Art Pope

Art Pope continues his "community service"

Southeast Raleigh has lacked a good supermarket for quite some time, since a Kroger store closed more than a year and a half ago.

Southeast Raleigh is recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a "food desert," an urban area where the poverty rate is at least 20 percent and at least 33 percent of residents have limited access to a supermarket or large grocery store. After the Kroger store closed, residents had to trek several miles – sometimes on foot, sometimes taking various buses – to get to the nearest supermarket.

Art Pope to the rescue!

Art Pope’s Variety Wholesalers has purchased the vacant Kroger store in Southeast Raleigh with plans to establish the company’s first standalone grocery in an area that badly needs one.

Cost of Art Pope's tax cut balloons to $690M

Earlier estimates put the cost of the NC GOP's tax giveaways to millionaires at nearly half a billion dollars.

Turns out those estimates were low -- we're now pushing three-quarters of a billion dollars in revenue shortfall because the NC GOP puts Art Pope's tax cut above every other policy objective.

New figures from legislative analysts confirm the 2013 cut to individual income tax rates is costing the state far more than originally projected.
...
According to a memo Thursday from legislative analyst Brian Slivka and chief economist Barry Boardman, the updated cost of the tax cut is $690 million for the current tax year.

That's $205 million, or 43 percent, higher than the original projection of $475 million.

That's for this year. And like the Energizer bunny, the NC GOP's fiscal irresponsibility just keeps going and going.

Some people still think there's no point in focusing on Art Pope

BlueNC has been on the trail of Art Pope for a decade, watching with alarm his steady rise to power and influence. Unable to win his race for lieutenant governor, he took his ball, went home, and decided to buy the government for chump change. You might argue that all the attention we've focused on Mr. Pope has been a waste of time, since he got exactly what he wanted all along. And you'd have a point.

But there's another point too. Unless and until the public is made painfully aware of undue influence, that influence will never dissipate.

Harry Reid's doing it.
The Institute for Southern Studies is doing it.
And so are we.

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Do over! Do over!


"Wha' happened, Pat?...Art stop short?!"

In a story July 6 about state budget director Art Pope, The Associated Press erroneously attributed a quote from Pope to Gov. Pat McCrory. It was Pope, not McCrory, who said: "My job is to advise the governor and present information to him that's just not my personal advice ... and once the governor makes a decision, my job is to implement those decisions."

Correction: Capitol Letter story

Hurricane Arthur strikes again

Is there no end to the damage caused by things named Art? And if corporations are people, then aren't hurricanes people too? Speaking of which, this is the best weather radar picture I've found. Courtesy of the mean ol' government, of course.

Friends down east, stay safe. And, as Guv Pat sez, don't put on your stupid hat.

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After all these years, the N&O still can't quit Art Pope

After reading Jim Morrill's article on Thom Tillis this morning, I found myself having deja vu all over again. Could it be possible that the McClatchy news organization in North Carolina is still a wholly owned subsidiary of Variety Wholesalers?

Back in 2006, I reported on the wide gulf between how the the then-independent Charlotte Observer and the News and Observer used Art Pope's Puppetshow for news stories. At the time, the differences were striking and disturbing. Fast forward eight years, with the two papers now under McClatchy ownership, and you'd think things would have improved. And you'd be wrong.

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NC GOP playground fight breaks out

The good ole boys are acting like little kids. The NC House and Senate budget bills clash and so do the House representatives and senators.

"Art Pope and Nelson Dollar’s latest budget gimmick fails to account for the state’s deteriorating Medicaid situation and could violate North Carolina’s constitutional requirement for a balanced budget,” Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca said in a news release.

In his own news release, Governor Pope responded, "I know you are, but what am I?". Dollar, meanwhile, called a press conference and shot back, "I'm rubber and you're glue Tom!"

Budget busted by $60 million Pope and DHHS goof

WRAL is out with the news this morning that the Department of Health and Human Services has blown a $60 million hole in the state's budget. Budget Director Art Pope and DHHS head Aldona Wos issued a press release this morning, revealing that the state had violated Federal guidelines on Medicaid.

During budget meetings earlier this year, Department of Health and Human Services officials guaranteed lawmakers that they had the Medicaid budget under control and that there would be no late-spring surprises from unexpected cost overruns. While this isn't a billing error or computer glitch like those that have plagued the department in the past, it is a nasty fiscal shock that comes in the middle of the budget process.

DENR is unfit. Is de-delegation the answer?

John Skvarla likes to joke that he was surprised as anyone when Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory named him to lead the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Of course, that's total bullshit. Skvarla had been lobbying for more than a year to land the job, for which he is spectacularly unqualified. His mission? Find a way to gut environmental protections so vultures (like him) can make money trying to fix things after the fact. And that's just what he's doing.

Problem is, almost everything Skvarla is doing undermines federal guidelines for environmental stewardship. He is methodically destroying water and air protections, leaving North Carolina at the mercy of business interests whose only agenda is profit taking.

The latest move to lay out the red carpet for Titan Cement is but the latest in a crush of irresponsible, short-sighted actions that threaten North Carolina's present and future.

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