Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, February 16, 2012 7:54 pm

Vote for Marriage NC: Liars, liars, pants on fires; or, Botherers, but not god-botherers

As some of you ’round here know, the Greensboro City Council had a discussion on Feb. 7 regarding Amendment One, a referendum item on the ballot here in May that would rewrite the state constitution to outlaw civil and domestic unions other than marriage. Among speakers from the floor was a woman named Rachel Lee, who identified herself as communications director for Vote for Marriage NC, a political action committee that supports the proposed amendment.

Which would be fine, except that Ms. Lee told the City Council something that I and others confirmed to be untrue. She said that “70 percent of citizens here in Greensboro support the marriage protection amendment [sic] as cited by Public Policy Polling.”

The only problem is that there was no such poll. Not by PPP. Not by anyone else, insofar as I could determine through searching both Google and the wide variety of commercial databases available to me by virtue of my status as a graduate student at Carolina.

As Roch Smith reported at his blog the next day:

In fact, the latest poll from Public Policy Polling, released on December 9, 2011January 12, 2012, does not provide specifics for Greensboro. It does break out results for area code 336, which includes Greensboro, Guilford County and fourteen other surrounding counties, an area extending from Asheboro north to the Virgina state line and from Burlington west to the Tennessee state line, hardly a sampling of Greensboro.

Nonetheless, within this expanse, the poll found that 56% 53%of respondents favor some sort of domestic union for gay and lesbian people, either marriage or civil unions.

I wanted to find out why Ms. Lee either maliciously or negligently gave false information to the City Council in an attempt to influence the public policy of my city. So I visited the PAC’s website and, finding no email address for her, used the generic contact-us email address, asking in the subject line that the email be given to Ms. Lee. I wrote as follows:

Ms. Lee:

As a longtime Greensboro resident and taxpayer, I’m curious as to why you apparently stood up last night and attempted to influence our city’s public policy by saying something that you either 1) knew to be false, or 2) recklessly asserted was true without having done your due diligence.
I’m referring to your assertion that Public Policy Polling — a respecting polling operation, and deservedly so in my experience — had polled Greensboro residents on Amendment 1 and that 70% of respondents supported the amendment. As you no doubt know by now if you did not know last night, no such poll has been conducted by PPP nor, as nearly as I can tell from both web and commercial database searches, anyone else.
So I’d like to know: How is it that you came to be standing in front of my City Council and saying something that was utterly untrue in an attempt to get them to reject a resolution that was in opposition to your position?
A prompt response would be appreciated.
Hooper “Lex” Alexander IV

Needless to say, I have not heard back from her.

I bcc’d a couple of friends, including Roch, who posted the letter on his website. (I hadn’t realized he would do that, but I’d meant to do it myself anyway here and just got interrupted, so no harm, no foul.) As you’ll see if you follow that link, the post drew some comments from someone purporting to be affiliated with V4MNC. I asked him if he’d be kind enough to ask Ms. Lee to respond directly to me, rather than having a flunky respond to me on someone else’s blog.

Ed Cone, to whom I also sent a copy of the letter, actually got hold of Ms. Lee. His account of their conversation is enlightening.

More than a week later I have had no response from Ms. Lee or anyone else at V4MNC, nor, at this point, do I expect one. I can only presume that the PAC employs a professional liar, and a bad one at that.

I’m not sure where and how people like Ms. Lee and V4MNC got the idea that they could arrogate for themselves a right they would use the force of law to deny others without violating the Golden Rule. But such attitudes certainly suggest they haven’t been reading their own sacred texts attentively.

As to the larger issue, my encapsulated thoughts on gay marriage, civil unions and the like are at the bottom of this post. With regard to Amendment 1 in particular, I oppose it because it would outlaw civil unions of any kind, including existing domestic-partnership benefit programs offered to employees of Greensboro and some other N.C. cities.

In closing, I have observed with dismay the growing use among online liberals of the pejorative “god-botherers” to describe religious conservatives like Ms. Lee who believe their personal religious beliefs should be universally imposed by the power of government. I deplore the use of this term as inaccurate. They’re not bothering God — certainly not on the scale that, say, war criminals and investment bankers do. But they’re annoying the hell out of me.


  1. The “poll” is out.

    Comment by John Quincy Fudd — Friday, February 17, 2012 10:29 am @ 10:29 am

  2. Oboy.

    Some questions: By whom was this poll conducted? (PPP, I assume, but the page doesn’t say.) When? (Before Perdue announced she wasn’t running again, but how far before?) Sample size? (That’s polling 101.)

    Some observations:

    – If you add wording to the Amendment One question to explain that it would eliminate all civil unions (57% of North Carolinians favor those when asked directly), the numbers would almost certainly be less favorable to Amendment One.

    – It is true that capping the gas tax probably would mean slower construction of new roads. However, it also would mean slower repairs of existing roads, which would affect a lot more people day to day and therefore should have been mentioned in the question.

    – The question about teacher pay only offered the either-or choice of seniority vs. student performance. 7% *volunteered* the “both” answer, which is pretty high for a response that wasn’t offered. Had “both” been included in the question as a choice, I’m confident that number would have been substantially higher.

    – And, finally, some of those commenters are morons. “Socialism” and “progressivism” are not the same things. Socialism means the government owns the means of production. One can be a political progressive while still supporting private ownership of most or all means of production, and many people are.

    Comment by Lex — Friday, February 17, 2012 11:18 am @ 11:18 am

  3. […] helpful — Lex @ 9:23 pm Tags: Arthur Laffer, perjury I mentioned some time back about how Rachel Lee of Vote for Marriage NC flat-out lied to the Greensboro City Council when she spoke in favor of Amendment One, which voters will decide on May […]

    Pingback by They. Just. Lie. (And how to stop them.) « Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Tuesday, April 17, 2012 9:24 pm @ 9:24 pm

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