Team Obama launched political attacks critics say are baseless against a military charity in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The new revelations come after The Daily Caller reported Republican mayoral candidate Scott Stone was asking incumbent Mayor Anthony Foxx, a Democrat known locally as “Obama-Lite,” to sign a pledge saying he’d keep all Democratic National Convention jobs next year in the state instead of granting them to out-of-state unions. Foxx wouldn’t sign the pledge and Stone has since told TheDC that Foxx personally and directly told him he won’t sign it ever.
So, in an apparent attempt to turn the tide against political damage from the fallout, Foxx has resorted to using a public relations firm – founded by David Axelrod and connected directly to President Barack Obama – to smear Stone.
Stone launched his charity, Capital Heroes Fund, in 2007 to raise money to help military veterans. Its most recent public tax filings show Stone’s charity donated about 53 percent of its raised funds to military families – lower than the target range of 65 percent experts say charities should aim for.
For his part, Stone said he’s appalled by the attacks, and sickened by the Democratic political tactics. “North Carolina’s military families should never be used as a political pawn,” he told TheDC.
Local news media, including the Charlotte Observer, the city’s newspaper of record, have reported that there don’t appear to be improprieties in Stone’s charity and that economic hurdles are routine in the present economy. Regardless, neither local Democrats nor Foxx have back down from or apologized for their attacks.
“The attack on my charity is being done purely for political gain because I am running for mayor,” Stone told TheDC on Wednesday. “North Carolina’s military families should never be used as a political pawn. This story was planted by the Foxx Campaign and it backfired on them.”
Even so, the local Democratic Party has driven the story into the news and tried to keep it alive, accusing Stone of at least the appearance of malfeasance.
“The issues surrounding Scott Stone’s charity raise some troubling questions about his ability to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars,” Walton Robinson, the state Democratic Party spokesman, said in a statement. “When (most) of the money…goes to expenses other than the stated purpose of helping military families, there is something seriously wrong.”
When TheDC reached out to Robinson to see if he’ll be issuing an apology, he did not immediately respond.
Foxx’s political machine is tied into President Barack Obama’s – in many cases, they’re one and the same.
For instance, Foxx paid David Axelrod’s AKPD Message and Media firm $273,156.75 in the 2009 election cycle and has paid the firm $8,000 this year. Foxx has also hired Obama’s pollster, Anzalone Liszt – he paid Liszt $31,500 in 2009 and another $22,500 in 2011.
No matter what happens politically as a result of these attacks, Stone said it’s military families and veterans who team Obama’s campaigning really stings.
“Unfortunately, those who will be hurt the most will be our soldiers and marines because it will be even more difficult to raise money for them,” he said in an email.
Stone adds that President Barack Obama politically needs Foxx to remain in office after next month’s election because Charlotte will be the face of the Democratic Party in 2012. “Both Mayor Foxx and President Obama know that they are in real danger of losing the Charlotte mayor’s office the year before the DNC comes to town,” Stone said. “They will resort to any tactics necessary to win.”
North Carolina Republican Party spokesman Rob Lockwood told TheDC that it’s not fair how Obama’s campaigners have smeared Stone and his charity. “Viciously-personal Chicago-style political attacks are becoming the norm in Charlotte because of Mayor Foxx,” Lockwood said in an email. “The amount of Chicago consultants and Obama for America alumni on Foxx’s payroll is deeper than a Chicago-style deep dish pizza.”
Foxx has refused to debate Stone, save for one pre-scheduled debate right before the election. “The worst part of all is that Mayor Foxx refuses to debate Scott Stone,” Lockwood said. “Since Foxx has apparently promised these contracts to out-of-state unions, he knows he can’t debate Scott Stone on the ‘Charlotte Workers Protection Pledge’ in public, because Foxx would lose. His hope is to keep this quiet before the election and allow his out-of-state union friends to roll into Charlotte with ease to take the jobs that will be created.”
Obama will be in North Carolina next week on a bus tour talking about “jobs and the economy,” according to the White House press office, but he’s not stopping in Charlotte.
A DNC spokesman didn’t return TheDC’s request for comment.