As has been reported here since November, Republicans will be in charge of NC starting January 05th, 2013. Governor Elect Pat McCrory, the former Mayor of Charlotte will take over in Raleigh, the state capital.
Pat McCrory announced the direction of his administration on Thursday, when he introduced Art Pope as the new deputy budget directory for the State. According to the NC Constitution, the Governor is the Director of the State Budget. But, it is clear, Art Pope will be the man in Charge.
The current transition administration of Pat McCrory is led by right winger and Pope Civitas Institute Thomas Stith. The Civitas Institute is entirely funded by Pope's foundation.
Who is Art Pope? What is his agenda? Follow me below ...
Art Pope co-founded the Libertarian Party of North Carolina in the 1970s. Pope was first elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1988 to represent House District 61. He served four complete or partial terms in office, winning elections in 1988 and 1990, being appointed to fill a vacancy in 1999 and winning another election in 2000.
Pope is a millionaire discount store chain owner. He is the state's single largest donor and a founding board member of the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity. He has spent more than $40 million in the last 10 years pushing his far-right agenda on North Carolina and financing politicians who will carry it out. His attempt to take over the Wake County schools was well documented on CNN and other media.
Pope has spent years building a massive conservative infrastructure in the state in the mold of the national network funded by the billionaire Koch brothers. He has built think tanks, funded scholarship programs for conservatives, founded the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity and, in the past four years, pumped more than $3 million into political campaigns that have successfully flipped the state's government into full control of the most conservative elements of the state Republican Party.
What is to expect from Pat McCrory and Art Pope in the next 4 years?
Here is a Preview. I will try to summarize it a little bit.
"The budget priorities of those folks are: eliminate early childhood programs, privatize public schools with vouchers, slash services to Medicaid recipients, turn Medicare into a voucher program, gut the remaining environmental protections in North Carolina. I mean, you just go down the list, it's just the libertarian, and to some extent the Tea Party agenda right down the line," said Chris Fitzsimon, the founder and executive director of the progressive non-profit North Carolina Public Policy Watch.The policies Fitzsimon lists come from the ideas pronounced by Pope's think tanks. These include eliminating the state's Smart Start early education program, getting rid of the state's income and corporate tax rates, cutting spending on public schools and universities, opposition to urban rail transit and repealing the state's renewable energy standards. Fracking, off-shore drilling, Voter ID laws, are also on the Agenda of Pat McCrory.
Gerrymandering has made NC Assembly very safe for Republicans in the years to come. The Pathetic state of the Democratic Party in NC doesn't help either.
Some of us thought Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania had it bad because of who they elected in 2009 and 2010 ... well, I won't be surprised to see NC in the headlines of the National Media in the coming years.
Stay tuned !!!