Civitas behind campaign to defund Medicaid

As you may know, the UK newspaper the Guardian is running a series on leaked documents from the American Legislative Exchange Council, the industry lobbying group that has pushed "model" extremist conservative legislation, including "stand your ground" gun laws, through many state houses.

In this installment, they discover that Art Pope's foundation Civitas developed a campaign to discredit Medicaid and sought monies through ALEC to implement it.

What's not quite right about this is that Civitas is officially an "educational" non-profit, not a lobbying organization, under IRS and campaign finance regulations. The Guardian is publishing the series, questioning whether this direct lobbying and advertising is illegal (lobbying organizations have to report on their activities and funding).

Also interesting - their language and talking points seem to have been coordinated with the McCrory administration.

Full story at the Institution for Souther Studies.

Pope keeps trying to distance himself from Civitas, but remember this little tidbit from the article:

Incorporated in 2005 and named for Pope's father, Civitas historically has gotten over 90 percent of its money from Pope's family foundation, which in turn is funded by the wealth from his Variety Wholesalers discount retail chain. Civitas is so reliant on Pope's money that the IRS classifies it as a "private foundation," a designation for nonprofits that rely on a sole benefactor.