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BILL MOYERS: Welcome to you and the New Year. An election year for every seat in the House of Representatives, one third of the Senate, 36 governors, and thousands of state legislators. Now, chances are you’re not hearing a lot about those races yet, but in this era of gridlock and dysfunction in Washington, the battle to determine America’s agenda is being fought in state politics.

So on this first weekend of the year, we’re looking at one state that embodies the conflicts roiling the whole country. On one side: a government controlled by the most right-wing conservatives of the Republican Party, who are remaking their state in their image, fueled by the wealth and power of one very rich man. On the other side: a very vocal mix of citizens whose resistance turned the first day of every week into a “Moral Monday.”

Join us for "State of Conflict: North Carolina."

ANNOUNCER: Funding is provided by:

Carnegie Corporation of New York, celebrating 100 years of philanthropy, and committed to doing real and permanent good in the world.

The Kohlberg Foundation.

Independent Production Fund, with support from The Partridge Foundation, a John and Polly Guth Charitable Fund.

The Clements Foundation.

Park Foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues.

The Herb Alpert Foundation, supporting organizations whose mission is to promote compassion and creativity in our society.

The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation.

The John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. More information at Macfound.Org.

Anne Gumowitz.

The Betsy And Jesse Fink Foundation.

The HKH Foundation.

Barbara G. Fleischman.

And by our sole corporate sponsor, Mutual of America, designing customized individual and group retirement products. That’s why we’re your retirement company.

BILL MOYERS: A Monday in July. Raleigh, North Carolina. A procession moves toward the state house.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the NC General Assembly: Forward together.

CROWD at the NC General Assembly: Not one step back.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the NC General Assembly: When it comes to education what do we do?

CROWD at the NC General Assembly: We fight, we fight, we fight.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the NC General Assembly: When it comes to healthcare what do we do?

CROWD at the NC General Assembly: We fight, we fight, we fight.

CHIEF WEAVER at the NC General Assembly: My name is Chief Weaver of the General Assembly Police. This is unlawful assembly. You have five minutes to disperse and leave the property.

CROWD at the NC General Assembly: We fight, we fight, we fight.

BILL MOYERS: Once inside they block doors and passageways, knowing it will get them arrested. They are part of a movement that’s become known as Moral Mondays.

WOLF BLITZER on CNN: Thousands rallying, protesting at the North Carolina State House for weeks.

NEWSCASTER on MSNBC: It’s been called Moral Mondays, it’s a protest against the state’s government.

NEWSCASTER on CNN: At the Moral Mondays protests here in Raleigh, North Carolina.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: In a state like North Carolina, in the South, turn to your neighbor, say, “We in the South.”

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: We in the South.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Tell the media, this ain’t Wisconsin.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: This ain’t Wisconsin.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: This is the South.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: This is the South.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Where justice was hammered out.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Where justice was hammered out.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Where freedom was hammered out.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Where freedom was hammered out.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: This is the South.

NEWSCASTER 1 on WRAL: More than a dozen protesters are still in police custody, hours after taking a stand with…

BILL MOYERS: The protests began with a small gathering on a Monday in April. Then, their numbers started growing, Monday after Monday.

NEWSCASTER 2 on WRAL: Each week there are more arrests than the week before. Tonight there were 49.

BILL MOYERS: The rallies kept growing through the spring and the hot Carolina summer.

NEWSCASTER 3 on WRAL: The 13th wave of the Moral Monday protests. Crowds grew so large police had to shut down a portion of Lane Street in downtown Raleigh.

BILL MOYERS: By August, citizens were turning out in town after town across the state.

NEWSCASTER on ABC 13: Ashville Police telling us 5,000 or more gathered here in downtown Asheville.

BILL MOYERS: And the nation was taking notice.

NEWSCASTER on FOX: Moral Monday organizers say the media attention they’re generating outside the General Assembly makes up for much of the political power they lack on the inside.

BILL MOYERS: The protesters are challenging a relentless right-wing crusade to remake the laws of the state.

NEWSCASTER on CBS: In North Carolina, they are trying a new way to get people back to work. They’re cutting off unemployment benefits.

NEWSCASTER on MSNBC: North Carolina passed one of the most restrictive voter suppression bills.

NEWSCASTER 1 on ABC 11: Lawmakers in the statehouse and Senate just voted to prohibit expansion of Medicaid.

NEWSCASTER 2 on ABC 11: Executions will soon resume here in North Carolina.

NEWSCASTER on NBC-CHARLOTTE: Dropping the state income tax and adding a higher sales...

BILL MOYERS: For the first time in almost 150 years, Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the legislature, where they have a veto-proof majority. And they are using their monopoly of power to enact laws the "Charlotte Observer" says “will touch every North Carolinian’s pocketbook, every student’s classroom and every voter’s experience at the polls.”

BOB ZELLNER: The extreme right-wing, they have overstepped so far.

VICKI RYDER: They seem to be targeting those who can least afford to pay for these changes.

WOMAN 1 at Moral Mondays Protest: We’ve just kicked 71,000 of our neighbors off of the benefits that keep roofs over their heads and food on their tables.

MAN 1 at Moral Mondays Protest: What they are doing to public education is a travesty.

WOMAN 2 at Moral Mondays Protest: The legislature wants to lower the age that we can be tried as adults to thirteen.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Day or night, we stand for what is right.

WOMAN 3 at Moral Mondays Protest: We are here to save the soul of our state.

ROSANELL EATON at Moral Mondays Protest: At the age of 92, I am fed up, and—and fired up. I said fed up.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Fed up.

ROSANELL EATON at Moral Mondays Protest: Fired up.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Fired up.

ROSANELL EATON at Moral Mondays Protest: Fed up.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Fed up.

ROSANELL EATON at Moral Mondays Protest: Fired up.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Fired up.

ROSANELL EATON at Moral Mondays Protest: Thank you so very much.

ADAM HOCHBERG: North Carolina has in some ways a bipolar political culture.

BILL MOYERS: Adam Hochberg teaches journalism at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

ADAM HOCHBERG: A lot of people from outside North Carolina, when you say North Carolina, the first thing they think of is Jesse Helms who was of course a stalwart of the hard right and was our senator here for more than twenty years.

SEN. JESSE HELMS: Homosexuals, lesbians, disgusting people marching in our streets, demanding all sorts of things, including the right to marry each other.

ADAM HOCHBERG: On the other hand, North Carolina is the home of a lot of progressive politicians. At the same time that Jesse Helms was in the Senate in the eighties, Terry Sanford was his counterpart in the Senate who is one of best-known southern progressive liberals.

SEN. TERRY SANFORD: We need to remind ourselves that protest, even obnoxious and blood-boiling protest, is the fundamental ingredient of a free people.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Our state constitution says …

BILL MOYERS: Today the state’s progressive leader is William Barber. Before the right-wing takeover, his coalition had pushed for a string of successful reforms, including raising the minimum wage and measures increasing voter participation.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER: Because this right to vote, and the fight for it, is not just political, it’s personal.

ADAM HOCHBERG: Reverend William Barber is the head of the North Carolina NAACP. He is a, he is a man if you’re ever in the room with him, you’ll know he’s in the room.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: And we have come to serve notice that we will unleash every political legal and moral strategy that we can to create the New South. But we will not go back.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER: Well, fundamentally America constantly finds itself in, where the question is a moral question. How are we going to live out our deepest moral principles of doing justice, loving your neighbor, and what does that mean in terms of our laws and our public policy?

BILL MOYERS: Barber was arrested on the first Moral Monday back in April. On the news he declared he was protesting an avalanche of extremist policies.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER on WRAL: That threaten health care, that threaten education, that threaten the poor.

SUE STURGIS: One of the things that particularly upset people is we saw cuts to long-term unemployment assistance.

BILL MOYERS: Journalist Sue Sturgis covers North Carolina politics for the progressive Institute for Southern Studies, in Durham.

SUE STURGIS: It wasn’t a lot of money in the first place, but it was a safety net. And so one of the things we’ve seen as part of the agenda that’s now being played out in Raleigh is constant snips and cuts and tears to that social safety net. It’s no longer a priority for the people who control the state.

NEWSCASTER on ABC 11: 31 yeses and 17 nos, the vote tonight on Senate Bill 4 to block the expansion of Medicaid.

BILL MOYERS: The Republican refusal to expand Medicaid meant denying health insurance to half a million people.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER: How can you stand up and say I just cut 500,000 people’s access to Medicaid and it’s the moral thing to do?

DR. CHARLES VAN DER HORST: They decided that they’re not going to expand Medicaid. And this was going to do great damage to my patients. And so I take that very personally that I’m not a person who just takes care of hearts and livers, but I need to take care of their, the whole body and the whole person.

BILL MOYERS: Dr. Charles van der Horst is an infectious disease specialist at the University of North Carolina.

DR. CHARLES VAN DER HORST: What had happened is that April 29th, Reverend William Barber, had had a rally against these policies. So I thought, I should check this out. So on Monday, May 6, I went along and ended up doing civil disobedience and getting arrested.

WOMAN IN CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Thank you Dr. van der Horst.

DR. CHARLES VAN DER HORST: And I deliberately made some decisions in subsequent rallies that I, I stand next to him. I wanted there to be an old white guy in a white coat with a stethoscope standing next to him.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: We’re going to walk together.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Walk together.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: And go forward.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: And go forward.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Until.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Until.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Until.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Until.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Love is lifted.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Love is lifted.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Until.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Until.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Justice is realized.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Justice is realized.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Don’t ask us…

ARI BERMAN: He’s trying to build a multi-issue, multi-racial coalition in North Carolina.

BILL MOYERS: Ari Berman has been covering the Moral Mondays movement.

