Is it 'negative' to question Moore's contradictions, hypocrisy?

I'm glad to see, as we're getting closer and closer to May 6, that posts pointing out the real differences between candidates are making it to the front page. As I write, there are a couple of what I'll call "clarifying" posts on the presidential candidates, and I've read the posts of the past week or so outlining careful analyses of the U.S. Senate race candidates. I hope this new comfort level with stating truths will extend to the governor's race too. In my opinion, there's plenty of room to state truths and to "clarify" in that race.

Last week, Bev Perdue announced that she wouldn't run any negative ads through the rest of the primary. I was one of those who applauded that decision, both for the good of the party and for her own good. But I didn't hear, and I still haven't heard, any similar commitment from Richard Moore. I appreciated a lot reading the comment from Person County Democrats this weekend: "This would seem to be a double standard," PCD wrote. "Why are Moore's negative ads ok while Perdue's aren't? And if Moore continues negative, why shouldn't that reflect badly on him? At least she is trying to elevate the discourse."

PCD is right: If WE applaud one of OUR candidates for adopting a principled position, how do WE respond when the other of OUR candidates ignores that principle and goes on his merry way? So far, I've seen US say very little about that. It's disturbing. And there's a pattern of it that thankfully may be breaking on our front page.

As I've made clear with my earlier posts, what got my attention was the Moore ad attacking Perdue on education. On its face, it felt wrong. Has Perdue been on the wrong side on education for all this time, and we missed it? I spent first a couple of hours, then several more hours, searching the record on the internet. Then I pointed out that, just as I thought, Perdue's record shows she's either led on education issues, or she has been entirely in accord with Democratic principles on education.

At the same time, I searched for Moore's record on education. I used the same method. It is no exaggeration to say I found almost nothing before his campaign website got up and running.

Remember Moore's first negative ad, the first negative ad out of the gate? Aside from the general inference that Perdue's record on education was weak, it accused Perdue of voting for a tuition increase, way back in the early 1990s.

And remember Perdue's response ad? It said that Moore himself had voted to increase tuition.

Some blew it off as tit-for-tat, but I didn't. If, in the middle of a broad attack on Perdue's education record, Moore had tarred and feathered Perdue for doing something that he had done, there's a word for that: Hypocrisy.

I expected someone to say something about it here; no one did. I expected someone in the media to say something about it and, so far as I could tell, only one did: Ben Niolet at the News & Observer. On March 25, Niolet ran back-to-back descriptions of the ads and put some facts on the record. And what did it say? Under the heading "What the record shows," Niolet wrote, "As a legislator, Moore voted in 1993 for a budget bill that, among other things, raised tuition at state universities and community colleges over two years."

And under the heading "Is the ad accurate," Niolet wrote, "Moore, as a legislator, did vote for a tuition increase as part of a larger state budget bill."

The fact is, Perdue and Moore served together for one term in the House. And on the ONE occasion when Moore's and Perdue's votes on college tuition could have been different, they weren't -- Moore voted the same as Perdue, FOR the state budget bill. As Niolet wrote on March 25, their vote was for a budget bill "that spent billions and made policy decisions on many items, including college tuition."

As for Perdue's later budget votes, after Moore had left the House for a political appointment, "some of those budgets also allocated money to help poor students get financial aid for college."

If a tree falls in the woods and no one watches who cut it down, but Richard Moore walks out of the woods with an ax in his hand and says in a negative ad that Bev Perdue cut down the tree, does it matter?

Yes, it matters, because it comes back to hypocrisy. Moore tarred and feathered Perdue for doing something he had done, and the word we use to describe that behavior is hypocrisy.

Let's be honest with ourselves. If this was the general election, and Moore was the REPUBLICAN opponent running this ad against Perdue, we wouldn't hesitate to call it hypocrisy. And we wouldn't sit on our hands and fret when our nominee said so on television, as Perdue did.

But we've kept quiet. I haven't seen anyone (at BlueNC or elsewhere) point this out. While we were quiet about it, Perdue took the hit, and Moore moved on to another negative attack.

Why did we keep quiet? Because it's one of our own showing hypocrisy? Or because it was a one-time thing?

It had to be because he was one of our own, because this hasn't been a one-time thing. Moore's campaign has rapped Perdue time after time for not agreeing to appear with him, when there have been several events where they appeared together. I absolutely agree that "showing up" is important, especially when "showing up" is part of your job.

I have looked up and down for a way to compare, apples to apples, Perdue's and Moore's commitment to "showing up," and I found only one. Both the lieutenant governor and the state treasurer serve on the State Board of Education, by virtue of their offices. The State Board meets regularly, and its board meetings are publicized on their website: So there is ample opportunity to weigh their commitment to "showing up," and this way is particularly good because both have said loudly and clearly that they support education, and education is a part of their campaign websites. The minutes of the Board's meetings are posted online, so I looked back through the last full calendar year of their meetings, 2007. (I didn't go back any further than 2007, but I may do that too.)

