfuscate the truth" (Robert Conquest).

It is clear that the majority intent is to confuse the issue so that nobody realizes what is being done to them until it is too late. Do you really think that is good government? Obviously it is all we are getting this year for our tax dollars. The Republican agenda is a smoke screen of fear and confusion to hide the fact that they are doing nothing for the people of NC. Instead they are dismantling education, increasing predatory lending rates, gerrymandering voting districts, disenfranchising voters to eliminate opposition, ignoring the unemployed, and enriching themselves at the expense of all NC taxpayers. Why else in “representative government” would the ability to “obfuscate” be so highly regarded by the Majority Leader? Open government? Transparency? PT Barnum would be so proud!

public servants

Dumb and dumer do not give a crap about anything else other than what can get them reelected.  Blame all on the govenor but I hope it comes back around to smack dumb and dumber in the mouth...


I'm glad the Governor is competent with microphones.  Maybe she can find a job more suited to her talents.

Live Broadcast

What else should we expect "Dumb & Dumer" to say?  They could care less about anything but getting reelected.  They have two things in mind, getting elected and staying elected.

The one cent sales tax is not a new tax as it is something we have had.  Why not leave the darn thing alone and use the money for necessary expenditures ( NECESSARY) since it is not a new tax.  Dumb and Dumer say they are not going to raise taxes--the one cent tax is not raising the taxes.  I still think their primary goal is to get reelected and immediately start campaigning for reelction. On the national scene Elmers was so happy to attend a fund raiser for her that she forgot to be sworn in on the scheduled date!!  We need some down to earth common sense politicians, regardless of their party affilation, instead of the majority of the ones in office now who could not pour p--- out of a boot with the instructions on the heel!! I didn' major in literature and don't have the "polish" some claim to have but I think I get my point across...

Well, that certainly didn't

Well, that certainly didn't take long!.  The conspiracy theory, tin foil hat crowd is already out in force.  The liberals did it!  The liberals did it!  I am rather disappointed to find AgentPierce leading the charge.   He, of all people, should realize that most politicians just aren't that bright; particularly with AV equipment.   

Next week you'll see Republicans meeting under the "Cone of Silence" and whispering in shoe phones. 


The public jobs should have been the first to go. The private sector has been making tough decisions for several years running.

N&O stretches "truth" again.

Surely someone at The N&O knows how such technical matters within the GenAssem are operated.  There are permanent career staff in charge of such matters. 

It is NOT a matter of an On/Off switch on a microphone being inadvertedly left in the wrong position as this "typical N&O hit piece" implies.

Should the Repub leadership be ever vigilant for such sabotague from "career administrative staff"?  Absolutely.  Replacing those career staff should have taken place Day One.  George Bush made the same "trusting mistake" when he replaced Clinton and lived to regret it on numerous occasions.

job killers

Not only do these Republicans fail to create jobs as promised; their budget will kill about 20,000 jobs in public education.  Do public servants not count, when Republicans are calculating  unemployment numbers?

Republicans mike on

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see any big outrageous comment/scandal/news in this.  ???

Not the brightest bulbs in

Not the brightest bulbs in the pack, are they?

Republicans mistakenly broadcast.

I am not convinced that this mike was left open accidently.. They may have a traitor in the group. You never know who to trust especially today..Rats may even wear hidden mikes. If the Republicans didn't learn something from this.and be less trusting from now on  they deserve it...

Where's the jobs,

Where's the jobs, Republicans? You know, that thing you campaigned about? Or was that just a lie and you intended all along to use it so that once you were in control, it was all about you rewarding your supporters?

Tax cuts to the rich and businesses won't create jobs. Anti-gay marriage laws won't create jobs. Gun laws won't create jobs. Making gold or silver legal currency won't create jobs. What are you doing to create jobs?

"either way, she's incompetent?"

What an ironic statement coming from a fool who just left the mike on so that the entire world will be privy to his and colleagues real priorities, which obviously don't include doing anything about the economic well-being of North Carolinians.

This story's already spreading over the blogosphere. It might even make the national cable news shows. Too funny. 


Governor "Dumplin" appears to have outmaneuvered these tough guys. Bwahahaha! 

True Colors

This proves they have no plans to bring jobs back, just FEAR!!!!!!

How Dumb Can You Get

How dumb can you get?  When a microphone is around, you make sure it is off.  Republicans should where paper bags over their heads for the next week in penance.

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