It is now apparent that Art Pope has figured out how to buy control of the North Carolina General Assembly using corporate money. His laboratory was the Republican primaries yesterday, where he picked off three intraparty enemies – Richard Morgan, Rick Eddins and Steve LaRoque. Now he is refining his playbook and setting his sights on eight or nine marginal House races this fall. Art Pope will continue to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars of corporate money from Variety Wholesale into seats he thinks he can win. His goal is to defeat incumbent Democrats and tip control of the House to Republicans he controls. It will cost him only $2 million. It will cost us democracy.
We cannot let this happen. Art Pope does not want to invest in education. He doesn’t believe in economic development. He wants to control what our universities teach. Do you trust Art Pope to fix mental health? He is opposed to everything we care about.
The Easley administration doesn't seem eager to lead on this, but surely someone must. We need to press the State Board of Elections. We need to contest this in the courts. We might need corrective legislation.And we might need it now. Because if Art Pope gets his way, it will be too late to act when the legislature returns in January.
Art Pope has blended a secret sauce. The key ingredient is corporate money – lots of it – in carefully targeted districts. It is nothing less than a coup.
You are a North Carolina leader. Please lead.