Art Pope, owner of the Roses and Maxway stores and Gov. Pat McCrory’s Budget Director, is the poster child of what one extremely wealthy individual can do to twist an entire state’s public policy in a racially divisive, ultra-conservative direction. Read more here. Pope literally depends on the black community to finance his political operation; African-American shoppers at his stores supply a large share of his income, which he then uses to promote policies that keep them too poor to shop elsewhere. In reality, he’s a poverty creator more than a job creator. See our new handout here.

Many of his workers are also trapped – they’re paid less than a living wage, with few benefits, and they wind up relying on public assistance to support their families. In reality, Pope’s business is heavily subsidized by government funds, yet he uses his profits to promote an elitist, anti-government agenda – against voting rights, against public education, against campaign reform. Democracy North Carolina is joining the NAACP and other members of the Forward Together Movement to sponsor educational pickets (not a boycott) at Pope-owned Roses and Maxways.

The NAACP gave Pope a letter describing its concerns and Pope responded yesterday, as reported here