Art Pope = Karl Rove + Jack Abramoff

It's hard these days to keep up with all the crooks and liars in politics. But keep up we must, even when it can seem overwhelming. Many of us are focused on 2006 Congressional races, especially here in North Carolina where we have an excellent chance to oust two ethically challenged Republicans, Charles Taylor and Robin Hayes. Our progressive grassroots community swarmed in full force during the May primaries and we are poised to make November 7 a day to remember.


But the threat to democracy of these two corrupt Congressmen pales in comparison to the illegal activities of the man who would be king here of the Old North State, Mr. Art Pope. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but I assure you, it is not. Over the next week, I am going to make the sobering case that a quiet coup is underway in North Carolina. Based on filings submitted to the State Board of Elections, you will learn that:

1. Art Pope created a 527 organization called the Republican Legislative Majority (RLM)of North Carolina, Inc.
2. That the activities of RLM have been funded by channeling money from Art Pope’s business, Variety Wholesalers.
3. That RLM engaged in illegal electioneering during North Carolina’s May primaries, pouring more than $600,000 into three legislative races, subverting both the letter and the intention of state and federal law.
4. That RLM illegally coordinated its activities with Republican candidates in those primary races.
5. That the May primaries were a pilot program Art Pope used to refine his illegal electioneering model.
6. That members of the State Board of Elections are dragging their feet in responding to formal complaints filed by Richard Morgan (one of the people Pope’s corporate money helped defeat in the May primaries).
7. That Art Pope has mobilized his empire in a full-court press to defend his illegal actions.

For those of you who might prefer a simpler version of the story, it is this:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Art Pope is contaminating North Carolina politics with the sleaze and corruption of corporate money, just as is the national Republican Party. He seeks to polarize the legislature and the electorate, destroy common ground, punish those who reach across the aisle, and subvert the will of the people.

But here’s the great irony. If Art Pope were doing all this with his own personal money, we’d have no basis to complain. His personal intervention in North Carolina races would be legal. The problem, though, is that Art Pope is the poor cousin of the Pope family and doesn’t really have that kind of money. The Pope family money is all tied up in his daddy’s foundation and in his retail businesses. But that hasn’t stopped Art. He’s redirecting foundation money and corporate profits to build his empire – and will apparently stop at nothing to get his way. He’s already spending $200,000 a month of daddy’s money (that we know of) to promote his free-market fantasies, and now he’s hell-bent on buying the legislature, too.

There is so much wrong with this picture that it’s hard to know where to start. Over the next week, I’ll be laying out the gory details. In the meantime, here’s the first and most important thing you can do. Contact the North Carolina State Board of Elections and encourage them to schedule hearing on the complaint currently before them (attached below).

Mailing Address: PO Box 27255, Raleigh, NC 27611-7255
Main Number: (919) 733-7173
E-Mail: Elections & Voting - elections.sboe@ncmail.net

Board Members:

Larry Leake (D) 828-253-3661
Lorraine Shinn (R) 252-758-6534
Charles Winfree (R) 236-273-8998
Genevieve Sims (D) 919-834-7775
Robert Cordle (D) 704-444-3500

Until the SBOE takes action to dismiss or hold hearings, the illegal influence of corporate money hangs like a sword over the head of North Carolina’s democracy. But please be nice when you contact them. The SBOE is a volunteer board that is caught between a rock and a hard place. They’re stretched thin and have huge pressures from the Pope machine to dismiss the complaint.

* * * * *

The essence of Art Pope’s defense is that his corporate money wasn’t used to influence a particular legislative race. He freely admits he used corporate money, but argues that is was “issue” advocacy and was not part of a concerted effort to affect any particular candidate.

That’s not how it looks to me (see attached mailer for a slightly better view. Sorry for the poor quality):


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Comments

Good one A

I'm working on a piece to add to the Pope pileup. It isn't really about Art Pope, but I do invoke his name. Hopefully, tomorrow.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Lance, need some help

When I attach the SBOE petition as a PDF, it keeps disappearing when I save the post. This is a problem because I have literally scores of attachments I need to get in play.

And technical support you can offer would be much appreciated.

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We are not amused.

Anglico...when that happens to me

I go back to old posts and delete attachments. I think there is a limit to how many each account can have. Give this a shot and see if it works. That's what has worked for me.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Thanks, SD.

It worked, but we need an ongoing fix. This is the first of scores of attachments I'll be posting with the intention of making a permanent record. The SBOE filings are fascinating and they're all going to see the light of day here at BlueNC. We'll find out if the Puppetmaster can stand the light of day.

More important, people who are taking his money, people like Joe Boylan, are every bit as corrupt as Charles Taylor when he takes Abramoff money. If you're a North Carolina politician who is getting help from Art Pope, you might want to start distancing yourself, because you are in league with a crook . . . and everyone is going to know about it.

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We are not amused.

No second attachment

Nevermind. I can't get the mailer posted as an attachment and am grinding my teeth in frustration. I'll come back later when I've calmed down and see what I can do to fix things.

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We are not amused.

don't bother

the sboe isn't going to stop art pope, not in your lifetime anyway. and before this case works its way through the courts, pope will already own the legislature, which he almost does already. you just don't get it. no one gives a shit about this besides a few bloggers. the truth is simple. the white boys for bidness and industry that run north carolina like things just how they are. the last thing they want is honest citizens interfering in their wacko version of democracy.

Thanks

Just the kind of encouragement I need.

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We are not amused.

Anglico your work is getting noticed

The Charlotte Observer has now had two or three articles on the puppet master since you started this. I've never seen them write about him before. Trasparency is good. People can't care about things they don't know about or don't understand. Keep it up.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

I needed that.

I actually think "anonymous" is more right than I would like to admit. Certainly among politicians, I see little evidence of anyone really being upset with the Pope machine.

But don't worry. I'm not letting up. This has turned into David and Goliath for me. Art Pope's mountain of money won't mean shit when public opinion turns. It won't be long before regular people hear the name Art Pope and think Jack Abramoff and Karl Rove, with a little Tom Delay thrown in for that extra bitter sensation.

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We are not amused.

It has started sweetie...even within his own party

I'm going to post my piece tomorrow, but I might email it to you later when I'm finished. I have to finish cleaning this office before my allergies take me down. Too much dust!



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Art's thug jumps A!

the last thing they want is honest citizens interfering in their wacko version of democracy.* Art's evil twin

Thanks Anglico said,

Just the kind of encouragement I need.

Don't worry Anglico! When Art's evil twin attacks you,
that means you are getting to the " Main Man"

Why would some dude spent his time on a Sunday afternoon
chasing a so-called left wing blog in his opinion that didn't mean nothing in
politics.?

Sorry I'm late to the party

SD, I'm thinking that deleting the old attachments is a red herring. I've experienced this upload problem before, and I've yet to determine the unifying factor among the failures. When I keep at it, I eventually get the upload going, but I can't figure out what thing I'm doing that makes it work. When this happens, try saving the post without the attachment, then re-opening it for editing and attaching it.

Here's what I do when I get frustrated: I use ftp. SD and A, I'd be glad to set you up with the ftp password and some free ftp software. This will let you upload the files directly to the server without going through BlueNC.

Lance, I've done all of that

When I delete old photos/attachments the new ones load 100% of the time. Maybe it is coincidental.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Maybe not; I'm really not sure

I'm thinking of the time I was helping someone with this problem and I tried increasing their disk-space quota and it didn't help. Maybe there are multiple problems conspiring to confuse us.

I know...that was me

I remember that far back. The senility hasn't quite taken every brain cell, yet. :) I don't know why it works, but it does. Something else must be accomplished when those attachments are deleted.

I'm going to tip toe away now and get back to work.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Please recommend at Kos

Thanks.

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We are not amused.

Where is Drama Queen?

I saw her recommend at dKos. Where has she been? I've been worried about her.

Here is my proposed headline for my story....you think I will be accused of "freaking out" by Ed Cone...heheh

Republicans Kiss and Make Up While Art Pope Screws us All



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Dem, About DQ......

I conversed with DQ by e mail last night and I think mabie this morning too. She has just been a touch under the weather plus haveing a production going on so other than being busy She has probally felt terrable with whatever it is that has her under the weather.
Dan

Thanks for letting me know

I sent her an email just a few minutes ago. I've been worried about her. Glad you're back, though.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

I sent her an email too

At least she'll have lots of well-wishing...

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Hypocrisy on 527s and Issue Advocacy

Do I detect a little bit of hypocrisy here at BlueNC.?

Yesterday Angilco went on a rant against Art Pope for funding, with full public disclosure, a 527, the Republican Legislative Majority of NC (RLM), that did issue advocacy highlighting the legislative records of Republicans, such Richard Morgan, that voted for and with the corrupt Democratic Speaker Jim Black.

Angilco ignores the fact that both Richard Morgan and Jim Black had used 527s in North Carolina before RLM was ever formed, that Art Pope and his allies were simply fighting fire with fire. And of course the national grand daddy of 527s is left wing George Soros, who among other groups supported a 527 called the Republican Mainstreet Partnership.

Now, LGBT is starting a Section 527, the NC Advocacy Coalition, and that is called “great news.”

So I guess BlueNC progressives really are not against all 527s and issues advocacy in general. They are fine as long as they are used to support progressive issues and Democrats. It is only when Art Pope and conservatives use them that they are bad? I can just see it that if the progressives ever were to get in power, they would then say that only good progressive candidates are entitled to public campaign financing, and the bad conservatives just need to stuff their first amendment free speech rights up their (expletives deleted.)

SocratesGOP

Socrates, don't spam

We appreciate your comments (well I do, anyway), but it isn't necessary to post the same comment on multiple threads.

Socrates, you need a little history lesson

. . . either that or a new name. Because "Socrates" implies a certain wisdom that is hard to find in this whiny little post.

What happened with 527s in the old days of Jim Black and Richard Morgan is irrelevant today. And if you kept up with election reform law, you'd know that. Through a series of campaign finance laws and court cases, it is clear in 2006 that it is a crime to funnel corporate money into elections. Art Pope can do all the "issue" advertising he wants, but when he throws Morgan's name into the mix and interferes in actual races, it's electioneering. And when he coordinates his activities with candidates, it's electioneering. Period. End of discussion.

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We are not amused.

A Minor leaque puppet trys to make the move up to the Majors

the bad conservatives just need to stuff their first amendment free speech rights up their (expletives deleted.)*SocratesGOP

Sock puppet! You are out of your leaque here trying to defend your
worshipful master Art. Stick to your tuft or apply for a course on
Real Constitutional principles and the Bill of Rights.