Complaint filed against judge in Brannon civil suit-Judge pro Hagan

March 20th, 2014 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: Archives One Response
Complaint filed against judge in Brannon civil suit-Judge pro Hagan

Boy, have the political winds shifted.  Last month, obituaries were being drafted for the campaign of Republican US Senate candidate Greg Brannon in the wake of an unfavorable court decision.  Then, we heard from Brannon’s co-defendant in the civil suit, who told us all about some strange goings-on in the courtroom — including some rather bizarre interactions between the judge and the jury.  THAT gets followed up with a gb12revelation that the judge was a 2008 campaign donor to Kay Hagan — who Brannon just happens to be running to unseat this year.

Now, it appears a formal complaint has been filed with the state Judicial Standards Commission against the Brannon case judge,  Bryan Collins of the Wake County Superior Court, by Jodi Riddleberger, a leader with the Tea Party-affiliated Conservatives For Guilford County.

We’ve obtained the text of the March 19 complaint submitted by Ms. Riddleberger:

To: The Judicial Standards Commission

This matter needs immediate attention:

According to the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct judges should “uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.”

Canon 2

A. A judge should respect and comply with the law and should conduct himself/herself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
B. A judge should not allow the judge’s family, social or other relationships to influence the judge’s judicial conduct or judgment. The judge should not lend the prestige of the judge’s office to advance the private interest of others;

Canon 3

Disqualification.

On motion of any party, a judge should disqualify himself/herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality may reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances where: (a) The judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, (c) The judge knows that he/she, individually or as a fiduciary, or the judge’s spouse or minor child residing in the judge’s household, has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding,

