The Insider is reporting this morning that Civitas Action, the explicitly political arm of the Pope Civitas Institute, has raised $264,889 for electoral activities according to filings with the State Board of Elections.
The group has already sent out mailers in the districts of House Speaker Joe Hackney and Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight criticizing the legislative leaders and plans more mailers in coming weeks.
You can guess where the money came from, $190,000 from Variety Wholesalers -- that's Art Pope's company, and the rest from Americans for Prosperity, where Pope is a director and major donor.
The Insider points out that Pope is also a major donor to the Civitas Institute itself, which is a bit of an understatement. The group's 2009 tax return reports $1.635 million in income for the year, with $1.620 million in contributions from the Pope Foundation.
Pope is also a major donor and board member of Real Jobs NC, a 527 group running misleading ads against Democrats, including one criticizing them for voting for a $25 million fishing pier that every Republican also supported.
The Insider quotes Civitas Executive Director Francis De Luca saying that he didn't think the election activities of Civitas Action would hurt the credibility of the Civitas Institute.
That's true. It simply confirms what we already knew.
Though Sen. Steve Goss and Rep. Cullie Tarleton aren't mentioned, they are major targets of the Art Pope drive-by money-mobile.