The editorial page of the Raleigh News & Observer praised Deputy Budget Director Art Pope, who also serves as President and Chairman of the John William Pope Foundation, for raising "proper questions" about the University of North Carolina system's proposed $2.8 billion budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year: A stern cautionary note from state budget director Art Pope to the University of North Carolina system comes down to this: This is my second memo about the state budget. You guys must not have gotten the first one. Pope has sent UNC system officials back to the budget drawing board, and because he is viewed as the top adviser to Gov. Pat McCrory and the most influential person in the executive branch, the message will be received. Pope told university officials in a Feb. 28 memo that they’re asking for too much money. He noted that to satisfy the university system’s request for a budget increase of $288 million, or 11.3 percent, the state would have to make “major reductions” in other agencies, including the court system and public schools. He noted the state also has a major obligation with Medicaid, the health care system for the poor and disabled. The university system is seeking the money as the legislature readies to convene this spring to adjust the second year of its two-year budget. .... [It's] fair and appropriate for Pope to question the UNC system’s budget request. Peter Hans, chairman of the UNC system’s Board of Governors, gave exactly the right response in saying he and the board “welcome tough questions about how the university proposes to spend public dollars.” He said Pope was “doing what taxpayers should expect him to do."
Category: In The News
Two national articles have brought attention to the falsehoods in Bill Moyers' PBS documentary attacking the John William Pope Foundation. In the first, Paul Chesser writes in The American Spectator that Moyers failed to give a complete picture of foundation giving in North Carolina: ... while [Art] Pope’s giving has been significant, the notion that he has “bought” a state that was “for sale” is absurd. Had Moyers or Jane Mayer [author of a hit piece on Pope in 2011 in The New Yorker) ... sought to paint an accurate picture of North Carolina’s political scene, they would have reported that left-of-center foundations and donors fund their policy groups and candidates to a much greater extent than has Pope. Instead they excluded that information — intentionally. When Mayer pieced together her New Yorker report in 2011, she contacted John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation (and my employer until 2007). As Hood explained, Democrat legislative candidates in 2010 enjoyed a $2 million advantage in funding over their Republican counterparts — roughly $16 million to $14 million. Hood also said he informed Mayer that the largest grantmaker to NC public policy nonprofits is the Winston-Salem-based Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, which the previous year gave $6.7 million to liberal groups, compared to the Pope Foundation’s $5.7 million to the Locke Foundation, Civitas Institute, and other conservative nonprofits. And as the Pope Foundation pointed out in its rebuttal to the Moyers program, in 2011 alone Z. Smith Reynolds and other foundations gave between $10 million and $11 million to such groups, while the Pope Foundation — virtually alone in conservative grantmaking in the Tar Heel state — gave $5 million. “I provided Mayer with a list of the grant recipients and encouraged her to give her readers an accurate picture,” Hood wrote in October 2011. “She chose not to report any of these details… that speaks volumes.” In a second article, Jason Stverak of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity highlights the humanitarian charitable work of the Pope Foundation — charitable work entirely ignored by Moyers: Yet Pope’s work hardly stops at promoting free-market policy. Unlike many other policy-focused foundations, the John William Pope Foundation has been extraordinarily generous in helping the least fortunate among us. Under Art’s guidance, the Pope Foundation has spent more than $9 million in grants to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food banks and other charities aimed at giving the poor a hand up. Evident as the breadth and depth of Pope’s generosity may be, Moyers and his allies have done their best to muddle this picture and paint him as the big, bad wolf of North Carolina, accusing him of “buying” the state government through his foundation’s grants to free-market nonprofits. This claim is not only offensive ― as it implies that North Carolina’s voters blindly follow the work of political nonprofits without ever thinking over the issues themselves ― but entirely misleading, as the Pope Foundation spends considerably less in North Carolina than comparable left-leaning foundations. In fact, the state’s largest liberal foundation spent nearly twice as much as the Pope Foundation in 2011. It’s no surprise that Moyers conveniently excludes this tidbit, which alone debunks the idea that Pope has “bought” anything in the Tar Heel State.