Cannon 5

C. Financial activities.
(1) A judge should refrain from financial and business dealings that reflect adversely on the judge’s impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of the judge’s judicial duties….

~~~~~~~~~~~

I am writing to make a formal complaint against Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins – there is a clear violation of this code of conduct in his presiding over the Greg Brannon civil case, if this information is true:

“A jury verdict on February 18, 2014 found US Senate Candidate Greg Brannon liable for giving “misleading or false information in 2010 to investors regarding a mobile application being developed by Neogence Enterprises, a now-defunct tech company he helped start.”
As a result, Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins, who presided over the case, found Brannon must reimburse the two investors who were plaintiffs in the case over $450,000. There is controversy sounding the merits of the case, and Brannon is appealing the ruling.
But who is Judge Bryan Collins? According to Judgepedia.com, “Collins is a superior court judge for the 10th Judicial District of the Third Division of the Superior Court, serving Wake County in North Carolina. Collins began his legal career as an attorney in private practice from 1985 to 2005. In 2005, he became the Public Defender for Wake County. He was then elected a superior court judge in 2012 and his current term expires in 2020.”
According to a November 6, 2012 article in the Raleigh News and Observer, “Collins, 52, said he was approached last year by Don Stephens, Wake County’s senior resident Superior Court judge, about running for judge. So, late last year, he moved from his condominium in downtown Raleigh to an apartment in North Raleigh just so he could run in the newly created District 10E.”
Collins is a registered Democrat.
By conducting an FEC search for political campaign contributions, we see that a Bryan Collins in Raleigh who listed his occupation as Public Defender contributed the sum of $500 to the Hagan Senate Committee in 2008.
I’m no lawyer, and I can’t possibly pretend to understand all the technicalities of impartiality. That said, does anyone think it smells a little funny that a Judge known to support one candidate for office would be allowed to try a case involving that candidate’s potential future opposition?”

This article was posted on the Pundit House (http://pundithouse.com/2014/03/conflict-of-interest-in-brannon-case/#.UyipN85M9ws.facebook) on March 18th 2014.

Obviously if Judge Collins is a financial contributor to Kay Hagan, then he should not have presided Dr. Greg Brannon’s court case — as he was clearly not able to be unbiased towards her fore-running Republican opponent in the US Senate race. Please work to remedy this situation and help build confidence in the justice of the NC courts system.

Greg Brannon Discusses Lawsuit

March 20th, 2014 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: Archives No Responses
Greg Brannon Discusses Lawsuit

Greg Brannon speaks with the guys on Glenn Beck’s radio show on March 19, 2014

SHOCKER! Kay Hagan votes in favor Debo Adegbile.

March 6th, 2014 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: Archives No Responses
SHOCKER! Kay Hagan votes in favor Debo Adegbile.

Today the Senate voted down a particularly noxious Obama nomination. Debo Adegbile, whose only claim to fame was agitating on behalf of a convicted, unrepentant, and vicious cop killer, was voted down 47-52. Pressing this nomination was a stupid act by the White House, though it has become boring to write that phrase over the course of the past six years. The nomination was toxic with no greater purpose than for Obama to demonstrate that he has stump broke Harry Reid and thereby further cow Mitch McConnell. It forced Red State Democrat senators to make a difficult vote. Some took the easy way out:

Other Democrats who voted against the Obama nominee were Chris Coons (Del.),Bob Casey (Pa.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.V.), Joe Donnolly (Ind.) and John Walsh (Mont.).

Manchin, Pryor, and Walsh are all on the endangered species list, voting against Adegbile was mandatory for them even if it meant embarrassing the Man-God at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. More curious is who is on the list voting yes: Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan. Even though both are floundering and all indications are that Kay Hagan is circling the drain a vote against Adegbile would have helped, or worst casing it been neutral, while a vote in favor would hurt.

The conclusion is obvious. Both Landrieu and Hagan have avoided Obama when he visited their states. This indicates that they are not members of the Obama fan club. Why make this counter-intuitive vote? Because they want jobs in the Obama Administration after they are defeated in November. Rather than making a vote for the benefit of the voters back home, they made their vote to curry favor with Obama.

U.S. Senate debate for Republican primary candidates

March 6th, 2014 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: Archives 2 Responses

The Charlotte Observer is holding a U.S. Senate debate with the Republican primary candidates on April 22 at Davidson College. The debate will be co-sponsored by Time Warner Cable News (formerly News 14) and The (Raleigh) News & Observer.

Declared Republican candidates Ted Alexander, Alex Bradshaw, Greg Brannon, Heather Grant, Mark Harris, Edward Kryn, Jim Snyder and Thom Tillis have been invited to participate.

TWC’s “Capital Tonight” anchor Tim Boyum will moderate the hourlong debate two weeks before the May 6 primary. Observer Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten will be among the journalists asking the candidates questions.

The debate will be open to the public. Registration will open in early April. Time Warner Cable News will broadcast the debate live. Jennifer Rothacker

Read Article Here

The Tea Party Just Turned Five — and It’s Not Going Away

March 5th, 2014 by NC Tea Party Staff Categories: Archives No Responses
The Tea Party Just Turned Five — and It’s Not Going Away

Some date the advent of the tea party to 2007, when then-presidential candidate Ron Paul held a “tax day tea party” fundraiser to fill his campaign coffers. But the broader movement began five years ago last week — shortly after Barack Obama was sworn into office.

Theda Scokpol is a sociologist and political scientist at Harvard, and co-author, with Vanessa Williams, of The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. BillMoyers.com spoke with her about the movement’s past influence over the Republican Party and its future. Below is a transcript that’s been lightly edited for clarity.

Joshua Holland: There have been a number of recent columns proclaiming the death of the tea party — or its diminished influence, at least — and they generally cite the passage of a clean debt limit hike, or the passage of a budget deal. We’ve heard about how the US Chamber of Commerce and the so-called moderate wing of the Republican Party are fighting back against tea party extremism. What’s your view?

Theda Skocpol: I think it’s true that we’re seeing some activism on the part of business Republicans who used to completely control the Republican Party, with an occasional sop to Christian right activists. They woke up to find themselves with about half of Republican lawmakers devoted to a no-compromise, no-bargaining style of politics, and some very hefty right-wing funders who are mounting challenges to traditional conservative Republicans. So we’re seeing more of a two-sided battle, rather than simply the tea party calling the tune.

But we shouldn’t get too carried away here, because already the Republican Party has galloped to the right on a whole range of issues that grassroots and elite tea party forces are promoting. We’re not really seeing compromises on anything except preventing the country from plummeting into an international financial crisis. And we’re seeing no movement on cooperation with Barack Obama on immigration reform, or a whole series of other things that are quite popular with the public but which the tea party opposes.

Joshua Holland: How has the tea party wielded such influence? Liberal activists certainly don’t have that kind of sway over the Democratic party.

