Last laugh? Young Republicans spoof Mountain Moral Monday

Borrowing from James O’ Keefe’s playbook, the Buncombe County Young Republicans aimed to make a mockery of Moral Mountain Monday attendees Aug. 5, enticing them to sign a “a fake petition to decrease, or restore funding levels to the last year that Democrats were in control, which effectively lowers it by millions of dollars.”

Calling themselves the “League of Informed Asheville Residents (L.I.A.R),” it looks like they found plenty of takers, according to the video they posted to YouTube later that day. The video has started to gain traction online, with the conservative Carolina Plott Hound blog posting it, as well as WWNC radio host Pete Kaliner and others.

Watch it here: (AUG. 12 UPDATE: The video was taken down by YouTube, see update and video below)

However, a recent analysis by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction seems to refute the Young Republicans’ assertion that state education spending was lower when Democrats were in power. The report shows a 3 percent drop in education funding from the 2008-09 fiscal year to the most recent 2013-14 appropriations.

An excerpt from the Dept. of Public Instruction’s report:

Comparison of 2013-15 Budget to Past Budgets

The state provides funds to public schools by using a combination of state appropriations and receipts. If you consider all state fund sources – appropriations plus receipt dollars from sales tax, fines and forfeitures and lottery funds – dollars are down while the number of students is up.

Several years ago, the General Assembly began removing General Fund appropriations and replacing them with funds from receipts from sales tax, fines and forfeitures, and lottery funds. To local school districts and charter schools, it is all just state funds. So, when the total funding including these receipt sources is considered, in 2008-09 the total funding for public schools from state sources was $8,515,669,028. In 2013-14, the total funding from state sources is $8,233,098,909. That reflects $282,570,119 fewer dollars for public schools. Since 2008-09, public schools have grown by 33,419 students.

UPDATE (Aug. 8):

The Buncombe County Young Republicans clarified via an email to Xpress that the “2009” budget number displayed in the video refers to fiscal year 2009-10, citing this spreadsheet as their source for the information displayed in the video.

The excerpt of the Dept. of Public Instruction’s report published above specifically refers to fiscal year 2008-09.  The entire report is posted here.

The Young Republicans group also provided this link as the source of their information for the 2013-2014 education spending figure displayed in the video.

UPDATE (Aug. 12):

The Buncombe County Young Republicans’ video was reportedly taken down from YouTube administrators due to a privacy policy complaint from one of the protestors who signed the petition, according to WLOS. At this writing, the Republican group had not responded to an email from Xpress seeking comment. The Young Republicans subsequently posted the video to another online video sharing site, Vimeo. Watch it via Vimeo here:

Mountain Moral Monday education petition from Buncombe YRs on Vimeo.


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10 thoughts on “Last laugh? Young Republicans spoof Mountain Moral Monday

  1. Adam Strange

    Just more proof that Republicans are good at misleading the public. Shouldn’t they be golfing?

  2. Roger Hartley

    Great story. Didn’t the GOP run on budget cuts? I don’t get why they are not simply owning and bragging about cutting education. They promised to and did. Even Nathan Ramsey voted against it because he said it hurt education and teachers.

  3. mcates

    It appears the MountainX either didn’t watch video or is intentionally conflating the numbers, but the video is clear on the information provided.

    In a two minute & 20 second video it says three times:

    1) Restore funding levels to last year Democrats were in control.

    2) Last fiscal year Democrats were in control

    3) Last Democratic education budget

  4. bsummers

    Even Nathan Ramsey voted against it because he said it hurt education and teachers.

    But oddly enough, his website contains a long, detailed, strident defense of the GOP education spending:

    It’s exactly the same as on Tim Moffitt’s website:

    …and Chuck McGrady’s:

    …and Michele Presnell’s:

    etc. etc. etc.

    Nathan is a cog in the machine that’s cutting education spending. Just because he’s worried about being re-elected, and he was granted a dispensation on this one safe vote, doesn’t absolve him.

    • bsummers

      Whoops! Nathan has apparently been given permission by his webmaster, Mr. Moffitt, to drop the defense of the education spending that he voted against from his website. I wonder how much begging was involved?

  5. Dionysis

    Well, although James O’Keefe may not be from Asheville, he is a LIAR so that works.

    As for the effort to mock people, can anyone identify anything that the GOP of any age, young or ossified, find funny that does NOT involve making fun of others, or trying to exploit others? And as noted here, facts to the contrary are to be ignored.

  6. bsummers

    Yes, yes. Simple people will be fooled by simplistic claims. I’m referring to anyone who believes that this video “spanks” anyone. It’s another giant Brietbart-ish deception.

    As XPress reported a few days ago, a closer analysis shows that per-pupil spending has decreased significantly with the new budget. The GOP is moving money around, giving money here, but taking it back there, and then there’s the little matter of thousands more students in the system dividing up a shrinking pie.

    Per-pupil spending is down, and that equals a cut, no matter how you try to deceive people.

  7. bsummers

    Buncombe makes $2 million cuts to teacher assistants

    “State cutbacks that critics say will affect children

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