The Washington Post reports:

Art Pope, a prominent financier of conservative think tanks who served as North Carolina’s state budget director for the last 19 months, is stepping down from his post at the end of the summer. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory announced Wednesday that Pope was leaving to resume his work in the private sector.

As state budget director, Pope played a singular role in North Carolina – as the architect of a network of conservative advocacy groups who was working inside a Republican-led government that he had helped remake. His wide-ranging influence has made him a politically charged figure in the state. Democrats argued that Pope has used his post to promote his personal politics. Pope and his allies rejected that, saying his work in government was just another chapter in a career of public service. He previously served for four terms as a state legislator.

Sock-puppet Gov. Pat McCrory may have his work cut out for him come this fall, governating without Pope's steady hand and large purse filling his administration.

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