"Why does Art Pope matter?"

I am sure that this has been talked about and explained before, but I want to give my take on why Art Pope's electioneering is bad. This is mostly in response to the question that most outside of bluenc would ask, which is, "Why does Art Pope matter?"

Extreme partisanship is a threat to any democracy. This was well known in the 18th century, prompting George Washington to famously argue against political parties and permanent treaties. However, since then we have had varying levels of party politics, from the benign early-mid 19th century to 1860s and 1870s, from 2001 to 2006. However, this new brand of partisanship takes things a step further. It is not that Richard Morgan lost his idealogical way, nor is he a bad Republican. In fact, I would not be surprised to learn that Morgan was responsible (directly or indirectly) for the lowering of income and state taxes in our most recent budget. However, what he did do was to place his own personal goals above that of his party.

Often, when someone places themself above their party we say that it is bad (like Joementum), but in this case, Morgan's goal was not just one of power, but of a wish to actually make a change in our state. I believe that the ability of Black and Morgan to work together has been very good for our state, and has proved that good policy can win over partisan fights.

Art Pope seeks to tear this all down. His goal is to make every vote within the legislature either unanimous or along party lines, in the ultimate hope that a few democrats will break ranks every once in a while. His goal is not to implement positive public policy. His goal is not to make North Carolina a better place to live and work in.

So, how has he sought to achieve these goals? Well, he has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to destroy those who have been most public about their support for reaching across party lines. He has very clearly made illegal contributions, and created illegal ads, which follow neither the letter nor the spirit of the law. Although he might be getting into trouble because of it, the bigger concern that we must have is for the future of this state.

While Morgan was in power it was standard operating procedure for Republicans and Democrats in the house to work together to solve the problems that face this state. This bipartisanship has lead to one of the best budgets ever passed by this state. In January, regardless of what happens in November, this state will be in less capable hands. I say that because without Black and Morgan working together, members of both parties will have less of an incentive to work together.

We must not only reject the efforts of Art Pope. We must not only say that he is a bad man. We must not only hope that he is prosecuted for his efforts. We must do everything in our power to make sure that those who show up to work in January reach across party lines to find solutions that will benefit the poor AND businesses. Solutions that will benefit both hunters AND gun control advocates. Anything else means that he has won, even if he spends 5 years in jail for it.

Please excuse the length, I got on a role. As a disclaimer: These are my thoughts and not those of Lyndon Helton's (since I work for him).


Well said.

This hits the nail on the head. It really is a question of what the political landscape of our state will look like in the future. Art Pope is a Mini-Karl Rove in every sense of the word. Ruthless and partisan in the extreme, hell-bent on shredding common ground in pursuit of a fringe agenda.

I hope the middle ground will re-emerge, but I am not optimistic. The middle has been pulled so far to the center, that the only practical response (for me anyway) is to push back hard and relentlessly.

be careful

Be careful in HOW you push back. Progressive politics has to push back with a message of cooperation for common goals. "Place our children before our party politics." That sort of thing. We dont want to play into his hands by "purging" our party or doing something silly like that.

Lyndon Helton for NC Senate

"Keep the Faith"

Not sure I agree

My own view is that "cooperation for common goals" has been the big driver of our nation's inexorable slide to the right. By playing nice with extremists on the right and looking for common ground with them, the center has become an unrecognizable muddle that's no longer in the middle. And the progressive voice has been muted along the way.

I see my job as pushing back hard and constantly with the media and with elected officials so that all the good-hearted common grounders will look reasonable by comparison.


i disagree

I think that some Republicans have their hearts in the right place. I really do. Should we work with the crazies? HELL NO!
But, I honestly believe that the majority of Americans (on both sides of the aisle) want to see our children taken care of and our country better stronger and safer. We just disagree on HOW that should be done, and what those mean.
And yes, I do think that the "how" and "what" matters, I think those are very very very important. But the children are our future.

Lyndon Helton for NC Senate

"Keep the Faith"

Which Republicans would you work with?

George Bush
Dick cheney
Donald Rumsfeld
Bill Frist
karl Rove
Dennis Hastert
Art Pope's puppets?

Right now, there are no Republicans worth working with, because there are no Republicans standing up and calling out their party. When an Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, or Lincoln emerges from the Republican party, I'll be there with bells on.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

made my point

You completely made my point. People like Frist and Rove are not different from Art Pope. But, people like Richard Morgan ARE different. I dont think Richard Morgan is a great man, and I am sure I disagree with him on a lot of issues. But he was willing to work WITH democrats, setting him apart from people like Pope.

I dont think someone like Lincoln or Eisenhower is going to show up so long as #1 we allow people like Pope to work and #2 we keep saying "no republicans are worth our time"

Lyndon Helton for NC Senate

"Keep the Faith"


Maybe you are right. Maybe Richard Morgan did work with Democrats, but to what end? As far as I can see, that Legislature tried to pass tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations while also cutting medicaid.

Sounds Republican to me. Don't get me wrong, I no longer believe in working with Democrats who would support such a proposition either. That's one reason I am astonished at my own Senator, Ellie Kinnaird, who voted for these cuts. Going along with the flow at the expense of Progressive values is wrong, just absolutely wrong.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

We use to say Pope was a Jesse Helms lite

But now....well I think ol' "Uncle" Jesse may just be smiling from some place hot and smelly!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.


was that one sentence about royster or two? honestly. she talked for almost 2 hours and thats all they came up with. I know she did a lot of "I dont knows" but those were important if you paid attention. so frustrating. This is NOT a morgan vs pope issue. this is a pope did something highly illegal issue.

Lyndon Helton for NC Senate

"Keep the Faith"