From the Farm to Raleigh… it’s the WASPy Thing to do…
By Chad Nance
NC State Rep. Bryan Holloway (R-NC91) finds himself in yet another situation where his version of the “truth” does not seem to jibe with the facts on the ground. Thursday, May 30th, a fashion blog revealed that they had identified Holloway as the author of a “Preppy“ fashion blog called WASP101. An online sleuth who found WASP101’s misogyny and other content suspicious began to try to discover who the anonymous “Richard” was that authored the blog. That investigation led to Bryan Holloway.
For his part Holloway has kept silent, but did speak to WRAL on Friday, denying that he has any involvement with WASP101. (Yes, the WASP does stand for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.) That assertion, however, does not line up with what is easily ascertained about “Richard”. Holloway’s denial about the blog in the face of a mountain of coincidences, his 2010 claim that he gave donations from a Beer & Wine Distributor back out to other candidates and community organizations, and his claim in the face of the clear evidence to the contrary that he is not connected to ALEC, demonstrate a pattern of behavior by the Legislator. An investigation into Holloway’s campaign filings inspired by the WASP101 revelations brings up some new questions regarding the amount of money that Holloway pays himself out of his campaign funds.
Rep. Holloway has done a good job of keeping his head down in his 5 terms in the NCGA. Most North Carolinians will not recognize his name, yet he sits on committees that wield high-value influence over education and how NC state funds are allotted and spent. Holloway chairs both the House Appropriations Committee and the Joint Education Oversight Committee. In 2005 Holloway was named the “NC Freshman Legislator of the Year” by the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. He entered politics in 2004 on the encouragement of his father-in-law Mike Culler and with $16,000.00 in seed money provided by Mr. and Mrs. John W. Pope- the parents of North Carolina’s Republican Party sugar-daddy Art Pope. (Pope money was almost 40% of his initial start up.) Since then he has been an active, if quiet, legislator who has worked hard during the Republican Party’s ascension into a Supermajority in the NC Legislature, and according to Holloway’s campaign filings, kicked money up and out to dozens of other Republican lawmakers.
The WASP101 blog has brought the kind of attention and scrutiny that Holloway has worked hard to avoid. The story broke when a well regarded fashion website Ivy-Style.com, operated by Huffington Post style writer Christian Chensvold, ran an article that pointed out a plethora of circumstantial evidence that the previously anonymous author of the blog was none other than Rep. Bryan Holloway. The blog was written under the screen handle “Richard” and included misogynist comments, a condescending attitude toward working class Americans, and an endless parade of outfits that aren’t the type one would see back home on the farms in Stokes and Rockingham counties. Bad taste is not a crime, but a denial in the face of over-whelming evidence has unseated more than one politician.
The basic connections are:
- “Richard” is Bryan R. Holloway’s middle name
- They are the same age and have the same birthday
- Both Richard and Holloway have a dachshund named “Governor”
- Same make and model watch
- Both “work” in politics.
- Photos on the WASP101 website which clearly show Bryan Holloway and were taken at his home in King, NC and his apartment in Raleigh according to sources.
- Both “Richard” and Holloway are connected to NC State Sen. Andrew Brock(R-34) and former state senator Fred Smith, who lost a primary to current Governor in 2008, and helped create the movement to pass Amendment One in NC which legally defined marriage as between a “man and a woman“.
- Bryan Holloway’s legislative assistant (LA) appears in photos on the WASP101 site and was apparently authoring posts there as “Kipp”.
- Five minutes after a blogger phoned Holloway’s LA and suspected “Kipp“, Isabel Villa-Garcia, to inquire as to whether or not Holloway was “Richard”, the site and its associated social networking accounts began to disappear, re-appear, then disappear all together.
According to Ivy-Style’s source:
His big mistake was [earlier this week] posting his retrospective timeline. An anonymous poster mentioned something about his wife’s breasts, and that led to a post about him attending a wedding for a client that is a state senator. We’ve all suspected that he was from North Carolina, so I looked at current members and, more importantly, their spouses’ Facebook pages.