Bill Moyers, through Moyers & Company, recently released a documentary titled “State of Conflict: North Carolina.” Broadcast through the PBS network on Jan. 3, the one-hour program falsely portrayed the charitable work of the John William Pope Foundation and of our Chairman and President, Art Pope. “State of Conflict: North Carolina” repeated the false claim that Art Pope and the Pope Foundation “bought” the state of North Carolina, mostly through giving to public policy nonprofits that advocate for common sense free-market reforms. Mr. Moyers presented nothing new in his documentary — in fact, he’s late to the party. Many left-wing operatives have hurled similar accusations for years. The claims have never stuck because they are entirely false. But Mr. Moyers doesn’t merely repeat a falsehood. Worse, he conceals the fact that the Pope Foundation is not the largest grantor to public policy groups in North Carolina. While the Pope Foundation gives around $5 million to conservative, free-market organizations in North Carolina each year, that number pales in comparison to the $10 million to $11 million given annually by left-wing foundations to progressive groups in the Tar Heel State. In 2011 alone, three progressive foundations gave generously to left-of-center, liberal groups in North Carolina: The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation ($9.2 million in grants), the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation ($614,000 in grants), and the A.J. Fletcher Foundation ($588,000 in grants). If North Carolina can indeed be bought, as Mr. Moyers and his allies claim, then shouldn’t it go to the highest bidder, the side that spent the most money? At the very least, journalistic integrity would require Mr. Moyers to present a complete picture of the philanthropic landscape in North Carolina. The fact that he ignored giving to liberal causes by the Reynolds Foundation and other philanthropies shows his bias and unreliability. Ironically, Mr. Moyers not only conceals spending by progressive foundations in North Carolina, but he also is Chairman Emeritus of the Schumann Media Center, a philanthropy that made almost $2 million in grants to left-of-center nonprofits in 2011. Eighty-five percent of the Schumann Center’s grant making is to groups that promote a liberal agenda. Given those facts, for Mr. Moyers to criticize the Pope Foundation for making grants to free-market groups is the epitome of hypocrisy. Moyers’ double standard is evident by the sponsors of his documentary. Eleven large foundations, with billions in total assets, support Moyers' program and financially back progressive causes. Yet Moyers chose to single out the Pope Foundation, whose $10 million in annual giving is dwarfed by the grant making of these larger foundations. On the topic of the Pope Foundation's giving, Mr. Moyers distorts our philanthropic portfolio. In addition to supporting public policy nonprofits, the Pope Foundation devotes millions to humanitarian causes, including soup kitchens, medical missions, food banks, and homeless shelters. Over its 25-year history, the Pope Foundation has made more than $9 million in grants for direct humanitarian support. While it is absolutely crucial to help people in need and to treat the symptoms of poverty, the best long-term solution is to cure the underlying causes of poverty, and raise people out of poverty permanently. The Pope Foundation does believe that the best way to cure poverty is the creation of jobs and prosperity, through a market economy, subject to the uniform rule of law, that protects the equal rights of all individuals. To accomplish this end, and with the belief that our democracy benefits from a full and open debate on public policy issues, the Pope Foundation also annually funds a large number of public policy organizations. The Pope Foundation is disappointed that Bill Moyers, the Schumann Center, and the 11 philanthropies that support his program would choose to falsely portray the charitable work of the Pope Foundation. David W. Riggs Executive Vice President John William Pope Foundation
