Art Pope Puppetshow

JLF uses Hurricane Matthew to attack NC's REPS

Because natural disasters are a great opportunity for propaganda:

And then there are the inhabitants of the so-called “free market think tanks” funded by those fun-loving fossil fuel barons, the Koch Brothers, and their not so silent junior partner from North Carolina, Art Pope. Take a gander at a column released yesterday by the Director of Regulatory Studies at the John Locke Foundation. In it, the author argues – we are not making this up – that the mass, storm-related electricity outages of recent days lead to one overriding conclusion: North Carolina must reduce its commitment to renewable energy and the law (the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard” or “REPS”) that requires public utilities to derive a proportion of their electric load from renewables.

Everybody needs to understand why Koch and Pope's Puppets are so dedicated to overturning REPS in NC (and other states): Because it's working. The REPS was designed to create a demand for renewable energy, thus driving up production of Solar panels and wind turbine parts, which (in turn) would bring the costs down to a competitive range.
What you won't hear from people like JLF's Jon Sanders is how much those costs have already dropped:

Rob Schofield deconstructs GOP's fictional narrative on NC median income

The picture is not nearly as pretty as it's been painted:

It’s understandable (and perhaps even a little poignant) that some on the right have been trying so hard of late to put a positive spin on the state of the North Carolina economy. If there’s even the tiniest snippet of encouraging economic news out there these days – anywhere – you can rest assured that conservative politicians and “think tankers” will seize upon it, gather round it and hold it aloft like ancient cavepeople celebrating the discovery of a shiny ingot.

The Puppetmaster's enduring legacy

After all my years of reporting about Art Pope, it's comforting to discover the old man is still a creep. Despite trying to rehabilitate his image as a moderate voice of reason, his bigotry and greed appear unbounded by human decency. No one has done more to damage the freedom and fairness in North Carolina than the slum-retailer from Raleigh.

Art Pope's minions now going after bicyclists

Wherever there is a whiff of progress, JLF and Civitas will soon be there to oppose it:

I do not oppose bike lanes in principle. If significant numbers of people wish to travel by bike and need safe lanes, it is reasonable for the city to use part of its transportation budget to meet that need.

But I do oppose social engineering and paternalism. I absolutely object to Raleigh and Wake County using taxpayers’ money to push taxpayers away from one behavior (driving cars) that they prefer and toward a different behavior (riding bikes) that they have not embraced.

Oh! Bonus points for including the trigger words "social engineering" and "paternalism." Seriously, these free-market clones are so predictable I could write for them under a pseudonym and get away with it for months before they figured it out. All you need are a few key phrases and a dash of hyperbole (Raleigh trying to "push" citizens into biking), and you've got Puppet Gold ready to be published.

Pope and Hood put stranglehold on conservative commentary

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:

Art Pope and the disenfranchisement of young black voters

Another historically black college loses its voting site:

We’re disappointed in the poor reasoning behind eliminating Anderson Center at Winston-Salem State University as an early voting site. We hope the state elections board will overturn the heavy-handed decision to eliminate it.

The Forsyth County Board of Elections was split over including the site for the March 15 primary election during its meeting last week, the Journal’s Wesley Young reported. The two Republicans on the board, Chairman Ken Raymond and Stuart Russell, were against the inclusion, while Fleming El-Amin, the Democrat on the board, pushed for its inclusion.

Don't hold your breath. The state board doesn't make a habit of overturning these decisions, no matter how nonsensical or nakedly partisan they are. Especially considering the Pope of Discount Village is likely watching closely to make sure his wishes are fulfilled:

Pope's Civitas actively obstructing Amazon wind farm

Using the very same tactics they complain about:

The decision by Judge Lassiter of the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings to keep the case alive means it will head for a contested case hearing, which is the OAH equivalent of a trial, said Elliot Engstrom, a lawyer for the conservative Civitas Institute, which is representing the Perquimans couple.

Iberdrola has said it needs to complete the project next year to qualify for a federal tax credit that will reduce the cost of the project by 30 percent. The credit expires at the end of 2016.

Hypocrisy, you have a whole new standard to meet. For years, the folks at JLF and Civitas have complained how over-regulation by government has delayed industrial construction and land development, costing money and souring economic growth in our state. And that's exactly what they're engaging in with this wind project. Their goal isn't to expose a danger and "make sure it's done right," and it isn't really an effort to have an authority stop the project, either. They just want to delay it long enough for the Federal credits to sunset so the project will die on its own. There are many colorful ways to describe the character of someone who would deploy these tactics, but I'll just leave it at "beneath contempt" for now.

Conservatives dodging responsibility for tuition increases


It's always somebody else's fault:

“You add all those things together and it’s a recipe for difficulty if not disaster for some of the institutions that serve populations of students from less privileged backgrounds,” Leonard said. Some conservatives agree that rising tuition costs are a problem but say the remedy is that the universities should reduce administrative and management costs and become more efficient.

“The cuts from the General Assembly should have been a signal to the university system to make internal cuts rather than pushing it to students in tuition increases,” said Jenna Robinson, the director of the conservative John W. Pope Center for Higher Education. “There are a lot of places within the administration where cuts can be made.”

But apparently not at the top tier, where the GOP-dominated Board decided (behind closed doors) to lavish huge salary increases to chancellors, many of whom were already being paid hundreds of thousands per year. I'm sure the irony is lost on this particular Pope Puppet, but it isn't lost on the rest of us.

Pope puppet professor may run for NC Treasurer

Frequent JLF mouthpiece Mike Walden itching to get his hands on the purse strings:

Mike Walden, an economist at N.C. State University, confirmed he is thinking about entering the race, which was thrown open by Democratic incumbent Janet Cowell’s surprise announcement Tuesday that she will not seek re-election. Walden is a frequent writer and commentator on North Carolina’s economy and policies. He holds a master’s and doctorate from Cornell University.

“I am thinking about possibly throwing my hat in the ring,” Walden wrote. “I have some ideas for modifying the investment portfolio to increase transparency and reduce management fees.”

Of course, the N&O fails to mention any connection between the perfessor and the Pope, but we're used to that here at BlueNC and will continue to point these things out when they happen.


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