That’s when I decided to look back at the last six years of state senators from North Carolina and see if any of them had been married in 2008. Politicos may set their accounts to private, but their spouses rarely do. State Senator Andrew Brock was there in 2008, and was married that year to Andrea. After scrolling through her friends I nearly fell out of my chair: the dog, that chin, that hairline, the wife — I knew them all so well.
CCD has uncovered numerous connections between Brock and Holloway including allegations of operating a pyramid scheme that preyed on Tea Party activists back in 2009. Journalist Greg Flynn wrote about the scheme that began when Holloway, Andrew Brock, and businessman William Head formed a 527 called WakeUpAmerica.com in September of 2009. In May of 2009, Head had formed a for-profit outfit known as Wake Up America Plan, LLC. At the time William Head said of the enterprise:
“Wakers,” according to Head — independent contractors who join Wake Up America — will earn commissions as they build their activist teams. “If it’s treated like a business and worked like a business, then people can get paid like a business … and one with a recurring revenue stream. That’s the glue,” says Head.
Wakers have access to a Web site featuring current news feeds, audio and video interviews, office systems, genealogy reports, and pay information. Wake Up America Radio, a 24/7 Internet radio channel, features daily nationwide opportunity meetings, training sessions and weekend seminars featuring thinkers and leaders are included in the package.
The plan, which was later removed from the web following questions about it being a pyramid scheme, was essentially laid out like a failed earlier scheme that Head and Forsyth County’s Nathan Tabor had tried to run called PurgeCongress.com. That effort fizzled out, but was set up like this:
On the original WakeupAmerica.com web-site there was a video that featured Holloway. In the video Holloway spouted off Republican/Tea Party talking points while in the upper right-hand corner a graphic appeared offering a money-making opportunity for those helping Republicans run the Democrats out of office. The video has since been taken down. According to sources it was taken down when Holloway and Brock were admonished by other lawmakers for being involved in what many saw as a pyramid scheme that victimized the very activist that helped propel Holloway and his fellow Republicans into power. As Greg Flynn wrote in 2009:
All of this begs questions of State legislators Brock and Holloway. As one of the original 3 “Wakers” will they each be eligible for upwards of $600,000 when membership climbs 9 levels from them to 30,000? If so, will that be income or political contributions? Have they done due diligence to verify the current claims of Wake Up America’s “business plan and state founders’ licensing agreement” and compared it with the financial performance of “Purge Congress”? Are Brock and Holloway endorsing this MLM as an economic stimulus tool for their constituents?
Holloway’s connection to Brock goes even deeper. A look at Holloway and Brock’s campaign filings show that the young legislators appear to loan money to one another. For instance in February of 2010 Holloway’s campaign gave Brock’s campaign $710.22. In March of 2010, Brock’s campaign gave Holloway’s $710.22 then Holloway turned around and by May gave Brock’s campaign another $360.00. With “Richard” clearly linking himself to Sen. Brock by time-lines and statements and with Brock and Holloway clearly sharing a business, political, and personal relationship, Holloway looks more and more like “Richard” the deeper you go.
On May 7, 2008 “Richard” mentioned going to a victory party for a Gubernatorial candidate he had supported. According to “Richard” the party had been planned as a victory party, but had turned into a concession.
It looks like the candidate “Richard” was referring too was former State Senator Fred Smith who lost a squeaker against fellow Republican and now Governor Pat McCrory. 45,975 votes were all that separated them after the count and it is reasonable to understand how a party for Sen. Smith could have initially been planned to celebrate his victory. The candidate that came in third only took 9%. Holloway donated $200.00 to Smith for the primary. That same year Smith gave $4,000.00 to Sen. Andrew Brock. “Richard” claimed that the candidate was a major client of his in his PR business.
The photographic evidence showing similarities between “Richard” and Rep. Holloway is even more damning than the connections to “Richard’s” associates. For instance- this “favorite tie” worn in photos posted on WASP101 matches Bryan Holloway’s tie in a photo chosen for his campaign website:
Journalist Gregg Flynn pointed out on his blog that Holloway’s watch and one worn by “Richard” in photos appear to be the same style, make, and model.