ARI BERMAN: There’s this feeling that social justice is under attack and that people have to get in the streets to make people care, to dramatize what’s happening in the state.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Same struggle, same fight.

CHANT LEADERS at Moral Mondays Protest: Gay, straight, black or white.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Same struggle, same fight.

BILL MOYERS The conservative ideology the Moral Monday protesters are fighting isn’t new. What’s new is that just about everything on the right-wing wish list for the past four decades is at last becoming reality. Just as Art Pope planned.

BILL MAHER on Real Time with Bill Maher: What happened in North Carolina? Well, his name is Art Pope. That’s what happened.

ART POPE: I’m Art Pope and I’m a job creator.

CROWD protesting Art Pope Hey hey, ho ho, Art Pope has got to go!

BILL MOYERS: In public, the man most often fingered as the mastermind of the right-wing take-over presents himself as just a low-key member of the governor’s cabinet, running the numbers like an earnest accountant:

ART POPE on WRAL: This budget anticipates revenue neutral tax reform.

BILL MOYERS: He’s self-effacing.

NEWSCASTER on ABC 11: Are you the rainmaker of the North Carolina Republican Party?

ART POPE on ABC 11: No the voters are the rainmaker of the North Carolina Republican Party.

BILL MOYERS But Art Pope wields so much power here that he’s been called everything from kingmaker to king. Pope is very, very rich. And he has shelled out so many millions of dollars for conservative causes and Republican candidates that his adversaries accuse him of buying the state government. Pope claims that’s not what the money’s for.

ART POPE on WRAL: Of course I think it has an impact. But the impact is educating the voters on the issues so they hear both sides of the issues not just one side.

JANE MAYER: There are wealthy individuals who have outsized influence in many states. Usually there’s a handful of them.

BILL MOYERS: Jane Mayer, of "The New Yorker," was the first national journalist to investigate Pope’s power.

JANE MAYER: But he really dominates the landscape in North Carolina in a way that nobody else does.

BILL MOYERS: That’s because he practices the golden rule of modern politics: he with the gold, rules. And Art Pope has the money: his own, his company’s money, and money from the John William Pope Foundation, named for his wealthy businessman father. That single foundation has spent some 46 million dollars on a network of advocacy groups and think tanks bent on steering North Carolina far to the right. Sound familiar?

SUE STURGIS: When people talk about Art Pope, someone who’s often invoked are the Koch brothers, David and Charles Koch, who also run a privately held company and spend a great deal to promote their particular brand of libertarian politics. And he’s very close to the Kochs. He served as a board member of Americans for Prosperity, which is a conservative policy advocacy group that was founded and is funded by the Koch brothers.

JANE MAYER: In some ways, Art Pope is sort of a, a junior-sized version of the Koch brothers. He has what some people call kind of a factory production line for his ideology. The people that work for his think tanks are on the radio, they have websites, they have publications that are statewide. They get their message out all the time.

BILLL MOYERS: Like this message, aimed right at the Moral Mondays protesters.

FRANCIS DE LUCA in Money Monday, Not Moral Monday: Backed by a supportive liberal media, hundreds have been arrested for disrupting the state legislature.

BILL MOYERS: It accuses protest leaders of marching to protect access to government handouts.

FRANCIS DE LUCA in Money Monday, Not Moral Monday: These organizations are fighting to keep their spot at the public trough. Welcome to Money Mondays.

BILL MOYERS: Francis De Luca once ran the North Carolina chapter of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. He’s now head of the John William Pope Civitas Institute.

FRANCIS DE LUCA: So Civitas Institute is heavily funded by the Pope Foundation, but I can tell you having now worked at Civitas for seven years and run it for almost six years, Art Pope’s control over Civitas is very little. He likes policy. I always try to describe Art as a policy wonk. He believes in a vigorous debate, even among his different groups. If you check, you will notice that our groups do not always agree. The groups he’s fund do not always agree on policy.

BILL MOYERS: Perhaps not always, but certainly often enough. For example, on cutting tax rates for corporations and the rich, which is exactly what the state recently did. By 2015, the highest earning North Carolinians will pay almost 26 percent less in income taxes than they did in 2013. Corporations will pay over 27 percent less. There’s also been a repeal of the estate tax, which applied only to people so wealthy, that just 23 families had paid it in the year 2011. When corporate and wealthy interests are at stake, Art Pope is right at home.

Where did Art Pope get the money – and the ideas – that have reshaped the politics of North Carolina?

The story begins when he was young man.

JANE MAYER: He was a very intellectual kid and very early on he went to a summer program that was run by the Cato Institute, the libertarian think tank and he was quite swept up with libertarian ideology and the ideas of Ayn Rand. Once he was through college and he went to Duke Law School he eventually became the general counsel in the family firm, and then he rose in the firm.

BILL MOYERS: All the way to the top, becoming CEO of that family firm.

SUE STURGIS: It’s a privately held company called Variety Wholesalers. It was started by his forebears. It’s a discount retail chain.

ADAM HOCHBERG: These are usually lower end discount stores than, than a Target or even a Walmart or a K-Mart store. They go by a variety of different names. One of the largest chains he owns is called Rose’s. There’s one called Maxway. He has great personal wealth and great family wealth.

JANE MAYER: And he had great political ambitions.

SUE STURGIS: Pope served in the legislature for several terms back in the 1980s and into the ‘90s.

ADAM HOCHBERG: Art is a, he’s a very bright man and he knows the state budget and he knows numbers inside and out, but he is not what you call the stereotypic political candidate. You know the smiling telegenic politician. And after a couple years he ran for lieutenant governor and lost, badly. And he realized he was not going to influence North Carolina politics by being lieutenant governor or governor. He was just unlikely to get elected.

BILL MOYERS: Turns out he didn’t need to get elected to win elections. He just had to put his money in where it counted. He first set out to purge moderate Republicans from the state assembly by supporting candidates to their right in GOP primaries. And then, in 20l0 he took on the Democrats, who played right into his hands.

SUE STURGIS: The Democrats were in disarray in 2010. There had been a series of scandals in the party. Corruption scandals.

BILL MOYERS: A Democratic governor had pled guilty to a felony campaign finance charge. And that wasn’t all.

ADAM HOCHBERG: We had a Democratic Speaker of the House go to prison on a bribery scheme. I mean there was a lot of, a lot of sleaze in the Democratic Party. We saw a backlash against President Obama and Obamacare, which is the same thing we saw nationally. We saw frustration over a lousy economy, which was the same thing we saw nationally.

SUE STURGIS: Also that election was right after the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that opened up the door to outside money.

BILL MOYERS: That Citizens United decision, the handiwork of the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, enabled corporations and individuals to spend unlimited amounts of often untraceable money—what’s now called “dark money.”

JANE MAYER: He provided a perfect example of how the landscape had changed after the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.

ART POPE on C-SPAN: Well, break those numbers up.

JANE MAYER: He saw the opportunities and he had the cash because of his family fortune. Art Pope is a very smart man who is, almost thinks about the world almost like an engineer. And it’s as if somebody had looked at the map in every single district and figured out what it would take to get Republican control. And so he along with some of the people he was working with targeted legislative races to pour money into.

BILL MOYERS: One of their vessels was a front group called Real Jobs NC. Co-founded by Art Pope, and bankrolled by one of his companies and a national Republican group, its real job was to demolish the other side. And in 20l0 it went on the attack.

ANNOUNCER in Real Jobs NC Campaign AD 1: Putting Raleigh Liberals first.

ANNOUNCER in Real Jobs NC Campaign AD 2: Their high taxes and wasteful spending cost us jobs.

ANNOUNCER in Real Jobs NC Campaign AD 3: Her priorities are costing us jobs.

ANNOUNCER in Real Jobs NC Campaign AD 4: Real Jobs NC sponsored this ad.

SUE STURGIS: That year he and his family and also the outside spending groups that he’s associated with spent 2.2 million on state legislative races.

JANE MAYER: Which in the national scheme of things is not a tremendous amount of money, but in the context of a state, and in the context of state legislative races where really there’s not usually that much money spent, it—it was decisive.

NEWSCASTER on WRAL: Tonight’s shift in power is historic. The Republicans have taken control of both chambers for the first…

NEWSCASTER 1 on ABC 11: Republicans are now in control for the first time in more than a century.

NEWSCASTER 2 on ABC 11: So how big of a role does Pope himself think he played?

ART POPE on ABC 11: I supported 19 Republican legislative candidates that I contributed to and 17 of those won.

NEWSCASTER 2 on ABC 11: That’s a pretty good track record.

ART POPE on ABC 11: I’m glad.

ADAM HOCHBERG: The 2010 election, Republicans got control of both houses of the state legislature, first time since just after the Civil War.

SUE STURGIS: And the Republicans were very smart. You know they, they realized that there was an opportunity there. Whoever controlled the legislature in 2010 would control the state’s political future.

BILL MOYERS: The winners would control the future because 2010 was a census year – the first in a decade.

ADAM HOCHBERG: That means they get to control the redistricting process. So as you can imagine, that’s an opportunity for legislators to do some pretty self-serving things, and it was the same thing when Democrats were in charge. With computers nowadays you can get very specific about every house that’s included in the district, and you can know, what’s a Republican neighborhood, what’s a Democratic neighborhood, so you can look up at an individual house and say, okay, the man of the house is a Republican, and the lady of the house is a Democrat, and I see they have one adult son living at home and he’s also a Republican, I mean you can do it to that level. And you can draw districts in such a way that pretty much foretells which party is going to control that district. And what the Republicans did was draw districts as best they could to elect Republicans.

