The largest super-organism on the planet is a fungus found in the Malheur National Forest in Oregon. It underlies some 2,200 acres. Art Pope is something like that fungus. He founded the right-wing "think tank," the John Locke Foundation, which pumps out "studies" that consistently prove that government regulation of corporations is evil, that welfare for the non-rich is a cancer on society, and -- most recently -- that "green power" from wind and solar is a threat to liberty. The John Locke Foundation runs its own magazine, The Carolina Journal, and at least six different blogs around the state. Ole Whatisname, who's running against Cullie Tarleton for the N.C. House, was actually a salaried employee of the John Locke Foundation, helping to produce such bilge.
Other "fruiting" arms of the Pope fungi include the John William Pope Foundation (named for Art's father), the John William Pope Civitas Institute (which handles a polling operation that has been very active in the field for Soucek and Whatisname), and the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law, which handles lawsuits which seek to advance the Art Pope vision by challenging laws that hobble big corporations.
Art Pope is a director of the right-wing group Americans for Prosperity, which organized the Tax Day Tea Parties across the country and the "town hall" opposition to health care reform in 2009. He had a big hand in the take-over of the Wake County School Board last fall, and is now a major bankroller of Real Jobs NC, which is trying to knock off Cullie Tarleton and Steve Goss (and several other Democrats in the General Assembly).
Tarleton and Goss have been targeted by a high-dollar campaign of push-polling, TV ads, and a flood of direct mail because they represent districts with many low-information voters easily stampeded (the Pope fungi believe) by distortions and lies.
What is Art Pope for?
Art Pope heads Americans for Prosperity, whose parent organization, Citizens for a Sound Economy, supported legislation to normalize China's trade relationship with the United States, according to Real Facts NC. North Carolina has lost at least 95,100 jobs due to unfair trade with China since 2001, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Americans for Prosperity strenuously opposed the recent Wall Street financial reforms which attempt to strengthen consumer protection and stop future bailouts by preventing the kind of shenanigans that led to the recent financial crisis ... reforms which Art Pope apparently finds a threat to life as he's known it.
Art Pope has long been critical of public education and supports vouchers and "school choice," which is exactly what his new Wake County School Board is now attempting to deliver in the form of a giant wrecking ball.
Pope also naturally supports the privatization of Social Security and phasing out Medicare in keeping with the Pope philosophy that any "welfare" programs just coddle the poor and hamstring the rich.
This is the man to whom Dan Soucek and Whatisname will owe their fealty if they're elected to the N.C. General Assembly.