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Pope-Civitas attack on McCrory pulled from website

One of the more interesting developments on Right-Wing Avenue in recent weeks has been the emergence of some relatively gentle criticisms of Gov. McCrory. The Pope-Civitas Institute (which was, of course, founded by the Governor’s budget director), for example, has been featuring an article entitled “Tell Gov. McCrory to Enforce the Law” in which readers are encouraged to sign a petition urging the Guv to implement the new law to drug test public assistance applicants that he had made noises about not implementing.

Then last Tuesday, Pope-Civitas director Francis DeLuca authored a lengthy article [1] in which he attacked McCrory for speaking at an event that also featured speakers from the Institute for Minority Economic Development (a group DeLuca derided for having worked with Rev. William Barber’s Historic Thousands of Jones Street Coalition). The article even highlighted the fact that Yolanda Stith, wife of McCrory chief of staff Thomas Stith, is a lobbyist on behalf of one of the conveners of the event.

Today, both articles appear to have all but vanished from the Pope-Civitas websites. The DeLuca article “Candidate McCrory Had It Right,” was posted on the Civitas Review blog September 10, but a search of the archives for the blog for that today [2] now turns up no such article. You can read the Google cache version (thanks to one of our intrepid friends for finding it)  by clicking here [1]. Here’s the rather remarkable lead sentence:

“As a candidate, Pat McCrory promised to change the culture of cronyism and insider dealing in Raleigh. As governor, however, he is getting awfully cozy with some of the groups that have pigged out for years at the government trough.”

The “Tell Gov. McCrory to Enforce the Law” piece (which was prominently featured on the front page of main website for several days) is now no nowhere to be found unless one clicks on a link that accompanied a Civitas email sent last Wednesday [3] or runs a word search of the website. It’s not listed anywhere that I can find under any of the categories on the site — strange treatment for such a new piece. 

So, what to make of all this? Did Civitas have a change of heart? Did the group get a memo from You-Know-Who telling them to cool it?

Obviously, everyone makes mistakes and/or has second thoughts after hitting the “send” or “publish” buttons on occasion, but these two changes — coming, as they did, at a moment in which the Governor is being widely assailed from all angles — certainly ought to raise an eyebrow or two.