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Art Pope’s critics often accuse him of “buying the State of North Carolina.” If he did, he got it cheap.
The Washington Post this weekend published its obligatory profile about the mild-mannered retail magnate who became the Superman ruling over North Carolina’s budget, politics and university system.
Two numbers catch your eye.
First, the story reported that “Pope’s family foundation has put more than $55 million into a robust network of conservative think tanks and advocacy groups, building a state version of what his friends Charles and David Koch have helped create on a national level.” That money was spent, the story said, over a “quarter-century.”
Let’s see, $55 million over 25 years. That works out to $2.2 million a year.
But that investment – or purchase – didn’t pay off until the 2010 and 2012 elections, when Republicans took control of the General Assembly and Governor’s Office.
Enter the second number: “Pope and his family played a significant role, donating more than $500,000 to state candidates and party committees in 2010 and 2012, according to an analysis of state campaign finance data by the Institute for Southern Studies, a liberal research group. His company, Variety Wholesalers, gave almost $1 million more to outside groups that ran independent campaigns.”
So let’s get this straight. Pope & Co. spent just over $2 million a year for over 25 years, with no real impact. Then they spent $1.5 million over two election cycles to achieve their long-term goal of world (or, least, state) domination.
Now, when you think of someone “buying” North Carolina, you think billions of dollars. After all, this is North Carolina! But that’s all, a measly of measly million dollars a year? Not to mention the considerable help of a favorable national political climate in 2010 and Governor Perdue’s late decision not to run in 2012?
If that’s the case, there are a bunch of people around who can “buy back” North Carolina. Which leads us to the question: “Where is the Democrats’ Art Pope?”


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2 comments on “State for Sale. Cheap!

  1. Anonymous says:

    In the public arena of ideas, one side must purchase educational time, the other side gets it for free. I would gladly give up all the Koch Brothers, and all the Art Popes of the world, just to own the network media along with the print media. If you want to add up dollars, take a look at what the Democrats get for free and lets put a dollar figure to that. It could buy all the Koch Brothers as well as all the Art Popes of the world and still have billions left. I guess if we could silence the Popes and Koch’s we could dominate the media with only the left wing you would be happy and North Carolina could become the welfare state that the Federal Government has become. I think we are going to have to destroy things like the first ammendment to achieve that goal. Good try, the uninformed will eat it up, better hope they don’g get informed soon.

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