Jack Hawke, a mainstay of Republican Party politics in North Carolina during the past five decades, passed away on Monday at the age of 72. Since he first entered politics in the late 1960s, Hawke played an instrumental role in shifting North Carolina from one-party rule to a competitive, two-party state. In addition to running for Congress, heading up congressional and gubernatorial campaigns for other candidates, and serving as N.C. Republican Party Chairman, Hawke was the first executive director of the John William Pope Civitas Institute. Art Pope, Chairman and President of the John William Pope Foundation, recalled Hawke's optimistic outlook on life, as reported by The News & Observer: Hawke’s style was always the happy warrior. He was a natural extrovert with a ready smile, a sunny disposition and a quip. His trademark expression: “Fan-tastic.” “He was always so positive and enthusiastic, even in the face of adversity, in bad results as well as good results,” Pope said. “He was knowledgeable. He was able to present advice, even when it was not appreciated, in a positive fashion. He can tell the bad news along with the good news.” Even when he delivered bad news, Pope said, Hawke always had a plan of action. Francis De Luca, current President of the Civitas Institute, commemorated Hawke as a cheerful emblem of North Carolina's progress: In many ways Jack was emblematic of the transitions North Carolina has gone through in the past fifty years. He came to North Carolina to attend law school at Duke, and he stayed. Jack was involved in most of the state’s political and policy developments from the Sixties on, and was on the leading edge of the movement to take North Carolina from a stagnant one-party state to today’s robust two-party system. Claude Pope, N.C. Republican Party Chairman, issued the following statement after Hawke's passing: The North Carolina Republican Party extends our deepest condolences to Jack’s family and the many friends he made throughout his life. Jack’s tremendous devotion to North Carolina, his sheer political brilliance, and his legendary sense of humor will be sorely missed. Jack was the longest serving chairman in the NCGOP’s history, and he was instrumental in building the party from the ground up. Without Jack’s enormous contributions to the NCGOP over the last several decades, we would not have a Republican Governor and Republican-controlled General Assembly for the first time in more than 100 years. John Hood, President of the John Locke Foundation, shares several anecdotes from Hawke's political career here. Photo credit: Don Carrington, Carolina Journal.
The Daily Dispatch, based out of Henderson, N.C., yesterday reported on the Pope Foundation's $35,000 in grants to food pantries in Vance County. The grants were part of a larger $185,000 given by the Pope Foundation in October to humanitarian charities. LifeLine Outreach Inc., a nonprofit based in Vance County that alleviates homelessness and assists women and children in crisis. (Photo credit: Daily Dispatch) The Dispatch reported: Local non-profits and faith-based organizations took a hit when the federal government closed for 16 days. The John William Pope Foundation made its yearly donations to Vance County charities a few months early this year to help offset the impact of the shutdown. “We heard on the ground that the federal government shutdown was having an effect on these charities doing this humanitarian work and what we decided to do was to expedite our end of the year funding to cover the shortfall caused by the shutdown,” said David Riggs of the Pope Foundation. The foundation is a private family foundation focused on humanitarian charities in Wake and Vance counties. The foundation donated $5,000 to Area Christians Together in Service, $10,000 to Life Line Outreach Inc. and $20,000 to the United Way of Vance County. Twanna Jones, executive director of ACTS, said her organization has not received a Pope Foundation grant in the past. “They heard about the great work that we were doing in the Vance County community,” Jones said. ACTS provides a daily soup kitchen on weekdays, a food pantry, backpack buddies, and Meals on Wheels for the disabled and elderly. Jones has plans to expand her operation with a mobile feeding program that supplies meals to all areas of need. She said the grant money would help with the expansion as well as day-to-day operations. “My goal is to have a seven-day a week soup kitchen that feeds twice a day,” Jones said. For the first time this year, ACTS will serve lunch on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to noon. (Note: A subscription is needed to view the entire article, but there is no cost.)