BILL MOYERS: They had help, according to the investigative group ProPublica. Help in the form of dark money from outside sources and Republican operatives down from Washington to help figure out the boundaries most favorable to their party. But there was someone else in the room, too. Art Pope. One person present told "ProPublica:" "we worked together at the workstation … he sat next to me." When the next election came around, 2012, the gerrymandering worked like a charm.

ADAM HOCHBERG: The 2012 election occurs and it is the best election for Republicans in modern history in North Carolina. They take not just control of both houses of the state legislature, and they had not done that in a century, but they take overwhelming control. They take a veto-proof majority control of both houses of the legislature. They also get the governor’s mansion back for the first time in 20 years.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY in Campaign Ad: Let’s forget about politics for a while, and think about us. That’s what we tried in Charlotte when I was mayor.

BILL MOYERS: As mayor of Charlotte, Pat McCrory was known to be a fiscal conservative, but on other issues, fairly moderate for a southern Republican.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY in Campaign Ad: I’m Pat McCrory and I’m running for governor.

ADAM HOCHBERG: Governor McCrory in one of the debates before the 2012 election was specifically asked by somebody on the panel in a televised debate, would you sign any measures to further restrict abortion in North Carolina, and he said flat out no.

DEBATE QUESTIONER LAURA LESLIE If you’re elected Governor, what further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign? We’ll start with you, Mr. McCrory.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY in 2012 gubernatorial debate: None.

DEBATE QUESTIONER LAURA LESLIE: All right.

BILL MOYERS: But once in office McCrory swung hard to the right, beginning with the casual announcement of a key appointment.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY on WRAL: Art Pope has agreed to serve as my deputy budget director.

BILL MOYERS: Say what?

GOV. PAT MCCRORY on WRAL: Art Pope has agreed to serve as my deputy budget director.

BILL MOYERS: An innocuous title, masking a startling reality. The man who for years had poured money into those right wing think tanks into the Republican Party, and into Republican campaigns – including Pat McCrory’s -- would now be the governor’s man overseeing the state budget.

VICKI RYDER: His power is, is tremendous and very frightening to me that people can buy their way into that kind of power in what’s supposed to be a people’s democracy.

THE RAGING GRANNIES at Moral Mondays Protest: We’re the Raging Grannies…

BILL MOYERS: Vicki Ryder sings at Moral Monday protests with a group called “The Raging Grannies.”

THE RAGING GRANNIES at Moral Mondays Protest: To think that men in suits might take our voting rights away.

BILL MOYERS: Several years ago she moved from New York to North Carolina.

VICKI RYDER: After my husband and I retired, we were looking for a place to live that would be supportive of our values. And the Triangle region of North Carolina seemed to be a good fit for us. So we have just been shocked by how quickly things have turned from a very progressive atmosphere to one of extraordinary regression.

BILL MOYERS: Conservatives were getting the results they had been praying for. Some examples. Seventy five percent of the tax cuts went to the top 5 percent of taxpayers. Anyone making more than, say, $250,000 a year would now pay a state income tax rate at the same level as those making $25,000. Earned income tax credits for the poor were cut. Budgets were cut for at-risk kids in pre-K even as vouchers were given to private schools. Unemployment insurance was cut – with a bill crafted by the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce. And in Art Pope’s budget, the state’s higher education system took a hit of 64 million.

ADAM HOCHBERG: You’ve traditionally had a lot of support for education in North Carolina, especially for a southern state. And I think it’s something that a lot of North Carolinians take, take pride in, not just, you know, pointy-headed liberal intellectuals, but a lot of people in the business community too. And I don’t think you’ll find even among Republican business leaders this attitude of marginalizing higher education that you have seen from the state capital. One of the first things that Governor McCrory did, one of the first controversies he got involved with as governor is he went on a conservative radio show, a national show, and took some swipes at the university and said, there are too many degrees in liberal arts, and he said, if you want to get a degree in gender studies, go to private school and do it, the people of North Carolina don’t want to pay for that.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America: That's a subsidized course, and frankly if you want to take gender studies that's fine, go to a private school and take it, but I don't want to subsidize that if that's not going to get someone a job.

MOLLY MCDONOUGH: And he said that if you wanted to study these things that you should go to a private college rather than a, rather than a public one, which is not an option for so many of us.

BILL MOYERS: Molly McDonough grew up in Chapel Hill. She’s a sophomore at North Carolina State University.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America: I'm looking at legislation right now in fact, I just instructed my staff yesterday, go ahead and develop legislation which would change the basic formula in how education money is given out to our universities and our community colleges.

BILL BENNETT on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America: Great, great.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America It's not based upon how many butts in seats, but how many of those butts can get jobs.

BILL BENNETT on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America: Excellent. How many employable butts. Okay.

MOLLY MCDONOUGH: I can’t remember the exact quote, but he said, it was something weird. It was about like all the butts in seats need a job.

MOLLY MCDONOUGH at Moral Mondays My name is Molly McDonough. And I am 18 years old. So when I told my friends and my family that I was planning to get arrested, they were all very concerned about my future. And my response to that was I am doing this so that I can have a future.

BILL MOYERS: The budget did more than strip cash from education. Among other things, it got rid of jobs for environmental regulators, cut funds for drug addiction treatment, even funds that help people with AIDS buy drugs – the costly ones that would keep them alive. Sean Gorman is a hemophiliac, who got HIV from a blood transfusion. He’s been treated by Dr. Charles van der Horst since 1985.

DR. CHARLES VAN DER HORST: Again. And he was desperately ill very early with all sorts of horrible, horrible infections, including you had CMV retinitis.

SEAN GORMAN: Yeah, that’s how I lost this eye. I don't have vision in this eye.

BILL MOYERS: Gorman gets his medicine through a program called “AIDS Drug Assistance Program” – “ADAP.”

DR. CHARLES VAN DER HORST: Deep breath.

BILL MOYERS: The Art Pope budget cuts 8 million dollars from ADAP. And advocates say that’s enough to prevent some 900 future AIDS patients from getting the life-saving drugs they need through the program.

SEAN GORMAN: You know, people won’t be able to buy their, you know, to afford to get their medications, then they’ll do without, and then they’ll get some crazy opportunistic disease, go into the hospital and have huge hospital bills which they won’t be able to pay for.

DR. CHARLES VAN DER HORST: Right. The average hospital admission would be something like $100,000 for an opportunistic infection.

Who’s going to pay for that? Well you and I will pay for that. That comes out our health insurance costs. So not only is it not being a good, moral person to take care of them, it economically makes no sense.

SEAN GORMAN: Alright, we’ll see you in six months.

DR. CHARLES VAN DER HORST: Yeah, take care.

SEAN GORMAN: All right, thank you.

DR. CHARLES VAN DER HORST: Good luck. Bye bye.

SEAN GORMAN: Yep, thank you. Bye bye.

BILL MOYERS: There have been other dramatic changes. For one, the election of state judges.

REP. PRICEY HARRISON: I believe we were the first state in the country to enact public financing for our appellate court races, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. And the rationale was we didn’t want judges running who were going to be getting money from the lawyers who were going to be appearing before them to finance their campaigns.

SUE STURGIS: And it worked very well and it’s been very popular. Democrats and Republicans, men and women, black and white, across the board it was a very popular program.

BILL MOYERS: But popular or not, the Art Pope network wanted it gone. And the Republicans killed that clean elections system for judges.

DEBATE QUESTIONER LAURA LESLIE: What further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign?

BILL MOYERS: Then there’s abortion rights.

DEBATE QUESTIONER LAURA LESLIE: We’ll start with you Mr. McCrory.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY: None.

BILL MOYERS: Remember that campaign promise candidate McCrory made in 2012? Well in 2013, Governor McCrory was singing a different tune.

NEWSCASTER on NBC-CHARLOTTE: He says he’ll sign a controversial abortion bill into law. Protesters tell NBC-Charlotte reporter Rad Berky that is a broken promise.

REP. PRICEY HARRISON: Basically the impact will be that 15 of the 16 clinics left in the state that provide abortions will have to shut down under the new standards.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Hey hey, ho ho, Pat McCrory has got to go! Hey hey, ho ho, Pat McCrory has got to go!

BILL MOYERS: Moral Monday protesters say they barely recognize their state under the current regime. What has outraged them most is the state’s new voting law, which cuts right to the heart of democracy.

CHANT LEADERS at Moral Mondays Protest: When voting rights are under attack, what do we do?

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Stand up, fight back!

CHANT LEADERS at Moral Mondays Protest: When voting rights are under attack, what do we do?

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Stand up, fight back!

BILL MOYERS: To understand their outrage, you need to know a little history.

ARI BERMAN: For a long time, North Carolina didn’t really have a very strong voter turnout.

BILL MOYERS: Journalist Ari Berman is writing a book about voting rights.

ARI BERMAN: And then they did a number of things after the 2000 election to make it easier for people to vote, they, for example, expanded early voting, they allowed same day voter registration during that early voting period, and those kind of things started to propel North Carolina forward in terms of voter turnout.

BILL MOYERS: Those voting reforms were on display during the presidential election of 2008, when North Carolina swung toward the Democrats for the first time in decades – not least because early voting brought more people to the polls.

RACHEL MADDOW on MSNBC: On election day itself there were actually more votes cast for John McCain than there were for Barack Obama, but Obama still won the state because […] more than half of all North Carolina voters in 2008 voted early, and early voters ultimately put Obama over the top.

ARI BERMAN: And so I think Republicans said we need to down some of these voters. We need to make it so that the electorate is older, whiter, more conservative, not younger and more diverse.

BILL MOYERS: And how better to do that, than to push for strict voter ID requirements? And in 2008, that’s exactly what the Pope network began to do.

