He who has the money makes the rules:
My sources are telling me that Hood — clearly acting on orders from The Boss — has issued edicts to both institutions about what can and can’t be written about, who can or cannot be cited or quoted, and that sort of thing. Hood has used the regular payments from the Pope Foundation as leverage — delaying the checks to Locke and Civitas significantly to hammer home his point.
Locke and Civitas were both HUGE critics of that 2000 bond issue. This year’s ConnectNC boondoggle? We got everything from total silence to a weak-sister, wet-noodle critique. What’s different? What changed? THIS YEAR the boss is invested heavily in Pat McCrory and his “success.”
This is far from the first time JLF/Civitas has flip-flopped on supposedly core issues, but the social media explosion of the last few years has forced Pope and his minions to resort to more overt and heavy-handed tactics to "shape" the information being presented:
The latest Pope-Hood victim, since Adams, appears to be The Carolina Plotthound. The website — which bears more than a passing resemblance to the renowned Drudge Report — has served as an aggregator of conservative and right-leaning news for a few years now. It has been run by conservative activist Paul Chesser. The site linked to all kinds of articles about North Carolina politics — defending conservatism and hitting both Democrat and Republican politicos.
Recently, we’ve noticed that the site has been linking to less and less of our material. The stories that did get linked got pushed to the bottom of the page. Eventually, we disappeared altogether from the site. After some investigation, we learned that Plotthound is actually a wholly-owned subsidiary of Civitas — therefore under the thumb of John Hood and Art Pope.
Don't get me wrong, I am gobbling up the popcorn right now and leaning forward in expectation. After years of monitoring the outlandish and bullying behavior of right-wing nutters on Twitter, the prospect of an all-out feud within their ranks is enticing as hell. But whether that translates into actual campaign results remains to be seen. If history can be relied upon for predictions of future events, the money men will get their way when it's all said and done.