Absolute power: An examination of Art Pope's dominance | News Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Absolute power: An examination of Art Pope's dominance 

Pope and the organizations he finances are shaping how North Carolinians live

Former legislator, millionaire, political insider, Art Pope is a public figure and one of the most powerful people in North Carolina.

This project of the Independent Weekly and Facing South, the online magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies, analyzes both the extent of Pope's influence and its ramifications for public policy.

In short, Pope and the organizations he finances are shaping how North Carolinians live. As Chris Kromm reports, the Pope family—through the John William Pope Foundation—has been funneling millions of dollars into a network of conservative research, media and legal centers. Pope's groups have larger ambitions to shift public opinion and the political debate toward a pro-business, anti-government agenda.

That's being played out in the Republican-dominated Legislature. Those lawmakers and their regressive agenda for social services, education, the environment and tax policy are brought to you largely by Pope and Pope-backed groups.

We've also scrutinized the Pope Foundation's tax documents and found that, despite his groups' persistent calls for public accountability, the foundation itself failed to file timely tax returns for eight years. Pope's excuses? Hurricane Fran. Single fatherhood. For eight years.

And finally, the media's job is to monitor power, regardless of who holds it, and to speak truth to it. As the Indy's analysis of a year's worth of opinion columns reveals, The News & Observer's op-ed pages do not forcefully challenge or monitor Pope-backed groups.

When our reporters spoke with Pope and his representatives, they asked why we were doing these stories now. The answer is simple: When money and power is concentrated in one empire, as they are with Pope and his groups, that influence not only merits but demands an examination. —Lisa Sorg

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News Feature



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

http://kajalverma.com/
http://sahanasofi.com …

by Sahana Sofi on In Wayne County, N.C., Trump’s America Is Angry (News Feature)

What ever Trump has plans for is not looking good for those of us who work for a living...Trump already …

by Tony Dockery on Where Do We Go from Here? (News Feature)

Based on some of the comments here, I'm to understand that Mr. Mozingo is a worthless piece of trash because …

by mike_in_nc on In Wayne County, N.C., Trump’s America Is Angry (News Feature)

Back in the 20th century we used to have wonderful strong democrats who would never allow any bullies, either extreme …

by Mr.Peabody on Organize or Die: The Left Needs Its Own Tea Party (News Feature)

Uneducated and low informed, probably never been to a library in their life. Also all on some sort of government …

by Donna DiCorcia Davis on In Wayne County, N.C., Trump’s America Is Angry (News Feature)

Comments

http://kajalverma.com/
http://sahanasofi.com …

by Sahana Sofi on In Wayne County, N.C., Trump’s America Is Angry (News Feature)

What ever Trump has plans for is not looking good for those of us who work for a living...Trump already …

by Tony Dockery on Where Do We Go from Here? (News Feature)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation