Civitas Institute

Speaking truth to power

can still result in attempts to muzzle the speaker.

Gene Nichol is now required to warn UNC and add a disclaimer any time he writes something for publication.

Printed under the column were [Nichol's] name, his title as the Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor and this statement: “He doesn’t speak for UNC.”

Since late October, the disclaimer has appeared whenever Nichol, a provocative and prolific writer, pens a piece for the newspaper’s opinion pages.

According to email records obtained by the N&O, Nichol, a former dean and college president and well-known liberal, has also been asked by his bosses to give them a day or two days’ notice – a “heads up” before his columns appear

That's because Nichol speaks truth that the powerful don't want to hear. And some of the powerful react with indignation.

What's the role of Civitas in the Forsyth BOE decision on early voting sites?

The Winston-Salem Chronicle has the story on a recent meeting of the Forsyth Board of Elections where the Board approved a list of early voting sites that puts the majority of early voting polling places in white suburban parts of the county and only one in the city of Winston-Salem where the majority of voters reside.

Several residents also asked the board to extend the evening hours to allow for voting after normal business hours or expand the voting schedule on Saturday May 3, the only weekend voting option during the primary early voting schedule.

“It is my understanding that there’s only one Saturday voting time, and I would really appreciate it if the board would consider enlarging that,” said Charles Wilson. “…I want us to be fair to workers in particular. They need that extra day.”

Spotlight on extremist Forsyth BOE chair Ken Raymond

If you live in Forsyth, consider putting some pressure on the powers that be to get Forsyth Board of Elections Chair Ken Raymond removed from his post.

I missed this in the flurry of news coming from Raleigh, but Q-Notes published a piece about him in January.

After the Winston-Salem Chronicle in an editorial said Raymond "would be the result if Allen West and Herman Cain could produce a lovechild," he responsed to the newspaper with a diatribe against gays and lesbians. The Camel City Dispatch chimed in on Raymond's remarks.

Nance told qnotes that The Chronicle‘s response to Raymond’s actions is reflective of the feeling in the local African-American community and the larger Forsyth County community.

State Supreme Court Justice candidate sends out fundraising letter ... signed by Art Pope

NC Policy watch has the scoop on the black hole of Art Pope money influencing North Carolina elections.

First up, State Supreme Court Justice candidate Bob Hunter sent out a letter for an exclusive and expensive fundraising event signed by Art Pope, who just happens to currently serve as McCrory's Budget Director.

If elected, will Hunter excuse himself from cases involving the administration to avoid any conflict of interest?

And DHHS Secrety Aldona Wos has a connection to a Civitas fundraiser:

Puppet propaganda in the op-ed pages

Laying down covering fire during an election year:

If I wanted to keep poor people poor, there are several government policies I would favor.

For starters, I would advocate for a robust and ever-expanding welfare state. Programs like Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance, etc.? Perfect poverty traps.

I would recognize that a perfect recipe for keeping poor people poor is to create incentives that push them into decisions that prevent them from climbing out of poverty.

We can expect to see more of this tripe as the year unfolds. What Brian is trying (and so far failing) to do is deflect attention away from the realities of the recession, and put forward the idea that people are struggling because of their own choices. All they have to do is "want" to work and a good job will magically materialize for them. The truth is much more complex and disturbing:

Civitas criticizes scholar; scholars criticize Pope and Civitas

The McCrory administration is facing criticism from college faculty tonight because of a records request from the conservative Civitas Institute.

Faculty from private and public universities delivered a letter today to the governor and his budget director, Art Pope, asking the two men to condemn Civitas' request for emails and other records from UNC School of Law professor Gene Nichol.

--from WRAL.com's Mark Binker

from PPP Polling:

Faux-Libertarian uses the old "what are you afraid of?" excuse to justify invasion of privacy

The arrogance and hypocrisy is astounding:

“Surveilling a professor’s communications is a really troubling approach to protecting liberty,” the law professors wrote in a letter published Tuesday on the Chapel Hill News website and in the paper’s Wednesday print edition. “We deeply admire Gene Nichol’s commitment to protecting and speaking for the state’s poor and disempowered. The only comfort we take from this sorry request by Civitas is our confidence that it will increase his passion.”

“They’re all tenured law professors making big bucks, far more than I make,” De Luca said. “I don’t have any fancy degrees or anything. What are they scared of?”

Of course, we'll have to take your word for the difference in salaries, because the man pulling your strings doesn't make a habit out of releasing salary information on his puppets employees. But even if we knew, what the hell does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Are you saying the more money you make, the less your expectation of privacy should be? Because if that's the case, I think we should go ahead and submit FOIAs for all of Art Pope's communications since he's become a government bureaucrat. If he's done nothing wrong, he shouldn't be scared of that, right?

Civitas goin' fishing with Art Pope's money

The Tea Baggers at Civitas are at it again, this time it's a screw-you vendetta against Gene Nichol. All because Frannie Deluca can't take the heat of legitimate criticism. Poor baby.

NC legislature's agenda for higher ed reform

Since the NC legislature seems to be taking its marching orders from Art Pope's various and sundry foundations and "think" tanks, it always pays to keep an eye on what they're up to.

NC Policy Watch has a post containing a presentation that the Pope Center for Higher Education made at the annual gathering of the State Policy Network.

Expect these themes to emerge in the next legislative session or in discussions in the McCrory administration in coming months.

Notable among Shaw’s remarks include “there’s a lot of fat in higher ed budgets,” and that good policies are “frustrated by leftwing faculty.”

Meanwhile, an investigation into Koch political money laundering

Some of you might know that our McCrory appointed budget director (and "behind the scenes" actual Governor) Art Pope is one of the big donors for the Koch Brothers's group of political action groups, including Americans for Prosperity. Pope is so embedded with the Koch's that he's been called the "third Koch brother".

Seems all is not happy in Koch-land these days. Sean Noble, one of the chief fundraisers for the Koch political empire, has been let go by the Scrooge Brothers. He's under investigation for money laundering political contributions according to the Huffington Post:

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