Art Pope

John Fennebresque
Dave DeWitt

Tom Ross was an unlikely UNC President from the outset. He had a long career as a superior court judge, with shorter stints as president of Davidson College and head of the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation.

This morning, when he faced reporters after it was announced that he would be leaving his job – or, as the Board of Governors’ statement put it, they would “begin the process of leadership transition” – Ross looked shocked and disappointed.

Photo of Former State of Things Producer Meghan Modafferi and Producer Anita Rao try out sitting on the other side of the glass in "host attire" on Meghan's last day.
Jorge Valencia

As 2014 comes to a close, The State of Things producer Anita Rao takes a look back at some of her favorite segments from the show this year. 

  

Gerry Cohen is probably the most important North Carolina politician you don't know.

Art Pope To Step Down As State Budget Director

Aug 6, 2014
Art Pope
artpope.com

Noted North Carolina politician and businessman, Art Pope, is leaving his position as State Budget Director. The move comes one week after lawmakers agreed to a revised $21 billion budget.

In a press conference Wednesday, Governor Pat McCrory praised Pope for his work in shepherding the budget through negotiations.

"We couldn't have done it without Art Pope, and his cooperation with my cabinet, with my policy team, with the House and Senate leaders," McCrory said. "It wouldn't have happened without his incredible relationship building and knowledge of the state budget."

NC Senate committee
Jessica Jones

Governor McCrory and leaders in the state House are trying to speed up budget negotiations, but without much success so far. They’ve introduced a bill that’s a kind of mini-budget to give teachers 5 percent raises in case House and Senate leaders can’t agree on a comprehensive spending plan. But the biggest sticking point in the negotiations is over Medicaid. Thursday morning, State Budget Director Art Pope appeared before a Senate Finance Committee to answer senators’ questions.

Host Frank Stasio and NC Budget Director Art Pope
Anita Rao / WUNC

In 2012, Governor Pat McCrory selected Art Pope to serve as the state’s budget director.

Pope has a long history in North Carolina politics and government. The attorney and businessman served in the legislature before launching several charitable organizations and think tanks centered on libertarian principles.

Bill Moyers and Company

Bill Moyers takes an in-depth look at the changing political climate here in North Carolina this week in a new documentary, State of Conflict: North Carolina.

State of Conflict: North Carolina from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

Here's how Moyers frames the story:

Photo: Rev. William Barber of the N.C. NAACP called for pickets outside Rose and Maxwell stores, which are owned by the family of state Budget Director Art Pope.
Jorge Valencia

An accidental debate between state budget director Art Pope and state NAACP President Rev. William Barber this month was a rare chance encounter between two of the best known conservative and liberal voices in state politics.

The setting was familiar: Rev. Barber has been publicly railing for months against laws passed by North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature, and on Dec. 2 he called a news conference to criticize Pope in front of his offices in the state Administration Building.

Photo: Rev. William Barber of the N.C. NAACP called for pickets outside Rose and Maxwell stores, which are owned by the family of state Budget Director Art Pope.
Jorge Valencia

The Rev. William Barber, who led weekly protests this year against laws passed by North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature, gathered with a few of his supporters Monday outside the state budget office to criticize a man they say supports policies that hurt poor people.

NC General Assembly

State lawmakers in Raleigh held a meeting Tuesday to discuss moving funding from some non-profit groups to the state Department of Commerce. The joint oversight commission included an update on the shrinking of the state’s Rural Economic Development Center, a formerly powerful organization that provided grants to rural areas. Most of the center’s assets are in the process of shifting to the Department of Commerce.