SUE STURGIS: There just has not been any kind of widespread voter fraud, but they repeatedly raise it as a concern in order to build a case for voter ID laws.

ARI BERMAN: Then you had candidates who are funded by Pope who said the same thing, so that there was some perception among elected officials that voter fraud was a problem even though it wasn’t.

REP. TOM MURRY In order to restore confidence and accountability to our elections, we need voter ID.

ARI BERMAN: And pass this anti-voting legislation, essentially based on the manufactured outrage that Pope had ginned up.

BILL MOYERS: In 2013 the right-wing legislature passed a new law that critics called a voter suppression act – in part because its requirement for ID cards is most likely to affect the young, elderly, poor and minority voters. And there’s more.

ARI BERMAN: They cut a week off of early voting, they eliminated same day registration during that early voting period, they expanded the number of poll watchers that can challenge eligible voters on election day. At the same time they were eliminating pre-registration for 16 and 17 year-olds.

FRANCIS DE LUCA: One of the changes in the bill was this thing they called preregistration, where they registered 16 and 17 year-olds using the schools to register them. You know, I like to call this the “pedophilia enabling act.” Where in the world can I go on a government website and find a list of 16 year-olds and their home addresses? I can go to the state board of elections. If you walked into a school and asked for that list, not only would you not get it, you would probably be arrested. And they would send police to your home and say why do you want a list of all our 16 year-olds in the school?

ARI BERMAN: There is really no evidence that pre-registering 16 and 17 year-olds endangers their security, there’s no evidence that it leads to voter fraud. And so to get rid of something like that I think sends a very bad message to the young people in North Carolina.

REP. PRICEY HARRISON: And I think that it’s unfortunate because it’s, it seems to be part and parcel of pattern to make it much more difficult for a particular demographic to vote. And I guess I would say the bill is designed to make it more difficult for Democrats to vote basically.

BILL MOYERS: If you don’t want to take that from a Democratic legislator like Pricey Harrison, take it from a Republican county executive, Don Yelton, who admitted as much in his now infamous appearance on the Daily Show.

DON YELTON on The Daily Show: The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt. If it hurts a bunch of college kids that’s too lazy to get up off their bohunkus and go get a photo ID, so be it.

AASIF MANDVI on The Daily Show: Right, right.

DON YELTON on The Daily Show: If it hurts the whites so be it. If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that wants the government to give them everything, so be it.

BILL MOYERS: Almost immediately, Yelton was forced to resign his position in the Republican Party.

ROSANELL EATON: Good evening everybody.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Good evening.

ROSANELL EATON at Moral Mondays Protest: I am Rosanell Eaton, 92 years old. A citizen of Franklin County. I am before you today to speak on voting rights. We need more, not less, public access to the ballot.

BILL MOYERS: Her name is Rosanell Eaton, and she has a very long memory, including crosses burning on her lawn and Jim Crow laws forcing segregation on black Americans far into the 20th century.

ARMENTA EATON: My mother, Rosanell, always believed that everybody should have the right to vote. She’s registered approximately, probably over 4,000 people. She got an award for that. She was awarded what is called the Invisible Giant Award. She would always have her little forms with her, she even has them now when she doesn’t really necessarily have to, but she wants to make sure that everybody—if she’s to see a person, she might ask them if they’re registered to vote.

BILL MOYERS: When she first registered to vote as a young woman, she faced a group of white men who put her to a test reserved for African Americans: she was told if she wanted to vote, she’d have to recite the preamble to the US Constitution.

ROSANELL EATON at Moral Mondays Protest: One of the men told me, stand up straight against that wall with your eyes looking directly toward me, and repeat the Preamble of the United States of America. Without missing a word, I did it.

ARMENTA EATON: All right, ready to roll.

And it really bothers her that voter suppression coming right back in the year 2013. She just never thought she’d have to be fighting this battle just on another type of turf.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the N.C. General Assembly: Bring it down, bring it down. Everybody listen up.

ROSANELL EATON at the N.C. General Assembly: So let me tell you people.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the N.C. General Assembly: So let me tell you.

ROSANELL EATON at the N.C. General Assembly: There’s nobody in here I know that’s any older than I am.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the NC General Assembly: There’s nobody in here any older than I am.

ROSANELL EATON at the NC General Assembly: But you need to get involved.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the NC General Assembly: Get involved.

ROSANELL EATON at the NC General Assembly: When something comes up, you be involved.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the NC General Assembly: When something comes up, you be involved.

ROSANELL EATON at the NC General Assembly: You won’t have to learn—

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the NC General Assembly: You—

ROSANELL EATON at the NC General Assembly: You won’t have to learn new strategy.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the NC General Assembly: You don’t have to learn new strategy.

ROSANELL EATON at the NC General Assembly: Be ready for them.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the NC General Assembly: Just be ready for them.

ROSANELL EATON at the NC General Assembly: So you all just keep on.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at the NC General Assembly: Keep on.

POLICE OFFICER at the NC General Assembly: …General Assembly Police. You have two minutes to disperse or you will be arrested. Two minutes.

BILL MOYERS: On June 24th, 2013, Rosanell Eaton was arrested at the state legislature and charged with trespassing. Vicki Ryder was arrested in July.

VICKI RYDER: I think one of the things frankly that bothers me the most about what’s happening is that we fought that fight. You know, I was there in Washington, DC 50 years ago when Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. And we thought that we were making some progress.

BILL MOYERS: It’s a common theme among the protesters that today’s battles hark back to earlier ones, in the Civil Rights movement.

ARI BERMAN: Remember, North Carolina was where the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SNCC, started. Those sit-ins in Greensboro inspired the modern civil rights movement of the 1960s. And so there’s a long history in North Carolina of civil rights activism and some of those very activists, people like Bob Zellner of SNCC, have been extremely active in the Moral Monday movement today.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: Hey hey, ho ho, Pat McCrory has got to go.

BOB ZELLNER: Well I grew up in L.A., in Lower Alabama. I was the first white southern field secretary for SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and I was one of the first seventeen that were arrested in Moral Monday.

CROWD at Moral Mondays Protest: We fight, we fight, we fight.

BOB ZELLNER: Our purpose in life is to work for those who are powerless. And what’s happening now in the Moral Monday movement is on the same moral plane as what happened in the civil rights movement.

FRANCIS DE LUCA: I got to say I think this is laughable. We’re talking about the people in the civil rights era, we’re talking about people being beaten, we’re talking about people, when they were put in jail, they didn’t get out of jail in time to go eat dinner that night. I am not questioning the individuals, why they’re doing it in their motivation, I am questioning the ones who try and equate it with the ‘60s and ‘50s and some of the great struggles in history.

BILL MOYERS: Protesters, however say the Pope-funded Civitas Institute itself has reached back to the past and dredged up an ugly tactic used against civil rights activists.

DR. CHARLES VAN DER HORST: So what they did, they put all our names, our occupations, our age, our race, party affiliation, and our employer, and our salary if we were public employees.

FRANCIS DE LUCA: And we put all that up there, and we put up their party registration, which we just cross-checked, public record, to help identify what they were.

SUE STURGIS: It really hearkened back, and this is what really upset people a lot, it really hearkened back to a strategy that we saw during the mid-20th century civil rights movement where people protesting Jim Crow, who were signing petitions against segregation would have their names pulled off those petitions and put in the newspaper. And it was a way to encourage retaliation against them. Not necessarily violent retaliation, but you know the employer might see your name there and maybe didn’t want to hire a troublemaker.

FRANCIS DE LUCA: You know I just don’t understand that thing that on one hand, you’re publicizing how you got arrested but on the other hand if we say it, it’s intimidation.

BILL MOYERS: There’s also an interactive feature on the Civitas site.

MOLLY MCDONOUGH: Like there’s this game called “pick the protestor” where it has like three mug shots and it’s like, which person is retired? Which person lives in Chapel Hill? Which person has the last name of McDonough? And you click on the mug shot of the person you think it is.

BILL MOYERS: Francis De Luca says the game is a “fun” way to get people to interact with the site, and to prove that the protesters don’t really represent North Carolina – that they are disproportionately white Democrats, with more clergy and public sector workers than the state as a whole. The protesters say they indeed represent their state’s diversity. And that parts of the database are skewed.

MOLLY MCDONOUGH: I looked myself up and they have some inaccurate information there. They, they have one section of the spreadsheets that are voting discrepancies, and so they say that I’m a registered Democrat which I am and then they say that I am registered to vote at the wrong address. Now what they either didn’t take into account or didn’t, you know, care to think through is that I’m a student. In November I live in Raleigh on NC State campus, and my permanent address is in Chapel Hill. And so when I got arrested I put down the address that they will always be able to contact me through which is my mother’s address. And that’s not where I registered to vote.

FRANCIS DE LUCA: You vote where you live. If I tell you, if I registered to vote, I can tell you, if I get arrested, it’s going to be the same place. My home address is the same place I vote. I mean that’s how it’s supposed to be that your domicile is where you vote so if I’m telling you I get, when I get arrested I actually live somewhere else, but my registration is over here, then one of those two things is a lie.

DR. CHARLES VAN DER HORST: I think their intention was to intimidate others from committing acts of civil disobedience. And instead it’s had the reverse effect.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Gathering: Mr. Pope, it’s a waste of your money. See they want us to come here today and be all upset about this site. They want to sucker us into a back and forth about people on a website so they can take the focus off the policies being passed and signed by them in the General Assembly and in the Governor’s office. But it will not work.

BILL MOYERS: But so far, what North Carolina’s far right government is doing is working.

MAN at NC General Assembly: Clerk will allow the machine to record the vote. 84 have voted in the affirmative, 32 in the negative. The motion passes.

