Art Pope: right-wing funder, state budget director and…lobbyist?

Chris Kromm has a must-read post today over at Facing South, the blog of the Institute for Southern Studies entitled “How Art Pope killed clean elections for judges in North Carolina.” 

Art Pope 3“On the afternoon of Tuesday, June 11, as the North Carolina House jousted over details of the state budget, Rep. Jonathan Jordan, a Republican attorney from the state’s mountain region, decided to help the legislature reach a compromise on a thorny problem.

At issue was the N.C. Public Campaign Fund, a popular program launched in 2003 to help free judges from relying on deep-pocketed — and potentially compromising — special interest donors to get elected. Eighty percent of eligible judges — conservatives and liberals — used the voluntary program, which awarded candidates a grant to help run their campaign if they raised at least 350 small donations and agreed to strict spending limits.

Ideologues hated the public financing option, but judges and even many conservatives thought it boosted public confidence in the courts. In May, members of the state’s Court of Appeals took the unusual step of publicly calling on legislative leaders to keep the program. A dozen newspapers praised its success, and two Republican officials from West Virginia came to explain why their state had just adopted the North Carolina model.

Despite this support, the Republican House budget, like those of the Senate and governor, called for raiding the fund and killing its two sources of money, a $3 check-off on the state tax form and a $50 fee paid by attorneys. But Rep. Jordan had a middle-ground amendment: End the tax check-off and siphon $3.5 million from the fund, but keep the lawyers fees to more slowly replenish the fund at no cost to taxpayers. With other Republicans pledging support, it looked like Jordan’s compromise would pass with ease.

Then Art Pope showed up….”

Read the rest of the post by clicking here.

5 Comments

  1. Doug

    June 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Good information Rob. This would go right along the lines of the lobbyists that were embedded in the Board of Elections in the past few years. You know…the ones associated with some of the funding partners of this web site that helped form policies to extend the illegal voting practices in the last election, and who approved press releases for the SBOE. I know Civitas’ investigative journalists are on that story, in case someone here has enough intellectual curiosity to ask about what is going on in their own party too.

  2. david esmay

    June 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    “Civitas’ investigative journalists”, now there’s an oxymoron.

  3. Doug

    June 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    the same thing is true about Policy Watch “investigative journalists” dave. Neither site should be considered the gospel…..both have their agenda, and just because it does not fit your particular view does not mean that you cannot keep an open mind. But it is dave who continually illustrates the closed minded attitude that epitomizes (sp?) the scientific law of Ignorance of Liberalism. .

  4. Doug

    June 14, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    the same thing is true about Policy Watch “investigative journalists” dave. Neither site should be considered the gospel…..both have their agenda, and just because it does not fit your particular view does not mean that you cannot keep an open mind. But it is dave who continually illustrates the closed minded attitude that epitomizes (sp?) the scientific law of Ignorance of Liberalism.

  5. david esmay

    June 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    D-boo-boo, you’re repeating yourself in a non-sensical, I mean righty/con manner, again. I like how you put a question marks in front of big words, it really highlights your use of the word ignorance.