Right-wing donors like the Koch brothers and Art Pope rail against the use of public money to level the campaign finance playing field. But their use of nonprofit charities -- which benefit from government subsidies -- for political activities is coming under growing scrutiny.
This week Brave New Foundation hosted the world premiere of its documentary film "Koch Brothers Exposed," which shows how the billionaire brothers who head the Koch Industries oil and chemical conglomerate have built their wealth by using their money to manipulate the political process.
Tara Servatius, a leading blogger for the John Locke Foundation who resigned today over a racially offensive picture she posted to the group's Charlotte, N.C. blog, said in a statement today that she is "genuinely sorry" the photo "has caused controversy for the John Locke Foundation." Servatius also said there was "nothing offensive" about the blog post, and that she "didn't think about the racial implications of the picture," which showed President Obama sitting next to a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
This morning, the president of the John Locke Foundation, John Hood, apologized on his Facebook page for a picture on their website that showed President Obama in drag with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Hood also said in his Facebook comments that controversial blogger , who posted the picture and ran the blog's "Meck Deck" Twitter feed, has resigned from the Locke Foundation.
The Meck Deck, an official blog of the Art Pope-funded conservative John Locke Foundation, this week published racially-charged and homophobic imagery of President Obama in a piece this on the president's opposition to North Carolina's proposed anti-gay marriage amendment. The post, which claims Obama is merely pandering to gay voters, is accompanied by an image of Obama in apparent drag while sitting next to a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
In recent days, a marketing campaign launched by the Pope Civitas Institute and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation began claiming that last year’s state budget -- which cut taxes on the wealthiest while slashing funds for vital public investments -- actually increased teacher positions in North Carolina. The following facts from the NC Budget & Tax Center are designed to help all North Carolinians understand the issues surrounding the budget as well as the numbers behind the budget claims.
This week two of the pillars of the Art Pope Empire*, the Civitas Institute and Americans for Prosperity, launched a new website, N.C. Real Solutions, and produced a television ad that tries to defend the budget decisions on education, most prominently by claiming that the Republicans added state funding for 2,000 more teachers. Don’t buy it. The actual numbers tell a different story.
Amount that the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and its affiliated foundation spent over the last two years attacking Democratic candidates and initiatives including the new health care law and climate legislation: $90 million
Amount that AFP received in 2010 from the John William Pope Foundation, headed by North Carolina discount-retail magnate and conservative benefactor Art Pope, who is one of AFP's four directors: $1.6 million
A "Values Bus Tour" organized by religious right leaders to mobilize for a North Carolina amendment against gay marriage kicks off Saturday, March 3 at a conference organized by the Art Pope-funded Civitas Institute. The state-wide tour, which will include education and a voter registration drive, is sponsored by two national groups, the Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation, both of which receive money from Art Pope's foundation, as well as VoteFORMarriageNC.com.
A joint investigation into North Carolina multimillionaire Art Pope's political empire by Facing South and the Independent Weekly was honored by the N.C. Press Association this week. The investigation, which appeared in a special March 2011 edition of The Independent, won second place for Investigative Reporting in its division.