Saturday, February 2, 2013

Here's the billionaire trying to destroy North Carolina

Every state seems to have an anti-worker billionaire hell-bent on driving working families into the poorhouse. Colorado has its Coors family. Michigan has Dick DeVos. North Carolina has the uniquely powerful Art Pope.

And guess what. He's close to the Benedict Arnold Koch brothers.

Pope is a plutocrat-politician who wants to eradicate public education, destroy workers' rights and enhance corporate monopoly power.

Like the Kochs, Pope runs a shadowy network of "charitable" foundations to spread mean-spirited corporate propaganda disguised as "free market" theory. They include The John Locke Foundation, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the Pope Foundation.

He was a state chair of the Kochs' phony tea party group, Americans for Prosperity. He tried to buy influence at UNC-Chapel Hill and succeeded at North Carolina State, where he sponsors lectures that promote his loony economic theories.

Five things tell you what you need to know about Art Pope:
  • He wants to enshrine No Rights At Work in the state constitution.
  • He funds racist and slanderous attacks on his political opponents, such as the campaign ad describing a 61-year-old married mother of three as a hooker.
  • He was born rich but thinks his wealth resulted from his talent and hard work.
  • He had to step down as chairman of the Kochs' phony tea party group so he could become the state's budget director. (Yup, he's North Carolina's budget director. Think about it.)
  • He's an ALEC alum.
Sourcewatch tells us:
Marc Farinella, an adviser to North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, commented that "The Republican agenda in North Carolina is really Art Pope’s agenda. He sets it, he funds it, and he directs the efforts to achieve it. The candidates are just fronting for him. There are so many people in North Carolina beholden to Art Pope—it undermines the democratic process.”
For a full description of Pope's assault on North Carolina, read Jane Mayer's excellent article "State for Sale" here.