I wish I had a dollar for every time a Democrat has told me over the last decade: “We need something like a John Locke Foundation.”
Democrats don’t, because they don’t have an Art Pope: somebody who puts his money – big money – where his convictions are.
You know he’s made it big when the N&O anoints him on Page One as a one-man Republican equalizer. Wrote Rob Christensen:
“Pope’s influence is omnipresent this election season, with groups tied to Pope spending $2.1 million so far to influence the legislative races, according to state and federal campaign records filed in recent days.”
Pope’s network of organizations – the Locke Foundation (and its various publications and events), the Civitas Institute and Real Jobs NC – may deliver control of the legislature to the Republican Party.
It’s the most powerful political organization the state has seen since the Congressional Club that Carter, Tom Ellis and Jesse Helms built.
Democrats are whining about Pope. As Christensen wrote, “For Democrats, this is a case of one of the richest men in the state trying to buy the legislature.”
But there are plenty of rich Democrats who could counter Pope. They haven’t.
I don’t like Pope’s politics. But I respect what he’s done. Maybe – just as we woke up in the 1990s to the need to counter the Congressional Club – Democrats will wake up now and get to work.