Isabel Villa-Garcia is a young lady who began her work with Bryan as his intern and is now his legislative assistant in Raleigh. She is also suspected as being “Kipp”, the person who often posted on WASP101 when “Richard” did not. Sources within the North Carolina legislature verified to CCD that the photos of “Kipp” are of Villa-Garcia and, in fact, were taken in Holloway’s Raleigh apartment.
The content on WASP101 tends to be more sexually suggestive, misogynistic, and class conscious than would be supported by the voters back home in Stokes County. Both Rockingham and Stokes Counties make up Holloway’s legislative district. Both are largely rural and populated by Republican voting Evangelical Christians who hold a great deal of political power, particularly in Stokes County. The blog regularly posted scantily clad women and sexual suggestive posts such as:
Additional posts included statements about paying strippers and suggesting that he “lusts” after women who are “Large breasted girls with little breeding.” These aren’t the kind of sentiments that the good folks at Calvary Baptist in King (where most of the political muscle in Stokes County currently resides) would be expecting to hear on Sunday morning or any day of the week from someone like Holloway, who has stressed his “family values” bonafides since he began his political career.
Assuming Holloway is “Richard”, how would an out-of-work public school teacher who makes $13,364.00 a year as a state representative afford to buy into the life-style presented on WASP101’s blog? North Carolina legislators make that small salary a year in addition to receiving 22 cents a mile for travel and $120.00 a day per diem while in Raleigh during an official legislative session. That per-diem works out to be approximately $3,600 a month when the House is in session. On top of that official remuneration, Holloway has also been paid almost $20,000 by his campaign committee for expenses written off as “travel”, “gas”, and “office décor”. Holloway’s campaign paid him $7,900 on November 19, 2012 for rent during the short session. That session ran from May 16th to July 3rd of 2012. That was less than seven weeks during which time he was being paid $120.00 a day to cover room and board. CCD has spoken to several lawmakers who told us that their per-diem and gas allowance easily covers their expenses and even House Speaker Thom Tillis, himself, lives in an apartment he shares with fellow Republicans and does not charge his campaign for an apartment for just himself.
The way the Holloway campaign lists payments to Bryan Holloway resembles a balance sheet on an ATM account. For instance, according to Holloway’s campaign filings, payments made to him personally in October of 2010 go as follows:
Oct 13th, 2010 – $250
Oct 22nd, 2010 – $2,000
Oct 23rd, 2010 – $500
Oct 29th, 2010 – $300
All of these payments may be perfectly legal, but they do raise serious questions on initial examination when you consider how much tax payer money Bryan Holloway is already receiving to finance his lifestyle in Raleigh.
If Bryan Holloway is indeed “Richard” another troubling question is raised regarding the representative’s integrity and his relationship to the truth. WASP101 and the WakeUpAmerica.com incident are not the only times Holloway has been caught in questionable practices. In 2012 Holloway denied being involved with ALEC. The truth of his assertions came into question because ALEC certainly thought he was involved with them, and according to campaign filings Holloway used campaign funds to pay for a $1,600 trip to attend an ALEC conference. Holloway also got in hot water when he told supporters and wrote a note on his campaign filings in 2008 stating that he would give $500.00 given to him by the NC Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association to community organizations and other Republican candidates. No where in the filings does that appear to have happened. Following that promise, however, Holloway accepted $1,000 from the Beer & Wine folks in 2010, apparently receiving a payment for both the primary and general election.
Many questions now swirl around Representative Holloway and in due time he may be able to come up with solid explanations for every last question raised. Unlike how Holloway has operated in the past and last Friday with WRAL, the answers to the people of Stokes County and the State of North Carolina are going to have to be better than, “Because I said so.”
You can read Ivy-Style’s original post HERE.
You can read Greg Flynn’s 2009 work HERE.
You can find cached pages from WASP101 WARNING: Adult Content- HERE.
You can find CCD‘s coverage of the ALEC controversy HERE.
You can see CCD‘s coverage of other issues regarding Holloway HERE.
CCD‘s latest update HERE.
More choice cuts from the WASP101 Website:
From Greg Flynn: