Letter-to-the-Editor: Everything, but the Kitchen Sink Smear Campaign against Julian, Sides, and Pierce from the Rowan Alliance

Posted on May 7, 2018



Todd Paris, Salisbury Attorney (sent 4/27)

♦ For the past few weeks Facebook, the local print paper, and the US Postal Service have been posted scads of juvenile and amateurish ads from “Rowan Alliance, Inc.,” “Rowan Alliance” and other permutations. The attack ads are directed at Rowan County Commission Candidates Jim Sides, Michael Julian, and Craig Pierce. Similarly, Southern Initiatives, Inc. is running ads to promote a vote for the Hotwire Lease of the Fibrant fiasco.

The Rowan Alliance attack ads are juvenile, insulting, and unworthy of much analysis. Photoshop memes of Pierce and Sides on a tandem bicycle, and Pierce pictured from “The Shining” wearing a dress. Did someone hire “the mean girls” from a D or F Salisbury public middle school to design this advertising strategy reminiscent of current lowbrow national attack ads coming from left, right, and outer space.

Would Greg Edds, Judy Klusman, and Jim Greene deny involvement in the Rowan Alliance ads?  No doubt, although the ads do remind me of the same unfertile mind wanting to build a luxury hotel in the West End Plaza parking lot and put up those hideous gateway signs banned by N.C. DOT.

Southern Initiatives is a Super-PAC that does not have to list the names of its donors. Rowan Alliance appears to be a local PAC that does.

A visit to the Rowan County Board of Election revealed election filings for both organizations. The Rowan Alliance, Inc, and The Rowan Alliance were both used in ads. BoE Director Nancy Evans confirms they are treating them as the same. Southern Initiatives, Inc, only has one report filed 4-27-18 indicating expenditures to a local radio station and the print paper. Their current ads support of the Hotwire-Fibrant lease. Both the PAC and Super-PAC list Salisbury Real Estate developer Jake Alexander as the contact.

Southern Initiatives, Inc. & The Rowan Alliance, LLC- Jake Alexander

https://www.sosnc.gov/online_services/Search/Business_Registration_profile?Id=10501069

A 2014 report for Rowan Alliance, Inc indicates there was a donation from Southern Initiatives, Inc for $3,000.00 and indicating all monies were spent with Miller Davis, Inc. for the print ad “Tea Party Puppets.” Also checked were the ads were in opposition to Jim Sides, Dean Hunter, and Travis Allen (Hunter and Allen were elected to school board) and Phil Hardin who was not elected in 2014. This ad featured a blue curtain and sock puppets identical to the approach employed in the current race. As early as 2014, Southern Initiatives, Inc. money appears to have flowed into Rowan Alliance. A new filing dated January 23, 2018 for The Rowan Alliance shows donations from the super-PAC last January for $900 with an election sum to date from this source of $26,900. It appears that from 2015 almost thirty thousand dollars in “black money” moved from the Super-PAC to the regular PAC and there is no clue who these folks are. To borrow from stale Greg Edds quote, “Holy cow, who are these people?”

So we have black money (no donors need be listed) donated into a regular PAC where donors must be listed. Does this leave a foul taste?

The regular PAC, Rowan Alliance lists the following donors for this year:

Edward Norvell, Salisbury Attorney, heir to the Proctor Chemical fortune. – $2,500.00

Richard R. (Randy) Reamer, Salisbury Attorney – $1,000.00

Corporate Leasing Services, Inc. – $5,000.00
Corporate Leasing Services, LLC- (Dyke Messinger President) Power Curbers President .

https://www.sosnc.gov/online_services/Search/Business_Registration_profile?Id=4746773

Klumac Partner’s, LLC-Victor Wallace – $10,000.00 –  Wallace Realty.

https://www.sosnc.gov/online_services/Search/Business_Registration_profile?Id=8258761

Greg Shields- Website consultant – Fulton Street – $250.00

Conclusion

In my opinion, these political action committees and super-PACs were set up in 2014 to defeat Jim Sides and elect more Salisbury Cabal friendly Rowan County Commissions members. They exist to fund attack ads against folks that do not “toe the line” for Salisbury’s Cabal’s best interests. The Rowan County Commission race has little to do with political party, it’s about electing the folks that will look after Salisbury’s Cabal families.

Inspecting contributions to Greg Edds, Judy Klusman, and Jim Greene shows mostly the same crew. The Salisbury Cabal, figures heavily. Klusman and Greene received a small amount of donations this cycle, but with your pals spending tens of thousands of dollars on attack ads against your competition, who needs campaign donations?

Since I came home from law school in 1987, and the city and county school system was merged, there was a great desire among a few wealthy Salisbury residents to bus rural kids into Salisbury and urban kids out. This has never gone away. Many children from Salisbury’s few remaining upscale neighborhoods put their children on private buses to send them to the private schools like Cannon School each day. They whine about the cost.  Why should they have to pay when they can put the squeeze on the county?

In 2015, the Rowan County School Board was ready to spend $200 million or more of your school dollars to close high performing rural schools and bus those kids in towards Salisbury. It failed after Rowan Rural Save our Schools Facebook page was established and rural residents protested. It’s quite clear this reprieve was short-lived. No local schools for you!

Jim Greene on Building New Schools and Sending Rowan County Rural kids on Marathon Bus Rides to Salisbury:

There will be an issue of whether we borrow millions to run Salisbury water north and south to I-85 for industrial development. Can we afford to also borrow money to build new schools for a system that already has too many empty desks to placate Salisbury’s few remaining wealthy? What decision will be made by the Commission?

Edds, Klusman and Greene owe quite a lot to these wealthy private political action committees and Jake Alexander. Ignoring what these folks want might end them up in the attack column in four years. I bet they jump out of their double-wide leather lounge chairs when Mr. Money or any of his top cronies.

I have changed my mind since 2014. I am voting for Jim Sides, Michael Julian and Craig Pierce. They will look out for all the citizens of Rowan County, not just political action committee contributors from Salisbury.

In my opinion if rural Republicans don’t vote on May 8, 2018 then they can kiss their youngsters goodbye before each very early morning busride. County-wide busing, reduction in property values, and paying Salisbury style taxes with nothing to show will intrude on their lifestyle.

Republicans and unaffiliated votors – In the end you can vote for folks beholding to political action committees, super PACs and a few banking and real estate elites from the city or you can vote for folks that will look after the whole county. Your choice.

May 8, 2018 is the Rowan primary for County Commissioner. Vote Sides, Julian. and Pierce and move your county forward.

Rowan Alliance Records:

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