How much do you really know about Art Pope?
Pope has been a fixture in North Carolina conservative politics since the 1970s, pouring millions into political and conservative organizations, campaigns and programs promoting libertarian programs at North Carolina universities. Now, as Governor McCrory's Budget Director, Pope has a direct role in our state government. Many McCrory appointments have direct and indirect connections to Pope or one of his foundations and political action groups.
I'll be putting up a series of blog posts about figures in the McCrory administration and legislature with unanswered questions that liberals and progressives should be asking about our new Republican public officials. Winning elections is more than just getting feet on the ground or participating in a protest - it's also about research, strategy and holding public officials accountable.
Let's start with the one man who has taken this lesson seriously.
James "Art" Pope, North Carolina's newly appointed Budget Director, heads up the Office of State Budget and Management. Governor McCrory calls Pope his "assistant budget director", minimizing Pope's role and declaring that the Governor himself is the "state's budget director".
However, the Office of State Budget and Management is a government agency that does much more than just keep books and pay the state's bills. There's more responsibility to Pope's new job that the simple title of "Budget Director" implies.
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