According to the State Board of Education's own minutes, which are public documents, the Board held 12 meetings in 2007. Perdue attended eight of them, while presiding over the state Senate at the same time. That's a 66 percent attendance record. Moore attended a grand total of two, for an attendance record of 16 percent.

Based on this simple math, when Moore's campaign criticizes Perdue for not "showing up," it's another example of contradiction and hypocrisy from one of our own.

This is not an attack on Moore; this is the same sort of careful analysis that was recently published of a candidate in the U.S. Senate race on our front page, and the same sort of careful analysis that has been front-paged recently on the presidential campaigns. And if careful analysis surfaces disturbing questions, that's not a negative attack, it's a cause for concern because we're making an important decision based on what our candidates tell us.

If Moore and Perdue voted alike on the one occasion when they served together, but Moore attacks Perdue for it and doesn't mention his own vote, that's hypocrisy.

If, as part of their official duties, Perdue and Moore serve on the State Board and have 66 percent and 16 percent attendance records, respectively, but Moore's campaign attacks Perdue for not "showing up" at events that suit his purposes, that's hypocrisy.

And when a pattern of contradictions disguise hypocrisy here, what are we supposed to think when we hear other contradictions?

Moore's website says he cares about economic fairness, but he wants to eliminate taxes on corporations so they pay nothing, which logically means homeowners would get stuck paying more than their fair share of the tax burden. Is there another way to read this, if it's not a contradiction?

And he has said he's concerned about economic security for all North Carolinians, but he did something that I don't think Harlan Boyles did -- he partnered with hedge fund investors, including predatory lenders, the folks responsible for the mortgage crisis now -- and he lost $300 million in state pension funds. Those are the funds that go to retirees living on fixed incomes, some of the very people who need some guarantees of economic security the most. Isn't this, too, a contradiction?

It would be nice to have these questions answered by the candidate himself, here or elsewhere, but I suspect that won't happen in the absence of anyone else raising these concerns, here or elsewhere.

Nonetheless, I add my applause to the others who appreciated Perdue's announcement. And I appreciate the recent tidal shift on our front page, in favor of publishing careful analysis of our candidates.


Very well done!

these type of breakdowns and analyses of candidates are both informative and helpful. Thank you for doing this and welcome (belatedly) to BlueNC!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Thanks. I wish more people

were interested and engaged enough to study these issues. There are so many things to be found on the internet now for anyone with enough interest.


I appreciate the clarity and thoughtfulness of this post. I personally believe I have been pulling my punches on the gubernatorial primary, and to some extent on the presidential primary. Partly that's in response to the daily emails I get calling me out for not being "objective." I've noticed that those emails do take a toll on my willingness to take sides.

But your post is right on the money.


PS It's also a big reason I support Obama instead of Clinton. In my view, her campaign strategy is dripping with slime. I've had enough of that to last a lifetime.


In a vacuum, when all facts about the candidates are public and all conflicts between their positions are acknowledged, I'm all for objectivity and for making dispassionate choices.

But at a time when some candidates (or their consultants, whoever shares responsibility) are willing to engage in behaviors clearly outside our principles, objectivity is, at best, a false choice; at worst, it's a luxury we cannot afford. This is an important decision and we deserve correct and complete facts about the candidates.

Here I have to differ a bit:

But at a time when some candidates (or their consultants, whoever shares responsibility) are willing to engage in behaviors clearly outside our principles, objectivity is, at best, a false choice; at worst, it's a luxury we cannot afford. This is an important decision and we deserve correct and complete facts about the candidates.

Objectivity is the only real way to avoid the pitfalls caused by the deception of others, even (especially?) the deceptions used by those on your own side.

A person who is prone to subjective reasoning is much easier to manipulate than one who isn't. Meaning, without even knowing it, you can (yourself) become a conduit for deception.

James said

he's been reluctant to take sides because he's criticized for not being objective.

I say, if satisfying a critic's demand for objectivity means one can't publish research that clearly shows a fault on the part of one candidate against another, then objectivity (as defined and applied by that critic) is a false choice. I have read and appreciated James's posts and comments, usually agreeing with his point of view.

I hope for discourse about candidates and their differences on a blog like this and am often disappointed. I hope for substantive coverage and accurate, clear analysis in the media and am usually disappointed. I trust my own research of facts, and I'm glad to have a place to write about them.

I don't want to speak for James, but

he's been reluctant to take sides because he's criticized for not being objective.

I would bet he's more concerned about preserving his own open-mindedness than he is about offending people.

But please understand- my personal definition of objectivity is more about not being restrained by preconceived notions than it is about being "impartial" or "neutral", both of which are nearly impossible to mentally obtain unless the individual knows absolutely nothing about the subject.

I think your analysis above exhibits a great deal of objectivity, which is reflected in the amount and quality of research as well as the measured tone.

