The president of the Civitas Institute is apologizing for a blog post he wrote last week and quickly deleted that accused Gov. Pat McCrory and his chief of staff of cronyism.
Francis De Luca posted his mea culpa Tuesday. "In trying to be vigilant against cronyism or even the appearance of cronyism— whether from the left or the right, liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Republicans — I made a mistake," he wrote, saying he skewed some facts in the original piece. "In talking about the event the Governor attended, I painted with too broad a brush by implying that an elected official’s appearance at an event involving organizations that lobby for state funds is tantamount to cronyism."
The only mistake you made was waiting this long to speak out about cronyism in DAG McCrory's administration. And now you've compounded that mistake by proffering an apology to a Republican for something you've done countless times to Democrats. It's called hypocrisy, Colonel. If you look back to some of the stuff you wrote during the Perdue and Easley administrations, you'll probably find that word used a lot, and it might jog your memory.
Merritt is a Certified Public Accountant and former State Auditor for North Carolina having served from 2005 until 2009. Merritt is a member of the North Carolina Ethics Commission. He earned degrees in Accounting and Economics from North Carolina State University. His contract began in May 2013 and expires in May 2014. It is capped at $312,000 and includes two, one year options.
Merritt also, along with Frank Perry (who also received a cushy government job) headed up an arm of Art Pope's network to investigate public corruption. But if you wanted to click that link to report Perry or Merritt or any other potentially corrupt Republicans, I'll save you the trouble:
The local elections board, which is controlled by a Republican majority, sided with Gilbert, and last week issued an order barring King from the ballot. The Durham, N.C.-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice has filed an appeal with the state elections board, saying the ruling violates equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Gilbert, who told the Associated Press that he plans to "take this show on the road," did not come to the Pasquotank elections board hearing alone: Sitting next to him was Susan Myrick, an elections analyst with the John W. Pope Civitas Institute.
The Puppetmaster has been working on several pet projects for years, but he seems to have a special place in his greedy heart for stifling the voting rights of the young, poor and brown. Hat tip to Facing South for chronicling the mind-bending madness:
Recognizing that this conservative moment might not last long, Republican legislators are moving swiftly. Despite the headlines, the most notorious bills—like the resolution to establish a state religion or the measure to outlaw public nipple displays—have been nonstarters. But the core of Pope’s agenda is going ahead. Every lawmaker in North Carolina knows that agenda: Scale back taxes, especially for businesses and the wealthy; slice away at the social safety net; and reverse the state’s focus on public schools as an engine for social and economic progress.
While writing this, I've got the TV news (14) going on in the background, and there was just a quick blurb of McCrory saying, "I've learned in leadership, you don't get caught up in who gets the credit." I bet you have. You're only going to be allowed to live in that Governor's mansion as long as you play by Pope's rules:
There’s an important distinction, however, between spirited debate and character assassination. Republicans don’t favor tax cuts, regulatory reform, energy exploration, or school choice because some shadowy special-interest group has paid them off. Republicans favor these ideas because they believe them to be good public policy.
The thing is, it's not "either or" as John Hood would like his readers to believe. Whether he's referring to ALEC or Art Pope's Civitas/JLF/AFPNC propaganda machine, that "shadowy special interest group" has been engaged in an aggressive education campaign for years, spoon-feeding anti-government fear-mongering parables and arcane and unprovable economic fantasy scenarios to potential GOP candidates and their supporters, while dangling the prize of $4,000 checks from the Pope family bundlers if they have the free-market Kool-Aid stain on their lips. Here's one of the many ways to get that stain:
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget calls for cutting funds for the BioAgriculture Center at Robeson Community College, a move that could stymie agricultural programs focusing on workforce development, job creation and business recruitment — and eliminate existing jobs. The budget proposed by the governor eliminates about $600,000 for the North Carolina Community College BioNetwork’s Mobile Launch Pad for Careers — which is not administered through the center at RCC — and the BioAgriculture Center on RCC’s campus. Built in 2004, the BioAgriculture Center is one of seven centers statewide that make up the North Carolina Community College BioNetwork, a network of centers that focus on biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and industries related to the life sciences.
I think the key word is that last one: "sciences". Forget about all the success our community college network has had in forming a bridge between education and entrepreneurship, between public and private innovation and job growth. If you're not putting taxpayer money directly into the pockets of businessmen, you're wasting time and encouraging intellectual meddling. The GOP crazy train is stuck in reverse, and building up speed.
"For a group of people who claim to believe in empirical study and higher learning, liberal politicians and other critics of North Carolina’s new conservative leaders seem remarkably uninformed or contemptuous of the research basis for the policy initiatives now being debated in Raleigh,'' writes John Hood of the John Locke Foundation in his column at johnlocke.org.
That's because the bulk of the research used to justify their actions is tainted beyond credibility by dubious "experts" who are beholden to corporate-funded "foundations", whose primary goal is to wrest control of government away from the people and move it into their board rooms. And it's a good bet John Hood has come to realize this, because he's too embarassed to cite a single study in this piece, knowing they are easily refutable, so he falls back on generalities:
Submitted by scharrison on Sun, 04/14/2013 - 12:40pm
When the truth doesn't fit your agenda, it's time to make shit up:
But supporters of the rollback, including the bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike Hager, R-Rutherford, say the price of renewable energy is too high, and state taxpayers and ratepayers shouldn't be forced to subsidize the sector. Woodhouse said environmentalists are pushing green energy because they want power to be more expensive. "It is a goal of them to have higher electricity costs because they want to punish people for using power," he said. "They think using power is a bad thing. They want to punish people for flipping the switch."
Just when you think you've seen the archetypical, bottom-line worst of Dallas Woodhouse, he opens up that yap and gives you a new low-level of stupidity. Dude actually gets paid for this. Fortunately, you don't have to dig very deep to see the reality is exactly the opposite of what these demagogues are spouting:
Claude E. Pope Jr., a Brunswick County businessman and former Wake County Party chairman, announced his candidacy for state GOP Party chairman on Wednesday. Claude Pope is a distant cousin of Art Pope. He is also the son of Claude Pope Sr. who served as Commerce Secretary under Republican Gov. Jim Martin. A stretch of U.S. 1 in Wake County is named for Claude Pope Sr.
An interesting historical note: Avignon was spanked by the Plague twice during the Pope/Anti-Pope years, taking thousands of the slightly confused devout in the process. Was it God, or merely an unfortunately large collection of people with poor hygiene? Either way, the Tea Party needs to pay attention to this.
But for McCrory, a rookie governor with little Raleigh experience, having Pope at his side during the early months of his administration has been an asset. McCrory can shoot hoops with the boys on Jones Streets. But Pope can throw some elbows.
While Rob does give a nod to the power Pope wields over the Legislature due to his fundraising/camapign contributions, he still casts him in a servile role, helping McCrory achieve his agenda. Not only does this go against human nature (power is not subservient), it also exposes one of the drawbacks of reporting on politics for too long: seeing patterns that may not exist:
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