Responding to false statements recently made in a syndicated column, Pope Foundation Executive Vice President David Riggs corrected the record in this letter to the editor in The News & Observer (emphasis added): The Aug. 20 Other Opinion piece “The massacre of the N.C. model” by Bloomberg’s Al Hunt contained false statements about Art Pope and the John William Pope Foundation. Hunt wrote, “Pope has given to the Republican Party through his political action committee, foundations and personal contributions.” This is unequivocally false. Art Pope is a proud Republican, but he does not have his own political action committee. His personal contributions to the Republican Party do not come close to $1 million, even over his lifetime. The Pope Foundation, a charitable organization, has never contributed anything to the Republican Party. By reprinting Hunt’s false statement that the Pope Foundation contributed to the Republican Party, you falsely accused the foundation of a major violation of the IRS Code and campaign finance laws. The Pope Foundation has given millions of dollars to charities, including humanitarian, arts, education and public policy nonprofits. Humanitarian charity helps those in immediate need, treating the symptoms of poverty. The Pope Foundation’s support for public policy groups and those empowering individuals has the long-term goal of curing the underlying causes of poverty. Publishing the false and defamatory statement that the Pope Foundation gives to the Republican Party was a disservice both to your readers and to the charities supported by the Pope Foundation. DAVID RIGGS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, JOHN WILLIAM POPE FOUNDATION RALEIGH Updated: So, what does the Pope Foundation actually fund? Humanitarian groups and the fine arts, plus groups devoted to helping others through public policy and education. For example, Pope Foundation grantees help young people see the blessings of freedom in the U.S. Our grantees — such as SECU Family House — also comfort hurting families.
Dr. Ben Carson began — and ended — his speech on the evening of June 27 by referencing a quote attributed to the French political thinker and historian Alex de Tocqueville. “America is great because she is good,” de Tocqueville said. “If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Spring boarding off that sentiment, Carson encouraged an audience of 700 at a fundraiser for Upper Room Christian Academy (lead by John Amanchukwu) to defend and renew virtue, civil discourse, and the free-market economy in the United States. “Let us seize the opportunity to truly be good, so that we can hand off to our progeny a great nation,” Carson said. Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, wowed the crowd gathered at the Raleigh Convention Center in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. The speech was the headline event for the URCA’s scholarship fundraiser, which generated $250,000 toward giving low-income students an opportunity to attend the private school in southeast Raleigh. Carson leapt to conservative rock-star status in February 2013 at the National Prayer Breakfast. He advocated conservative policies and Christian values with President Barack Obama sitting just feet away. Many have floated Carson’s name as a potential presidential candidate in 2016. A free society During his speech last week, Carson criticized class warfare and big government and encouraged individual generosity in creating a free and vibrant society. “Class warfare is the last thing that should be going on in America,” he said. America was unique in the 18th and 19th centuries, Carson said, because it didn’t follow the pattern of Europe, where wealthy land barons hoarded wealth and passed it down from generation to generation. Instead, the wealthy in the United States created infrastructure, businesses, and jobs. “That led to the most vibrant middle class the world had ever seen that propelled us to the pinnacle of the world,” Carson said. A big part of that has been individual generosity. “Our founders understood that giving was the responsibility of the people, not the responsibility of government.” “We are a generous people,” he said. “We are our brother’s keeper. We do have a responsibility to those around us. People have never starved on the streets of America because we have always taken care of our people and we always will.” A compelling story Carson was born in Detroit and raised by a single mother. Despite struggling to rear her two boys in a crime- and poverty-ridden area, Carson’s mother never became bitter. “She never became a victim. She never felt sorry for herself,” Carson said. “What a difference it makes when you have a mindset of solving problems rather than blaming other people.” As he grew older, Carson wanted to be a psychiatrist. But later, he changed his mind in favor of neurosurgery. At the age of 33, he became the youngest major division director in the history of Johns Hopkins. He encouraged young people to pursue what they love and underscored the need for more interest in the hard sciences “We ought to encourage our young people when they go to college to go for the hard core stuff — physics, engineering,” he said. “We have to prepare for the age of technology. Sometimes it seems harsh, but we have to deal with the realities of the times in which we live if we want to maintain our pinnacle status in the world.”