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

How do I get an absentee ballot?

by Carol Apperson on Vote, Dammit! The INDY’s 2017 Endorsements for the Raleigh, Durham, and Cary Municipal Elections (News Feature)

The Trump phenomenon is catastrophic. Obviously, Trump is far smarter than Hitler; but he has Hitler's ability to make the …

by Oscar Martinez on Welcome to the Resistance: Trump Is President, But Trumpism Can Never Prevail (News Feature)

Has anything been done to address the problems? When something is reported like this it's more important to check on …

by Christine Dale on The truth about the Goathouse Refuge (News Feature)

As one of the founders of Raleigh Cohousing I would like to set the record straight: The article is inaccurate …

by Kayelily Middleton on How the Triangle Became Ground Zero in the Cohousing Movement (News Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation