James Arthur "Art" Pope (born May 5, 1956) is a North Carolina politician, businessman, attorney and philanthropist. In January 2013, he became Budget Director for North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (who officially calls Pope his "deputy budget director" because, he said, the Governor himself is the state's Budget Director). At the time, he was serving as CEO and board chairman of Variety Wholesalers, Inc and president and chairman of the John William Pope Foundation. According to the News and Observer, Pope "has invested millions in a network of foundations and think tanks, and advocacy groups, both in North Carolina and nationally, that are designed to further conservative and free market ideas." He has supported organizations including Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, of whose board he is a member; the John Locke Foundation (which he co-founded); and the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.
Yes, I'm sure that you've already guessed that he makes that money off of people getting LESS than 40 hours a week at Minimum Wage....all the better to afford to do what the REST of this story will illustrate...
Via lots of muckraking political advertising directed at the state's all-too-many unemployed (5th highest unemployment rate in the entire country), desperate low-information-voters in these "Sea-of Red" districts, the state was bought for the Koch Brothers' "Man In North Carolina".
Pope-Powered political groups accounted for 75% of independent spending in the 2010 political races. However, just like those awful ginsu-knife commercials used to say:
"WAIT..!! There's MORE!"
In 2012...Ol' Art bought hisseff a GOVERNOR...!!! Made easier by the freshly minted, gold-plated gerrymandering job The Minions of Art Pope had done in the previous term, in 2012 Pope and his Koch-Connections threw down $2,2 million MORE on THAT election, installing a Republican supermajority in the General Assembly, and Governor Pat McCrory who already had had the nick-name "Myers Park Pat", that moniker inspired by the name of the wealthiest neighborhood in Charlotte NC.
You might've heard what the RESULT of his Vile DoucheBaggery has accomplished via the news outlet of your choice, anywhere in the country by now.
Now, Art Pope is the Budget Director for North Carolina, the highest "appointed" office the state government has. No complaining, he bought it fair 'n' SQUARE.
Using the ventriloquist's dummy metaphor, Art Pope has his hand up so MANY of the state's currently elected legislators, as well as "Myers Park Pat" in the Governor's office, that he could scratch their heads from INSIDE their collective SKULLS.
Just like his buddies the Koch Brothers could do to ART POPE'S SKULL. He's REAL tight with THOSE TWO.
Put it THIS way...the Washington Post opinion article I cited from their June 11th issue from THIS year was entitled "The Third Koch 'brother' hits North Carolina".
Pope believes that wealth is the just reward for talent and hard work, and that all Americans have a fair chance at success. Using Michael Jordan and rock stars as examples, he said, “Why should they be deprived of that money—why is that unfair?” He said, “I’m not envious of the wealth that Bill Gates has,” and added, “America does not have an aristocracy or a plutocracy.” Citing I.R.S. data, and the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans, he said that “wealth creation and wealth destruction is constantly happening. And, really, when you look at the lowest income, most of that is just simply a factor of age and marriage. If you’re young and single—and God forbid if you’re young and a single parent, and don’t have a high-school education—then your earnings will be low, and you’ll be in the bottom twenty per cent. But, usually, as people get older . . . they save and retain wealth, and work their way up.