Skocpol: That’s right. It’s an interesting phenomenon. I describe it as a pincers movement. Even though the tea party is a label we all use, it’s really a combination of forces pushing on Republican officeholders and Republican candidates. Part of those forces are aroused and fearful, older, white, conservative-minded activists — who are good citizens in the sense that they turn out for primary elections, they pay attention, they write letters, they put pressure on their representatives. They’re a force that Republican officeholders and candidates have to worry about in primary elections, if no other time.

In addition to that, there are these opulently funded ultra-right ideological operations that are pushing on the same Republican candidates and officeholders from the top and can send money to challenge them in primaries if they don’t follow the policy lines they prefer.

Holland: We know from various polls that some share of Americans — or some share of Republicans — have a favorable view of the tea party. Do we have a sense of the number of people who we could properly call “activists” — those who are really engaged in the tea party movement?

Skocpol: Vanessa Williamson and I, in our assessment of the situation back in 2011, estimated that the 900 regularly meeting local tea parties were personned by about 200,000 activists who went well beyond expressing sympathy, or even sending an occasional financial contribution or note or letter. They actually organized these groups, which is really an impressive accomplishment.

Holland: I want to ask you two related questions. First, what do you think is the biggest misconception liberals have about the tea parties?

Skocpol: There are two. First, I think many people on the left have wanted to comfort themselves with the idea that this is just the Koch brothers creating a fake movement and sending checks to grassroots activists. And that’s just not correct. The Koch brothers and other ultra-right billionaires are certainly very, very active, and they matter, but it’s not true that they completely control or that they completely created the grassroots activists.

The other misconception that more moderate liberals usually have is that because the tea party label is not popular with most Americans, that means it’s dying. But that’s not how this movement operates. This is leverage on one of the two major political parties, and it’s minority leverage, but it’s very effective.

Holland: What do you think is the thing that neutral political journalists tend to get wrong?

Skocpol: I think there was the sense that once Barack Obama was reelected, which was certainly a defeat for Republicans of all stripes, including the tea partiers, that meant this thing was going away. And then, when the government shut down led to a temporary drop in Republican popularity in the polls, they said the movement is going away. It’s just a failure to understand that majority expressions of opinions in surveys are not the same thing as political power.

Holland: There have been countless articles that claim that they eschew social conservatism for this laser-like focus on economic issues. Do you think that’s an accurate characterization?

Skocpol: No. We found, both in our visiting of local tea party groups and interviews with people — and in our analysis of national survey data — that about half of tea party sympathizers and activists are also Christian conservatives. And Christian conservatives, with their commitment to making abortion illegal and fighting gay rights, represent a deeper phenomenon. Some of them will call themselves tea partiers and attend tea party meetings. They may sit in the same room with people who are not particularly religious or who are secular. So they’re not the entirety of the tea party, but they’re there, and they’re still pushing elected Republicans, and elected Republicans often find it easier to vote on anti-abortion measures than on anything else.

Holland: In The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle over American History, historian and journalist Jill Lepore argued that the tea partiers have been fed a version of our history that’s basically 180 degrees away from reality. For them, the framers were like Glenn Beck; they were diehard Christians, they shared a strong belief in states’ rights. And none of this is remotely the case. Is that consistent with your research, and to what degree does that belief system animate the movement?

Skocpol: You know, all social movements like to align themselves with potent historical symbols. The very name of the tea party invokes a very potent symbol, the tossing of imported tea into Boston Harbor. There’s no question that, strictly speaking, tea partiers’ beliefs about the Constitution resemble something closer to the anti-federalists of the founding era — and the secessionists and nullification supporters of the era leading into the Civil War. But where I depart from Professor Lepore is that she wrote as if it were something special to the tea party. I don’t think the right way to understand the uses of history by social movements is to get into the weeds about whether they’re entirely accurate in the sense that would pass muster in a Harvard history seminar. You have to understand this is symbolic language about who “we” are and who “they” are. And what tea partiers are saying is, “We are the real Americans, and they — the Barack Obama supporters — are not really Americans.”

Holland: Do you think that it’s trivializing to look at those older tea party members saying “keep government out of our Medicare” that kept us from understanding this movement?

Skocpol: Definitely. Vanessa and I did something that nobody else has done. In addition to pulling together a lot of public information and using the best journalism and the best national surveys, we managed, in three regions of the country, to sit down for confidential face-to-face interviews with tea party people. And that gave us a setting in which we could hear the tone of what they were saying, get into the nuances and find out things that might not be obvious from public demonstrations where a few people are carrying angry signs. We asked people about Social Security, Medicare and veteran’s benefits. Tea partiers are almost all either on Medicare, Social Security or veteran’s benefits — or about to be. And like most other Americans, they tend to believe these are legitimate programs, and they know they are tax-funded public programs. They’re not deluded about that.

So what they oppose is public spending — and taxation to support public spending — on ‘them,’ on the moochers, on the freeloaders. And, like all conservative populist movements, when you listen to what they’re saying, the moochers and the freeloaders are often people of color and low-income workers. But we also discovered that for many of them, the moochers are young people, including at times their own grandsons and granddaughters.

Holland: Now, I’m going to ask you to gaze into a crystal ball for a moment. This movement has been highly effective for advancing the interests of deep-pocketed conservative individuals and organizations. Do you think they’re going to be a permanent feature in American politics or will they die off?

Skocpol: Well, the top concerns of grassroots tea partiers and the top concerns of elite funders are not exactly the same. For example, elite funders want to privatize and do away with Social Security and Medicare. Grassroots tea partiers are on Social Security and Medicare and consider these to be legitimate programs. That particular contradiction was squared by Congressman Paul Ryan when he came up with a scheme to privatize Medicare for people under age 55.

A deeper contradiction between many grassroots tea partiers, or pretty much all of them, and some, but not all, of the elite funders, is over immigration. We found that grassroots tea partiers are highly aroused about immigration. They believe that most immigrants are undocumented or illegal and they want them to be rounded up and sent back. They are fiercely opposed to a legal route to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented. Elite funders are partly in that camp — Heritage Action, for example — but the Koch brothers’ organization, Americans for Prosperity, favors some kind of immigration reform bargain.

Now, will they still be around? You can bet that those elite funders will still be around. They’re not going anywhere. The activists are committed, organized, fiercely aroused people, but they are older. And they’re not recruiting others, so they’re not going to last forever.

But they’re not standing down anytime soon.