BILL MOYERS: Protesters are powerless to stop the passage of a single law.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: Not going back.

BILL MOYERS: It’s true they aren’t giving up.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER at Moral Mondays Protest: And so turn to your neighbor and say, let us not despair.

MOLLY MCDONOUGH AND HER SISTER at Moral Mondays Protest: Let us not despair.

BILL MOYERS: But neither are Art Pope, the governor, and the veto-proof legislature.

JANE MAYER: Well, I think what’s important is that what Art Pope has done in North Carolina could be done pretty much in any state. He’s shown that one really wealthy individual can almost rule.

BILL MOYERS: And so we enter 2014 with one more reminder that America is a country where the wealthy almost rule. Money talks. Although when we offered Mr. Pope and Governor McCrory an opportunity to be interviewed for our report, they didn’t respond.

Luckily, some people are much more vocal -- fighting back, saying enough is enough. And I don’t just mean the Moral Mondays protestors. The U.S. Justice Department is challenging North Carolina’s restrictive new voting law, arguing that it will have a disproportionate impact on minorities. And those new gerrymandered districts, engineered with Art Pope sitting in the room to ensure Republican dominance, are also being challenged in North Carolina’s own Supreme Court. The charge is that they’re race-based, and therefore unconstitutional. Yet even there, in the state’s highest court, money may affect the outcome. Take a look.

A Republican political action committee in Washington sends over a million dollars to a political action committee in North Carolina called Justice For All NC. That group then sends over a million dollars to a Super PAC called North Carolina Judicial Coalition, which spends over a million dollars supporting Justice Newby’s re-election.

Now that Republican political action committee in Washington where the money started is the same one North Carolinian Republicans worked with to gerrymander the state. That plan is being challenged by citizen groups as race-based and unconstitutional. So where do these citizens turn to seek justice? To the very state Supreme Court, one of whose members was re-elected with money from the partisans who drew up the redistricting in the first place. Justice can't be more corrupted than that. But when money rules, nothing is sacred, or cheap.

Which could explain why Art Pope, as we reported earlier, has waged a long crusade to kill the state’s popular system of public funding for judicial races – a system created to prevent rich people like pope and corporations from buying justice.

Last summer, Pope succeeded, opening North Carolina's highest court to the highest bidders.

Katie bar the door – except that no matter which door we’re talking about, Art Pope has the key to it. And possibly to the future.

Take the firepower of the rich, pour in heaps of dark money loosed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, add generous doses of fervent ideology, and presto: the battle for American politics and governance is joined. And every state becomes North Carolina, including yours.

TITLE CARD: "State of Conflict" is a collaboration between Okapi Productions, LLC, and the Schumann Media Center, Inc., headed by Bill Moyers, which supports independent journalism.

Full Story: North Carolina — Battleground State

First it was Wisconsin. Now it’s North Carolina that is redefining the term “battleground state.”  On one side:  a right-wing government enacting laws that are changing the face of the state. On the other:  citizen protesters who are fighting back against what they fear is a radical takeover. This crucible of conflict reflects how the battle for control of American politics is likely to be fought for the foreseeable future: not in Washington, DC, but state by state.

This week on Moyers & Company, “State of Conflict: North Carolina” offers a documentary report from a state that votes both blue and red and sometimes purple (Romney carried it by a whisker in 2012, Obama by an eyelash in 2008).  Now, however, Republicans hold the governor’s mansion and both houses of the legislature and they are steering North Carolina far to the right: slashing taxes on corporations and the wealthy, providing vouchers to private schools, cutting unemployment benefits, refusing to expand Medicaid and rolling back electoral reforms, including voting rights.

At the heart of this conservative onslaught sits a businessman who is so wealthy and powerful that he is frequently described as the state’s own “Koch brother.” Art Pope, whose family fortune was made via a chain of discount stores, has poured tens of millions of dollars into a network of foundations and think tanks that advocate a wide range of conservative causes.  Pope is also a major funder of conservative political candidates in the state.

Pope’s most ardent opponent is the Reverend William Barber, head of the state chapter of the NAACP, who says the right-wing state government has produced “an avalanche of extremist policies that threaten health care, that threaten education [and] that threaten the poor.” Barber’s opposition to the legislature as well as the Pope alliance became a catalyst for the protest movement that became known around the country as “Moral Mondays.”

“State of Conflict” is more than a local story. It offers a case study of what may be the direction of American politics for years, perhaps decades, to come.

“State of Conflict” is a collaboration between Okapi Productions, LLC and Schumann Media Center, Inc., headed by Bill Moyers, which supports independent journalism and media programs to advance public understanding of the critical issues facing democracy.

UPDATE: Please note that the Ari Berman interview has been edited for clarity. (1/9/2014)

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  • TheTransAtlanticRailroad

    Plutocrats and corporatists have one of the oldest forms of power… wealth. Those whose “net worth” or annual incomes put them in the highest one percent (and especially highest .1% or .01%) of Americans in terms of wealth have enormous, real power which grows exponentially as the numbers of American in the middle class decline.
    The so-called “99%” have primarily one countervailing source of power… action. We cannot buy the ad time. We cannot fund the think tanks. We cannot fund the political campaigns. (To demonstrate the difference in real power: to match one multi-billionaire’s $100,000,000 spent on politics, which one reportedly did, it takes 1,000,000 of us paying $100 each to match that one billionaire. And if you’re poor, you’re not in the funding game at all.) But we can act. We have time. We have energy. We can write our representatives regularly. We can stand in protest. We hold up signs. We can vote. As to “real” power we, as individuals, simply do not have the same power as a millionaire or billionaire. We can’t fly to Washington on a whim. Our calls to governors won’t be answered by the governor if answered at all. We can’t sit at the $10,000/plate dinners. We can’t loan our private plane to help the candidates fly around the state or the country. We can’t sponsor seminars in remote and secure locations where party officials and elected officials and aspiring candidates and lobbyists and CEOs and think-tank specialists and campaign strategists and an occasional Supreme Court Justice can meet and “share” ideas. But we can act. 304 days to 11/4/14.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully the people of North Carolina will take their state back from the extremist. Our government is for the people, not for the huge corporations and the ultra rich who can buy dirty politicians. People are realizing that the “entitlements” that need to be cut are those going to corporations that make billions and pay no taxes. The best plan is to vote straight democrat. There are some democrats on the take too, but it is the cult mentality of the republicans that is doing the damage.

  • Anonymous

    I have been to some of the Moral Mondays, not enough, A friend of mine has taken a picture at one that I think is iconic. With the black and white treatment you have to look carefully to decide if it was 1963, or 2013. https://scontent-b-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/1002775_10151692244372071_815100550_n.jpg

    Feb 5th will be big, Historic Thousands on Jones (HKonJ) will be reviving the spirit of the moral Mondays after months off. http://carolinajustice.typepad.com/hkonj/logistics.html

  • Judy Mitchell

    NC has even passed a law that voters cannot vote a straight ticket anymore. But that’s ok, it will just take me a little longer in the booth to check off every Democrat running.

  • Kevyn Creech

    Yes! Yes, yes, yes, YES! Thank you, Bill. My two older kids and I just finished viewing the show, and we can’t agree with your findings more.

  • Anonymous

    Voters have to get a lot of smarter and reject the republican agenda against good governance. They have to realize that no republican will do anything for the good of the middle class or the poor. But it is up to voters and they have been very foolish trusting republican billionaires who are not about anything but themselves.

  • ellen

    Please,people in NCarolina,STOP voting for these people.I’ll bet many did not vote to “teach politicians a lesson”.Some just didn’t bother to vote.Some were deceived by Repub campaign messages.
    I hope this program serves as a wakeup call for the elections of 2014.

  • The Thinker

    It would appear as though this non-profit is not adhering a non-profit mission. Perhaps this should be reviewed.

  • The Thinker

    This person shows a distinct failure of character that often comes with inherited wealth. Its a common theme. He has been gifted an unearned power, and has never internalized any responsibility beyond himself. These cliches are always very sad, harmful and end badly. He’ll fall, and will fall hard.

  • Anonymous

    What? I am a life long Republican. How dare you insult me! The Democrats want to strip away our freedom and you are blind. Capitalism is the only system that works. You don’t like it move! My ancestors fought & died for LIFE, LIBERTY & THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS! !! I hope you can grasp the word pursuit it does not mean gaureentee! There are too many in the “cart” and those pulling are dropping and jumping in the cart. You might want to check your History. Republicans have been the only ones fighting for the poor & middle class! The RICH have gotten richer under obuma & the poor have grown and guess where the middle class is! I would imagine you believe in man made global warming. Al Gore is laughing all the way to the bank…..

  • Anonymous

    You come across sounding like a caricature. My ancestors fought and died for Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness also. I did much the same, with the exception of dying. Yet I, too, see the modern conservative agenda as an incredibly destructive force in society. When the only way to bring your agenda to the floor of the legislative bodies is by lies, deceit and bribery, then there is something dreadfully unwelcome about your legislative agenda. This is exactly how Art Pope and North Carolina are viewed.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry to tell you that your are living in a fairy tale world if you think the fundamentals of Capitalism are still working. At it’s core it was very good and in the past it has proven to be a very workable system based on production and consumption but somehow along the way it lost any connection to morality and values and has given way to greed, manipulation and out right thievery. Your selfish words that it was somehow only your ancestors who fought and died for life liberty and pursuit of happiness as you define it proves the point that the real blind sheep have no clue what’s happening in the US. You might want to check the more recent history (like say anytime after WW2) and look at the party who put the bulk of taxes on the back of the middle class while providing corporate welfare to the coffer stuffing pigs who get them re-elected. What is happening now not only in NC and WI is manipulation of our democratic republic to take away the right of pursuit of happiness by gerrymandering election districts and hoarding all things financial that could put capitalism back to the place it was designed to be. It is not necessarily a party issue as much as it is the complete lack of ethics by politicians in general. Your team doesn’t even pretend anymore. Your reference to Al Gore and global warming is laughable but it prompts me to pose this question. If clean water to drink and clean air to breathe are things that make me happy and sustain my life why do you have the right to take it from me just because you can make money by screwing it up?

