If I were Art Pope, I'd be pissed. Here he is spending more than $300,000 a MONTH to shape the public policy agenda in North Carolina and this is all he has to show for it?
There's no telling what the numbers are for 2007, but in 2006 the Puppetshow generated a little more than 6,000 appearances in the news media. Which means the media hits are being delivered at a rough cost of $600 each. That's not a horrible number in and of itself, but when you layer in the actual impact and effectiveness, well, it gets downright embarrassing. (For the record, I wish they were more effective, especially in the area of fighting corporate welfare through economic incentives. But that's another story.)
But this lackluster performance shouldn't be surprising given all we know about the Puppetshow's operations, philosophy, and political agenda. For example, the steady shrinkage of North Carolina's Republic Party is a direct result of Art Pope's purification strategy to replace moderates with extremists. The resulting inability of the Party of Greed to create coalitions and influence legislation means that the few good ideas they have are dead-on-arrival.
And then there's nonsense like this article in today's Carolina Jourinal.
GREENSBORO — That sign could easily be placed along interstate highways entering the municipality known as the Gate City. Though Greensboro has no official “smart growth” initiative in place, the city is quickly establishing itself as a leader in socialist-style planning, as evidenced by recent grants and national recognition.
The truth is, the Puppetshow thinks ANY kind of planning is socialist-style planning. And the more they beat the drum, the sillier they sound. When a community decides it wants to concentrate development along transportation corridors, for example, the Puppets cry out against the dirty old communists trying to take over the world. When planners look ahead 30 years to identify likely needs for transit and open space, the Puppets call up Joe McCarthy from his coffin to excoriate the evil-doers.
You have to hand it to them, though, the Puppets are nothing if not consistent. In the face of steady population and economic growth, they continue to cry that the sky is falling. They continue to twist data to convince the people who read their happy horse shit that the Old North State is at risk of ruin from communist planning and onerous taxes.
The problem, of course, is that anyone with a lick of sense can see with their own two eyes that the sky is NOT falling, at least not in North Carolina.