Variety Wholesalers

The failed canonization of Art Pope

Executive sings the praises of his boss:

Mr. Etheridge failed to present a full picture of charitable giving by Art Pope and the John William Pope Foundation. In addition to supporting public policy nonprofits, which seek to enhance prosperity for all people, the Pope Foundation devotes millions to humanitarian charities, such as soup kitchens, medical missions, food banks and homeless shelters.

In October, the Pope Foundation gave $15,000 to Food Bank of the Albemarle to help those struggling to make ends meet in Elizabeth City. One of the foundation’s core focus areas is to meet the immediate needs of men, women and children in our communities.

Bolding mine, because it's the most outrageous lie in the article. JLF and Civitas advocate for a very exclusive subset of the population, a subset that already controls an inordinate percentage of the country's wealth, and they couldn't give a rat's ass about all the rest. As far as the food bank donation, the draconian cuts to unemployment and the horrific mishandling of food stamp applications, both of which can be laid at the feet of Art Pope, have emptied the shelves of food banks across the entire state. So you'll excuse me if I'm not impressed that he scribbled off a check to them. This doesn't impress me either:

Variety Wholesalers picket campaign continues this week

Via email from the good Reverend:

Throughout the holiday season, the NC NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement will hold statewide informational pickets outside of Budget Director Art Pope-owned stores. This campaign will shine a light on NC Budget Director Art Pope's support and influence on the extremist and regressive direction of North Carolina public policy. These policies hurt the very people who shop and work at the stores he owns.

During the second week of the campaign, four pickets will be held in cities across the state: Durham, Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Winston-Salem. Information about the time and location of these events can be found below.

Attention shoppers!

From Roses with no bloom? Art Pope's new store:

Roses typically targets poor and minority communities as its consumers.

And critics of Pope, who happens to be Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget director, contend that this administration in general, and Pope in particular, has targeted poor and minority communities with a variety of policies: cutting jobless benefits, refusing Medicare expansion payments, pushing more restrictive voting policies that disproportionately affect minorities.

Statewide and even beyond, there have been calls for boycotts of Pope’s stores, which include Maxway and Roses.

Closer to home, the Carolina Peacemaker sounded the same call.

Wrote the local African American weekly’s editor, Afrique Kilimanjaro, in an Aug. 29 column:

Variety Wholesalers boycott going regional?

Art Pope knows his business like the back of his hand. He knows the people he sells to have few choices, as do the people he employs. He exploits that position each and every day, profiting from the poor and then using those profits to exploit them even more.

Many have tried to initiate boycotts against Variety Wholesalers stores over the years, including yours truly. Maybe those efforts will be more successful now that Art Pope's North Carolina has attracted so much national attention.

Art Pope spins until he gets dizzy

The defacto Governor caught with his ideological pants down:

In several interviews this month, Pope said he did not think the Rural Center grant had any effect on the lease terms – and he suggested his company did not know about the Rural Center’s aid as the deal came together. “There was no knowledge and no involvement of how the work was done on that (shopping) center owned by the developer and where his source of funding came from,” Pope said.

As I've mentioned before, in many cases, rural development projects simply won't happen in the absence of government grants, and this one is no different. There's nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with a man who would take advantage from that and then lie about it to save his much-lauded Libertarian reputation:

Sunday thinking: Bargaintown

In the wake of Governor Pope's inauguration yesterday, editorial writers across the state are wondering aloud just what we can expect from the new regime. Readers of BlueNC don't need to wonder at all. We know exactly what North Carolina can expect. Our state is being methodically recrafted into a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mr. Pope's sprawling retail empire: Variety Wholesalers.

It doesn't take much intellect to understand the principles of slum merchandising. One need only look at Pope's proven business model.

Got boycotts?

There's a storm a' brewing in the heart of America these days, a welcome push back by the 99% against a cabal of greedy robber barons. From exploitative companies like Papa Johns and Applebee's to North Carolina's own insidious Variety Wholesalers, regular people are at long last voting with their pocketbooks.

Have you made any personal commitments to steer clear of certain merchants as part of your political activism? If so, please shout 'em out in the comments below. Over the next week, I'll capture all entries in a thread to make it easy for your to share and track who the bad guys are.

Art Pope's money for nothing

Art Pope spends a lot of money to complain about how much money the government is taking away from him. It would seem odd then that when the government is taking good care of his money and wants to give it back to him he doesn't seem to want it back.

The Art Pope boycott continues


NC teachers calls for re-energizing the boycott of Art Pope's store. Good timing.

The North Carolina Association of Educators is calling on shoppers to boycott stores owned by conservative powerbroker Art Pope this holiday season. The teachers are targeting stores in Pope's Variety Wholesalers retail chain, which includes Roses and Maxway, in response to what they call his "anti-public education" policies.

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