  • Michael Case

    Faux outrage: Check
    Patriotic fervor, in caps: Check
    3rd grade level play on words using Obama’s name: Check
    Congratulations. Another Republican has successfully weaponized cognitive dissonance.

  • Anonymous

    The water & air have never been cleaner! Stop believing lies. Making money is not stealing. Its not the governments responsability to redistribute our money.

  • Anonymous

    You obviously have no clue as to what “America” is all about. Upholding the constiution is not nor will it ever be an agenda.

  • Anonymous

    It’s funny how those corporations also vote democratic. You might want to see who really runs this country.

  • Anonymous

    Wow did you look up the big words all by yourself.

  • Michael Case

    I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention. Which alternate universe did you say you were from? The one where Mr. Spock has a beard?? The one where Glenn Beck is a reliable source of reality-based information? Help me out here.

  • Anonymous

    If you are talking about Art Pope, please make a correction. Mr. Pope did not inherit his wealth; he and his father earned it together.

  • Michael Case

    Yes. Because that is how one learns things. You know, research various points of view, utilize critical thinking skills, things some people (and I’m not saying who) have no interest in doing.

  • Michael Case

    If by “earned it together” you mean “using poverty wages, low-balling competitors, legislative dirty tricks, and 3rd world slavery as suppliers for their stores” then yes, they “earned it” together.

  • Anonymous

    Key is to make discriminate investing counter the very discriminate investing by right wing. One great start is defunding TarSands and KeystoneXL or more carbon gaining traction on campuses and churches. Once people vote with their values with each dollar spent the top 1% will indeed go back to being just 1%. More significantly if they have good ideas like cutting back abortions we will see policies that do not drive desperate people to seek abortions. In other words democracy not our present corporate socialism can reclaim life and human improvement.

  • mermeid43

    and tell me how republicans fight for the poor? really, all what i hear is they oppose to raising wages, opposed to medicare, social security benefits health insurance. expand benefis for the unemployed. food stamps for the children!{ they want all women to have without exception including rape}! if we want capitalism to be relevant in this 21 century we have to make some changes for the future not going back. not even in the sixties we had this crisis. the better people lives better the economy grows its basic math.

  • patricia long

    The people must take action against this extremist politics. This country is on the way to being ruled by the rich and this is not democracy!

  • DaveW

    This response could have been mistaken as an advocacy for German National Socialism circa 1935. It’s Art Pope’s “Mein Kampf”. Herr Pope stops short of suggesting a final solution for the filthy poor, but just barely.
    Sheesh.

  • DaveW

    I am also a lifelong Republican. I voted Dem in the last election for the first time in my life. You need to change parties too. Our grand old party is no longer grand; it’s been bought and paid for by the billionaires. Sad, but true.

  • DaveW

    lol. Yes, breath deeply.
    Still, just to be safe, you might want to move a little further inland and install an air purifier in your doomsday bunker.

  • DaveW

    Lol. When in doubt, wave the flag.
    It used to be a good strategy, but it’s become a tired cliché. It falls flat when even the term “America” rings hollow; becoming defined by lack of opportunity, unimpeded greed, shackled democracy and vast overweight congregations whose deep racial bigotry can be leveraged for political advantage.

  • DaveW

    Are corporation now allowed to vote in North Carolina? Please let me know; We try to stay abreast of developments across the nation, but events in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina can be compelling distractions.
    Mit Romney’s assertions notwithstanding, corporations are not actually people. In most other states in our union, corporations are not allowed to actually vote. Thank God.

  • DaveW

    lol

  • Innocent Jogger

    There is a course of therapy available to treat masochism, seek it. And take advantage of spell check.

  • Anonymous

    Pope’s wealth can ensure a conservative message is heard, but it doesn’t force anyone to vote for it. The majority of NC voters must like what they hear. Isn’t that democracy? Does Moyers have so little confidence in voters that he thinks they can’t think for themselves and vote accordingly?

    Isn’t NPR partially funded by US taxpayers? How can Moyers justify the dissemination of his partisan message being funded by all US taxpayers? At least Pope used his own money.

  • Anonymous

    I’m in No CA and had never heard of Pope until Moyer’s NPR broadcast. If the majority of voters freely voted for Pope’s ideas, how can Moyer’s complain? That’s how democracy works even if the outcome offends Moyer’s notions of what’s right. I think NPR is partially funded by US taxpayers, but Moyer seems to have no problem using taxpayer money (via NPR) to disseminate his partisan ideas.

  • Michael Cash

    Their votes were swayed by untruthful advertising that defeated good North Carolina legislators who had a history of service to the state and replaced them with Pope’s cronies, who were bought and paid for.

  • pwatt

    Just wondering when if ever did Republicans fight for the poor and the middle class? History? Maybe the passing of the 13th amendment but that was more about equality

  • RA

    You forget 2 things:

    1) gerrymandering by Republicans, which allows them to protect their seats by picking their own voters (Democrats did this too but it’s worse now)

    2) McCrory ran as a moderate and Pope revealed himself as the real power behind the throne only after the election

  • Kbeckwith Atcomcast

    Don’t be disingenuous RWNJ. Everybody knows money talks, especially when other views are set aside by media looking to pay the bills and make a profit. That isn’t democracy, that’s corruption.. Something you RWNJs know works for you..but people are getting educated as to the their subjugation by the few and powerful like Pope. Now the people will bring back true Democracy where one person one vote rules, not the rules forced down the throats of Americans by the few rich & powerful on the far right fringe who aspire to buy the government & subjugate all to their ludicrous & self serving religious views.

  • Doug Miller

    Big money can easily sway voters who are not committed to looking into issues. We learned this recently in Washington where we attempted to label GMO’s. Monsanto and others poured millions upon millions of misleading ads and labeling was defeated.

    I would like to know what is the most efficient way to financially support the opposition to the far right

  • mariahwg

    That’s the pope foundation webpage.

  • mariahwg

    But enough people voted for McCrory(sp?) to allow him to wine, They knew he was a Republican and they still voted for him. The DOJ needs to do some serious work on this issue.

  • mariahwg

    Those of us who watched the GOP walk away from its traditions as the party of Lincoln, know that the re-subjugation of women and African-Americans is what the Republican party has been up to since Nixon. I’m a pretty astute student of American history and your comments are romantic myths rather than factual history.

  • eljaydub

    What on earth is your point? Cliches are cutesy, but seriously, expound upon what America is about. Does upholding the constitution include using my tax dollars for corporate welfare? Does the constitution cover rigging the congressional boundries so that even tho the majority of votes cast for congress went to Democrats, the majority that sit in congress are Republicans? In your America is it okay for corporations to pay poverty wages and tell their employees to apply for food stamps? That’s a grotesque form of capitalism that you want to uphold. Shame on you – no American fought for and or died for a bunch of rich people and corporations to defile the rights of Americans.

  • eljaydub

    Oh dear…. bless your heart. In America corporations do not have the right to vote.
    .

  • Anonymous

    Darn those pesky facts.

  • Anonymous

    I just listened to it on KQED, the NPR affiliate in San Francisco, CA.

  • Anonymous

    “Our government is for the people”. That’s what Corporations are–a group of people– aren’t they? The corporations that pay no taxes take advantage of the tax code written by our politicians. You’re stereotyping.

  • Anonymous

    Many elections are won by candidates who receive LESS money than their opponent. Pope’s money didn’t force anyone to vote tor the candidates Pope supported. NC voters were free to vote for whomever they wanted. That IS democracy even if you don’t like the results..

  • Anonymous

    (1) Liberals are more guilty of gerrymandering to give minority groups representation. (2) Then he’ll be a one-termer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.mortimer.315 Lee Mortimer

    It’s time to get off the Art Pope bandwagon and focus on the real problem. Republicans didn’t take over the North Carolina legislature because of Art Pope’s money. Pope had his money in about 10 percent of legislative races in 2010, but Republican legislative candidates won 59% of the statewide vote. With or without Pope’s money, Republicans would have been in control of the 2011 redistricting.

    That’s when Republicans locked in their power through a massive gerrymander, which in 2012 gave the GOP 65% of legislative seats on 52% of the statewide vote. We could repeal every provision of the “voter suppression law” and enact every campaign finance reform proposed since Watergate — and Republicans would still retain undeserved control of the state legislature for the foreseeable future.

    Reform of the redistricting process and ending gerrymandering must be at the very top of any agenda for change.

  • Jim Duley

    The radio show is distributed by PRX not NPR. Many NPR affiliates also air PRX syndicated programming but they are separate organizations.

  • Anonymous

    Art Pope, Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie and Jeb Bush snuck into the state, bringing dark money, supporting false issue ads. Sophisticated voters understand, but uninformed voters(those who do not read) fall for the okey-doke garbage on TV.

    Additionally, Pope pulled the strings of the GOP puppets and is now the budget director. How is that not a conflict of interest. He is giving his elite buddies tax breaks up the ying-yang at the expense of NC citizens.

    NC GOP lawmakers approved a fixed income tax(5.8), which means bigger tax breaks for folks with big salaries. Corporations get a big break, too. College and pro games, movie, concert tickets go up by nearly 7%. No tax free back-to-school shopping and no rebates on energy efficient appliances. College meal plans will cost kids more.

