Art Pope

Art Pope celebrates Tax Day

Art Pope, NC's Budget Director and purchaser of elections, editorializes in the latest News and Observer on how NC's tax reforms are a "benefit to working families".

We'll make a few observations and, first off, thank the News and Observer for publishing an editorial from the "horse's mouth", rather than one of the usual surrogates from Pope's Civitas or Locke Foundation stinktanks. However, we did notice this little tagline at the end of the PopeEd:

Art Pope is the state budget director and a former member of the N.C. House of Representatives.

Funny ... I didn't notice any disclaimer on Pope's piece, noting that he didn't speak for our state government, like other state employees have to do. Did Pope have to clear the op-ed with his boss like these other employees?

Well, let's see what the Popester has to say about tax reform:

Pope empire crumbling?

There's news this week that the slum-retailing business is beginning to crumble under the weight of its own greed. It's a sad story all around, and it's also the natural conclusion of a business model that depends on exploiting poor people.

Though Art Pope would disagree, he and his fellow slumlords have been working to decimate the middle class and to ensure that poor people stay that way. As it turns out, they've been cannibalizing their own customer base to the point that their customers can no longer afford even the cheap crap they sell.

"... the retailer’s core customers – which it defines as female heads of household making less than $40,000 a year – are still pressured by a weak economy that has left many low-income workers struggling. Cuts to federal food stamp benefits have also hurt Family Dollar, Levine said.

There's no such thing as a "good government Republican" anymore

Given past transgressions by some Democrats, the appeal of Republican reformers was understandable. "Send us to Raleigh and we'll work for democracy and freedom, and we'll be accountable every step of the way." It was a seductive promise, except it turned out to be bullshit.

We've seen more backroom dealing, more legislative shenanigans, more attempts to block public oversight, more schemes to divert tax dollars to private profit, and more unvarnished subversion of voting rights than at any time in recent history.

Putting an end to this Republican reign of terror is Job One, and it's going to be tough. We'll claw back seats this year, hopefully enough to put a dent in the GOP's super-majority. We'll win back the governor's mansion in 2016, bringing to a close the hapless career of Duke McCrory. And we'll implement non-partisan redistricting in 2020, which will forever level the playing field for state elections.

But in the meantime, there are a couple of races that matter enormously in 2014, and one of them is the race for North Carolina Supreme Court. I'm supporting and voting for Robin Hudson, and I hope you will too. With Art Pope continuing his multi-million dollar shopping spree, we simply must come together to blunt the effect of his spending.

Art Pope candidate forces runoff in non-partisan Supreme Court race against Dem on Court

The News and Observer reports on a surprise for the May primaries. State Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson - one of only two Democrats on the state's highest court - thought she was only going to have one challenger for her seat.

One of only two Democrats on the seven-member court, Hudson assumed she would be facing a general challenge in the fall from Mecklenburg County Superior Court Judge Eric Levinson, a Republican. But near the end of the filing period, a second opponent emerged, Jeanette Doran.

“She came out of nowhere,” Hudson said.

Distinguished professorships unfilled at UNC system due to budget debacle

The Daily Tarheel reported earlier this week that 109 Distinguished Professor positions in the UNC system are going unfilled because of the uncertainty over the system's budget. In February, Art Pope rejected the UNC system's budget request.

Distinguished Professors are positions where private donations are matched by state dollars to provide extra travel and research funding to outstanding faculty.

Duke Energy roundup: keeping records private, shareholders upset, and Locke Foundation makes snowballs in hell

Duke Energy has filed a motion with a Federal judge asking that records requested during the Federal investigation into the company's coal ash debacle be kept from state regulators and environmental groups that had sued Duke Energy under the Clean Water Act.

Frank Holleman, senior staff attorney with the environmental law group, said Duke's motion is a stalling tactic.

"They are using the fact that they are caught up in a federal criminal investigation related to their coal ash storage as an excuse to try to postpone the enforcement of the law against them," he said. "It's exactly backward from how you think the law would operate."

The statewide primary race everyone should be talking about

Common-sense North Carolinians of all parties should be paying attention to the May 2014 primary race for one of the seats on the NC Supreme Court.

NC's most astute sitting Supreme Court member, Justice Robin Hudson, is being challenged by two corporatist opponents. One of those challengers is an Art Pope minion who serves at one of the Pope entities. Corporatists are trying to squeeze Justice Hudson out in the May primary.

Justice Hudson's rejection of her regressive colleagues' was affirmed by the US Supreme Court (even by Justice Alito!!!) last year in Wos. V. E.M.A.

Governor Pope Just Announced His Governorship - Edict on UNC

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/04/3673784/art-pope-rejects-unc-syst...

This is ironclad self admission by Governor Pope that he is not only Governor, but Pope. See what you can do with lots of money. His proximate tgt is Gene Nichol per DeLuca, the parasite from Civitas.

What's the role of Civitas in the Forsyth BOE decision on early voting sites?

The Winston-Salem Chronicle has the story on a recent meeting of the Forsyth Board of Elections where the Board approved a list of early voting sites that puts the majority of early voting polling places in white suburban parts of the county and only one in the city of Winston-Salem where the majority of voters reside.

Several residents also asked the board to extend the evening hours to allow for voting after normal business hours or expand the voting schedule on Saturday May 3, the only weekend voting option during the primary early voting schedule.

“It is my understanding that there’s only one Saturday voting time, and I would really appreciate it if the board would consider enlarging that,” said Charles Wilson. “…I want us to be fair to workers in particular. They need that extra day.”

Spotlight on extremist Forsyth BOE chair Ken Raymond

If you live in Forsyth, consider putting some pressure on the powers that be to get Forsyth Board of Elections Chair Ken Raymond removed from his post.

I missed this in the flurry of news coming from Raleigh, but Q-Notes published a piece about him in January.

After the Winston-Salem Chronicle in an editorial said Raymond "would be the result if Allen West and Herman Cain could produce a lovechild," he responsed to the newspaper with a diatribe against gays and lesbians. The Camel City Dispatch chimed in on Raymond's remarks.

Nance told qnotes that The Chronicle‘s response to Raymond’s actions is reflective of the feeling in the local African-American community and the larger Forsyth County community.

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