Thank you, mainchapel.

Well done.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

I'd say well done, too

I find your article instructive - I'd just like to have the references. Please don't take offense at that.

And I'm not arguing for giving Richard Moore a pass on the negative crap. You suggest that there is some feeling that he his "our guy" - well yes, in fact, there are some here who support him. I'm one, because I've found Bev Perdue to be ---- just something about her I don't trust. I haven't done the research, and that's why it would help to see your links.

::still wondering if we can persuade Justice Orr over into the light:::

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Links and citations

Where I have live links, I've included those in my notes. Otherwise, I've cited the newspaper article (by date and headline, or date and reporter) where I found the quotes. If you have a college library near you (and regular libraries have this too) you can search newspaper archives online and find these articles, too.

And the ads that the campaigns have taken off tv are still posted at YouTube, so it's easy to see what they said there.

Here are the links to my earlier posts:

Perdue's consistent support for education

Video clips show Perdue's position on education

Shining light on Bev Perdue's education positions

More light on Bev Perdue's education positions (Part 2)

Last light on Bev Perdue's education positions (Part 3)

If you've already asked Moore to take Perdue's lead in running a positive campaign, thanks for that.

For a long time, I made my choices based on how I felt about the candidates (at least in primaries). Almost 20 years ago I realized that there were any number of ways to find out for myself what the facts were, if I was interested enough to find them. I started expecting some accountability from the people who asked for my vote.

If you have some links or citations that explain why not to trust one or the other, shoot them to me. I'd appreciate reading them.

New Poll: Perdue up by 10%

I'm fine with Moore continuing his negative campaign as long as it doesn't keep a democrat from winning the governor's office.

Right now, Bev is trending up, probabaly because people watching her commercials on Television LIKE what she says.

Before that, frankly, both candidates' ads just made democrats look bad, and seemed to help the republican.

After all, the democratic ads said the democrats were crooks - we don't want crooks, do we?

It looks to me that the negative ads were only helping the GOP.

Now - I would like to hear how Bev can expand health care, and get us "free" community college.

My problem has been -wondering what do the candidates stand for? What will they do?

Imagine what people who only get their news from TV think?

I've been a Moore supporter from the beginning

and started to sit on the fence not long ago. (so this gives you some perspective of where I sit) There is a very stark contrast when Moore and Perdue ads are shown back to back, especially if Moore's is shown first. Three weeks is a long time. I have a feeling that conventional wisdom (negative ads work) is about to be thrown on its bumpus.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I wasn't asking for a list of the links of things you've already

written, but thank you - I'll read them again (I read them the first time). Yes, you did include the citations to newspapers and such. I apologize. I'm used to having links as citations in online articles, so at first read I missed that.

Since I work full-time and volunteer almost full-time with other things, I'm not going to be headed to a college library near me any time to look up the references. I'm happy to accept you looked them up for yourself.

As for links to prove anything one way or the other one either of the Democratic Candidates, no, I don't have anything right now. I haven't done the research because quite frankly I've been busy researching things I care more about, races that I find more intriguing, and candidates that I find more compelling than I find either Bev Perdue or Richard Moore.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

How does this get to the front page?

I thought there used to be a voting feature with stars on here? There has been a dearth of front page posts about the Gov race, whether you like the folks running these are your choices they need to be discussed.

Not to put on the front page

just for a recommended list. Unfortunately that module has troubles with our new format, so it's been disabled for now.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


well it's good to know it isn't because I'm crazy and imagined it.

Is it Negative for Moore to question Perdue's hypocrisies, etc?

Because I'm sure there are more ads from Moore to come. And I'm sure they will be "negative."

There are a lot of things Moore hasn't hit her with yet. I'm hoping he will go at it full steam. It doesn't seem to me that he has even gotten started.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

A very insightful post.

Well researched. I wish I had written it. :)

Notice that no fact based comments have been made in rebuttal. That's cuz you nailed it.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Actually, I don't think that's it.

I think no comments have been made to refute it because ain't nobody from Richard Moore's campaign monitoring this danged blog.

It's kind of insulting, but one does get the sense he's ignoring us. I'd like that to change, but I don't know anybody on the man's campaign, and I'm already all volunteered up elsewhere.


All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

I don't find it insulting

as much as I find it disappointing.

I know lots of people who work with Richard and they say he would have "shown well" had he bothered to engage in the blogosphere. I'm guessing Reiff made a calculation that the netroots aren't deep enough to worry about yet, and he might be right.

All that said, I want elected officials who reach out and engage in every way possible. Moore's starting to look and feel a lot like Mike Easley in that department.

No - - - no - - - not *THAT*

These two men are not alike. But I do think Moore could be doing more reach out. There's just the teensiest weensiest bit of comparision there.

And I guess, as you've said, Reiff figures this is not where their time is spent most profitably. But would it KILL 'EM to sick some techie on the blog? I mean SHEESH.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke