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Opinion Letters Are We Becoming Art Pope Puppets?

Have you sold your soul and don’t even know it? Jim Davis personally told me that Art Pope (the Raleigh multimillionaire) and his family had made only a small contribution of $4000 to his campaign. Davis said he certainly wasn’t going to be influenced or controlled by such a small amount of money. According to the Federal Election commission the Pope family members actually contributed $16,000 directly to Davis campaign. What Davis neglected to mention was that Pope actually spent $265,666 on ads attacking Senator John Snow through his tax-exempt, supposedly non-partisan groups like Civitas Action and Real Jobs. Since getting elected Davis has voted consistently for virtually every one of the policies supported by Art Pope. These polices are in favor of wealthy millionaires like Pope himself, and hurt middle class citizens through cuts to public education and public universities. Art Pope must be thinking that his money was well spent.

But what is worse is one of our local newspapers has done virtually nothing to inform our citizens about this travesty of outside influence from special interest groups controlling our elections. When I first came to WNC in 1978 the editor of the Franklin Press was Bob Sloan. He reflected the values of the people living here: honesty, fairness, and independence. There is no doubt in my mind that he would have had articles and editorials about who Art Pope is and how he through his tax-exempt supposedly non-partisan groups that he has formed and funded is buying control of our government right here in WNC. Instead of exposing this power and influence over local elections by the multimillionaire from Raleigh, the Franklin Press is actually running on a regular basis a syndicated column by the John Locke Foundation. Art Pope founded this group and over 80% of the funding comes from Art Pope. So now not only is our elected representative an Art Pope puppet, but even [one of] our local paper[s] is trying to make all of us into puppets for Art Pope. Do you really want to be an Art Pope Puppet?

Dr. Ed Morris


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