    Who benefits? Not citizens. Art Pope and his band of elitists are squeezing citizens for the benefit of the wealthy.

  • Anonymous

    Right on. People forget that Friedman, a thorough going free market capitalist, was clear the making money must be done within the constraints of law & societal norms for ethics. Further he was equally clear that competition was to be open and fair, free of fraud and deception.

    He would never have supported Gramm’s rescinding the 1908 Antibucket Shop Law esp. the sneaky manner. Failing to regulate derivatives would have been an absolute no no. Letting financial institutions heavily involved in promoting fraud & deception escape with their corporate hides intact.

  • Anonymous

    Read the Preamble to the Constitution – the government very certainly is empowered to act to ensurw domestic tranquility, provide common defence, promote common wrlfare. They take money from all to help achievs that mission.

  • Tommy Armstrong

    The main problem with fighting back against this onslaught of radicalism is that it is being, like is stated, being opposed by Reverend William Barber. Problem is that many have very little respect for him and many of his beliefs. A groundswell of opposition will never happen with him at the helm of opposition. It needs a more mainstream leader who is not nearly so polarizing. We need a Sam Ervin.

  • Anonymous

    I live in California and both houses of our legislature are led by super-majority Democratic rule and we have a Democrat Governor. I hope you do a story on how bad that Democratic control has totally f’d up our state too!

    Oh wait, you and your liberal friends don’t think there’s any problem with that.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Jim. I’m sure NPR pays PRX for its content and a portion of that money is US taxpayer money. Also, since money is fungible a portion of the expense of airing Moyers is also paid by US taxpayers. How can Moyers complain about big money influencing attitudes and votes when he receives taxpayer money to do the same?

  • Jim Duley

    Well yes, but by the time it gets to Moyers, it’s been passed through quite a few hands. Technically, I suppose Walmart receives a good bit of “taxpayer money” too, if state employees cash their checks and buy groceries there. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was set up specifically to keep the source of funds (about 15% of NPR member stations’ income I think) from influencing the editorial positions of public radio broadcasts.

  • Anonymous

    Your comment and call to action just repeats liberal talking points without any facts. I think Democrats receive as much money as Republicans do. Where are your facts to support your argument? Did you see the list of donors to John Podesta’s lobbying group? All the biggies on Wall Street, major banks, insurance companies and other major corporate donors. How about some facts. How much money did each party receive?

  • Anonymous

    The democrats spend the money to make people happy and get re-elected and leave the debt for our children and grandchildren.

  • TheTransAtlanticRailroad

    First, cite the source(s) for what you allege are the liberal talking points you say I am repeating.
    Second, how is that one needs external factual support for asserting that a median income American ($50K to $80 per year maybe?) cannot afford to attend a $10K/plate dinner? (aren’t the facts to support the statement in the statement?)
    Third, what on God’s green earth does John Podesta have to do with this discussion? This is about the impact of one very wealthy North Carolinian on NC politics. Is there an equally wealthy North Carolinian funding liberal causes and candidates in NC? Please share.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for those FACTS. I did some research myself into campaign financing. The NY Times reports that Obama raised more money than Romney did for the last presidential campaign. So much for your resentment motivated fantasy about “Plutocrats and corporatists”. But I’m sure the facts won’t influence your opinions.

  • Anonymous

    Bottomline: Corporations and the 1% rule the world, our politics, politicians and you and I through consumerism. The entire system is broken and dangerously leaning toward an authoritarian government. And North Carolina and Wisconsin are the test runs: Until Citizens United is reversed and the dark money taken out of politics, Wall Street will continue to skyrocket and the poverty and quality education for the rich only will continue. Perhaps the entire system has to crash and burn so the phoenix can rise from the ashes. While money rules and is god, the powers that rule us will let the planet and you and I go down the toilet before they stop filling their coffers.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps you mean Democrats? “Liberals” isn’t a party, and the Gerrymandering is done by politicians who generally belong to political parties: which includes the old Southern Democrats who now share the same platform as modern Southern Republicans.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t aware that the California Democrats worked to reinstitute voter suppression and strip rights from average citizens, which includes overturning a clean election law which prohibited lawyers et al from contributing to the campaigns and coffers of the judges who will be deciding their cases. Nor had I realized that the California Governor appointed the head of a privately held company, who bank-rolled him and other candidates, was then appointed as the budget director. Thanks for the heads up. Yeah… the two scenarios are very similar

  • Benevolent Dictator

    As a former Democrat, it is difficult for me to feel sympathy after the damage done and the fact that I lost my health care.

  • Anonymous

    This is a dishonest and disingenuous response, in addition to being off topic. If you lost your healthcare, it is because your employer dropped you to save money. There is nothing in the ACA which would require you to loose your coverage. Blame your employer or your governor and then sign up for coverage through the exchange if you don’t have access to an employer subsidized group plan.

  • Anonymous

    Did you watch this before commenting? Because there is a lot more going on in this case than a story about a donor. The sad part is that you really think your point is a strong one.

  • Anonymous

    So self-centered. My ancestors also fought for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, even without the all-caps, they were smart enough to know that pursuit of happiness is not a dictum for selfish pursuits, but refers to the elevation of humanity and a government that works for the public good. What you say about the rich getting richer is true, but that did not begin with Obama. Your assessment is completely backwards. It boils down to effective tax rates and deregulated markets etc. It seems lost on most people who long for the good old days in America when the tax rate on the wealthiest was 70% or higher… So things worked better: strong infrastructure, well-maintained cities and streets, strong manufacturing base with the where an average worker’s salary could ensure a comfortable living and a place in the economy. However, what those who bemoan the loss of the good ol’ day really miss is the white hegemony. I’m all all for returning to pre 1970′s tax rates.

  • Anonymous

    What’s your point? Your link proves what we already know which is that Obama raised more money but did so primarily through numerous individuals making rather small contributions. Romney had more mega donors and PAC money and did actually spent more in the end. This very much supports the earlier point that the Republican party is more beholden to plutocrats and corporatists rather than disproving it as you intended.

  • Edward Moriarty

    I certainly cannot speak for Mr. Moyers, but I bet he would welcome Mr. Pope to be a guest. that would be the place to give a “useful response”

  • Anonymous

    Well, I watched online. They can try to censor but it won’t work in the age of the internet!

  • Edward Moriarty

    Think he would ever go on Mr. Moyers show as a guest?

  • Anonymous

    I voted against them but they still won.

  • Anonymous

    The very worst thing the rethuglicans did in NC was to undo the non-partisan voters guide to judicial elections and some other state offices (Insurance commissioner, state auditor were two if I remember correctly). The candidates were in the voter guide if they did not run as Repub or Demo. It was a check off on the NC state tax return like the Presidential Election fund check off on the Federal Form 1040. This was the best thing since sliced bread as voters could learn about the people running for the judicial seats. The guide had the candidates education, job experience and current job plus a brief statement by the candidate. This should be implemented for all elections, national or statewide, for all offices up for election.

  • Anonymous

    Sam Ervin, one of the leading supporters of Jim Crow and segregation, and vicious opponent of integration and civil rights? Is that the guy you mean – yeah, it is. Lived it.

  • Jane
  • Anonymous

    Yawn. Another hit piece on Art Pope who is the Democrats favorite excuse for losing their 150+ years in control of North Carolina state politics.

    Face it…the Democrats lost their control due to their arrogance and corruption and not because of Art Pope.

    The Democrats could not mount a serious campaign in 2010 in their own gerrymandered districts because so many of their own were involved in scandals, prosecutions, jail sentences, prison sentences, etc.

    Yep, it was all Art Pope’s fault they were corrupt and in Bev Perdue’s case, totally inept.

  • TheTransAtlanticRailroad

    Thank-you. The article you cited clearly indicates it took many times the number of people donating to the Obama campaign to match funds with the Romney campaign. But first, there’s “research” as in looking something up then there’s “research” as in a coordinated study by scholars and experts to discover the nature of and causal relations in a particular topic of interest (e.g. cancer, addiction) and gradations in between. You were just looking something up.

    As to facts, they are what they are. Facts are to an argument what parts are to an automobile. It’s how you acquire facts, assemble them and use them that count, not that you merely have them. Ironically, the link you gave supplied much of the facts you requested to sort of support my argument that there is a gross imbalance of power favoring the wealthy. For the top 5 major donors to each candidate, Romney received over 2.5 times a much as Obama. Individual donations under $200 made up 57% of Obama’s but only 24% of Romney’s. Individual donations of the maximum $2500 made up 39% of Romney’s but only 11% of Obama’s. And as to outside spending for a candidate or against the other candidate, Romney wins $282.1-million to $68.4-million.

    My conclusion: the only way non-rich folks can counterbalance rich folks in politics is through much greater numbers either giving what they can (e.g. the 57% of under $200) or by giving of time and effort, neither of which is covered by the “facts” of the article.

  • sosmartru

    We are indeed-as in the democrats transition into Socialism.

  • sosmartru

    Smearing Southerners? Bigot.

  • Michael Case

    Translation: I have never picked up a history book and could not comprehend it if I did.

  • Concerned

    Well put and I absolutely agree. The money changers must be cast out period!

  • Anonymous

    BS. The show was on the same station it’s been on every single week: UNC-MX

  • Anonymous

    We already had voter ID, including a biometric. Which, by the way, is the same identification used by credit card companies when they loan you thousands of dollars. A photo ID wasn’t necessary to prevent fraud.

    The new rules would have kept me from voting this year because I woke election day morning to realize I had lost my drivers license somewhere. How many other people is that going to happen to?

    Again, the previous system ALREADY had sufficient methods for identification!

