When you're a Puppetmaster, it's good to be rich . . . as reported today by the News and Observer's Rob Christensen, who has a ring side seat at the Puppetshow.
An independent committee, financed by Raleigh retail executive Art Pope's company, has sent mailings into the districts of five House Republicans criticizing their record.
"Robert Grady joined with Democrat Speaker Jim Black and the liberal Democrats to vote for over one billion in higher taxes," said one mailing sent out by the Republican Legislative Majority of North Carolina, a so-called 527 group.
Grady is a Jacksonville Republican. Similar letters were sent into the districts of Republican Reps. Rick Eddins of Raleigh, Julia Howard of Mocksville, Stephen LaRoque of Kinston and Richard Morgan of Moore County.
The same group spent $460,000 in 2004 to help defeat five Republicans who had worked with either Democratic House Speaker Jim Black or Republican Speaker Pro Tem Morgan, who joined with Black to form a governing House coalition in 2003.
Pope said he was trying to inform voters about which Republican lawmakers have been voting with Black.
Eddins fired back with a radio ad last week, comparing the Republican legislative committee with former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. It says the Pope group is "spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to defeat Republicans and not one single penny to defeat Democrats."
Poor Eddins. So much payola being spread around by the Puppetmaster, and none of it going to him. Kind of sad don't you think? But never fear, Mr. Pope is not actually trying to defeat anyone in the election. Because that would be illegal and heaven knows, the Puppetmaster always obeys the law. Just ask him:
Pope, a longtime GOP activist, called the ad "silly and hypocritical." Among other things, Pope said, his group's mailers are not designed to elect or defeat anybody but to educate voters.
I doubt if Mr. Christensen had to endure talking to Pope in person, so he probably didn't get to see the Puppetmaster wink and grin when he flat-out lied through his teeth.