    The intention wasn’t to improve the system, the intention was to prevent people from rightfully voting.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s a little late for Mr. Moyers to invite him.

  • Edward Moriarty

    i can’t speak for Mr. Moyers, but your answer avoids the question. Do you think he would go on Moyers & Company if invited?

  • sallieht

    If you live in NC and have never heard of Art Pope, you must be deaf and blind. Don’t mean to be offensive to anyone, just stating a fact.

  • Anonymous

    Lol

  • lostinbago

    In a perverse way, the 1%ers right wing takeover of NC and Wis. may serve our political debate well in the coming years. We already have some interesting living lab results that we can compare adjoining states that use conflicting philosophies.
    Walker’s Wis. is starting to show growing inferior economic results compared to next door ‘liberal’ Minnesota’s policies.
    Washington’s economy with higher minimum wages and progressive politics is outpacing its neighbors to the west.
    I can also see the quality of life differences between the ‘left coast’ and the conservative Dixie states.

  • Anonymous

    No, the Democratic corruption wasn’t Pope’s fault, and there’s no excuse for it. But that doesn’t make Pope a saint or excuse his own political immorality that gets represented as “conservatism”.

  • Anonymous

    In New York, you sign a registration sheet when you register to vote. On election day, you sign again, right next to an image of your registration signature, so the election inspector can see the two signatures side-by-side. It’s your ability to reproduce your signature, not some possession, that allows you to vote. And there’s no significant voter fraud with this long-used system.

  • Anonymous

    You’re assuming that Pope’s “conservative message” was truthful. McCrory certainly didn’t tell the truth during the campaign. Is our societal memory so short that we’ve forgotten Hiter’s “big lie” propaganda machine? That’s exactly what’s going on in right-wing politics today: the big lie. You repeat it often enough and people believe it. And money allows that to happen.

    BTW, Moyers’ program is distributed free to the stations that broadcast it. There is no public money involved.

    It’s tragic that advocating decent treatment of citizens and fairness in the public square is considered “partisan” these days. Apparently that’s the kind of citizens that today’s “conservatives” are.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. And doesn’t KQED get some portion of its funding from US taxpayers? I’m think it does. My point is Moyer is a hypocrite complaining about this guy’s influence on NC politics while using taxpayer $$ to disseminate his partisan views.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, in the same way that other CEOs “earn” their outlandish and outrageous pay, with no thought to whether their employees can even survive on the wages they’re paid. Because it’s all part of the “system”: workers are commodities who are bought and sold at “market” rates, and CEOs “deserve” their pay because they do it all themselves, including buying and paying for the corporate socialism that their bought-and-paid-for legislators provide.

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t aware that the State of North Carolina was living under a crushing state debt, and that dealing with that debt required and justifies all of the changes that the ring-wingers have made, including the gerrymandering. (And don’t tell me the Democrats gerrymandered, too, because two wrongs don’t make a right.)

  • Anonymous

    I don’t live in NC, I live in No CA. CA is California and No is North. I’m in the South San Francisco Bay area; Silicon Valley to be more precise. We have very liberal billionaires trying to influence elections out here. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

  • Anonymous

    Ideas need to be judged, and argued about, and defended. There are good ideas and bad ideas, and some people have more bad ones than good ones, by any objective sense of morality. The problem today is that certain people who seem to appear mostly in the rightward side of the spectrum want to use deception and lies, and have the money to do so, to “sell” their ideas to the public, who seem much less educated and have much less ability for critical thinking than in times gone by.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, I see that you DO get it! You understand that corporate dollars have greater effective voting power than the actual votes of citizens.

  • Anonymous

    So, does this mean you’d agree that we need public financing of elections to eliminate the Democratic and Republican corruption you cite?

  • Anonymous

    You’re absolutely right – we CAN act, and that’s about all we can do. This means we have to give up huge amounts of our time and effort over extended periods of time, while still struggling to earn our livings, and the plutocrats and corporatists just write their checks and enjoy their lives. As JFK said, life isn’t fair.

  • Anonymous

    North Carolina’s political direction is dead on perfect, and an important reason we moved here and became residents this January. Keep it up! And lose Hagan while you’re at it.

  • Anonymous

    You’re kidding, right? To get money and corruption out of politics get the money out of DC. The reality is when Uncle Sam doles out $3.5 trillion a year everyone–Dems and Republicans alike-will lobby to get as much as they can.

  • Anonymous

    My point is that billionaires–liberals and conservatives–can get their voice heard, but voters are free to vote for whomever they choose. Money doesn’t win elections. If it did O wouldn’t be in the White House because Mitt spent more. I was asking for your facts, not for your opinions, because without any facts it sounds like you’re just another resentful populist who needs to create straw men to garner support. You provided no facts to support your opinions.

  • Anonymous

    You’re kidding, right? You want to run the federal (and, presumably, state and local) government without spending money? Get real.

  • Anonymous

    Of course not. The Federal Government must do ONLY what a Federal Government can do–defend the country, regulate interstate commerce, etc. Funds for most other services/benefits need to be delivered as close to the recipient as possible. Uncle Sam currently spends $11,200 person (man, woman and child) per year in the U.S. Almost $1,000 per month. No one says “Thank You”; they say “Gimme more”. The system is broken.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with ceding programs to the states is the extreme variability therein. Many states just don’t care about people and wouldn’t spend any money on them (e.g., Alabama, Mississippi, etc.) Do we really want to live in one country, or 50? If you get a job transfer, or otherwise see a need to move to another state, do you want to find it’s like living in the 3rd world? We need to be a single nation.

  • Anonymous

    The video brings to mind what happened while I was a student in Newark, NJ in 1967 and frustration among the city’s residents became more than they could contain.

  • Kumi

    I am deeply disturbed learning about the current politics in the NC government. I don’t care if you are a democrat or republican, just do what is right for the people. Let’s bring back pride in public service not have big “dark” money rule everything! Remember nobody gains from this disservice!

  • Terence

    A few minutes into the video the screen went black. A notice appeared in the middle of that blackness announcing: SORRY. There was an issue with the playback. WTF? I have never, ever, encountered an interruption/disruption resembling this.

  • Terence

    Do you plan on making sense any time soon?

  • Terence

    Right on! Transparent, obvious dis-ingenuity. Not bright enough to craftily mask it.

  • Terence

    Partisan sarcasm over meaningful dialog.

  • Anonymous

    Only the last sentence was a little snarky. There needs to be a meaningful dialogue about how a state that has a 9.3% marginal income tax rate starting at $45k/year and 8% income tax (10% in the City of LA!!!!), top 5 in the nation in those categories has a bottom 5 public education system, bloated bureaucracy, ineffective legislature, and no one seems to care.

  • Anonymous

    Well, that’s all well and good, but you were offering your opinions, which we also didn’t ask for, on the nature of donating between the parties, and you offered your link in response to mega donors being linked to republicans (which this segment is about). You linked to the article to refute this, when in fact it supported the premise. Your point has been made moot, since the prevailing problem with fewer donors donating huge amounts, is that the undue influence one single person has. That is what is at the heart of this matter. My “facts” are in Times article link. Read it, read the links within it. Look at the amounts of the major donors and from PACs for Mitt. The topic was raised by someone else in this conversation because Pope, as an individual has bank rolled the republican part in NC, which obviously skews things in an alarming king-maker direction. You’ve lost sight of the nature of the Moyer segment and why the discussion centered on spending, “plutocrats” and “corporatists” etc… The assessments are correct and the link to Presidential Race fundraising / spending article clearly supports the proposition.

  • Anonymous

    The liberals are running this country!!!

  • Terence

    Give me those kinds of quality guys over the Koch’s the Trump’s, Rove’s etc., etc. anytime.

  • William Smith

    I don’t know where you should live but it is not as part of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA remember the south did lose the civil war

  • Leftypatriot

    You are despicable human beings.

  • William Smith

    it is encouraging to see more people joining the discussion on the state of politics in the country but I believe the real problem lies with all of our citizens who only become interested when an issue affects them directly the only way we are going to achieve real change is together not as democrats or republicans or buckeyes or wolverines bit as AMERICANS we must get rid of super pacs and lobbyists we must demand our corporations to be responsible citizens and we can do this with our wallets if we could agree on one week to not shop not drive not work as a nation you would see panic among the people who buy our elections and rights

  • Roy-in-Boise

    Extremist regimes always get rid of the intelligentsia first. Be careful less the GOP slashes the budget of the University at Chapel Hill next.

  • Dan Q. Public

    The Conservative control of the media in this state is appalling. Not only do they block programs they do not approve, they also have a lock on programs shown in public places. In the Northeastern part of the state, where I live, it is almost impossible to sit in a doctor’s waiting room, or wait for your car to be serviced, or watch any other television available for public viewing, without being forced to endure the misinformation being distributed by Fox News. Thanks to the Pope funded politicians, the Chamber of Commerce and most of the churches, any hope for improvement is lost.

  • Into Action

    Thanks to Mr. Moyers for such great coverage of current events in my current state. I have lived in both states, oddly enough. I wanted to attend the Raleigh protests, but couldn’t get time off of work (how ironic!), so I went to a smaller one near me. People inherently want the same things: safety, food, work. We need to find common ground. It’s just that those with money often operate out of fear of losing it, and/or arrogance toward those whose circumstance means they are low on resources. I believe that a spiritual reckoning comes to those who oppress the poor. My god is BIG and capable (when I’m not discouraged). When I am discouraged, I feel that feudalism and plutocracy has always been there to trample those with less power. God grant us the courage to change the things we can.

  • Debbie McArdle Craddock

    I do follow politics and realize what is happening here in North Carolina. I went to a concert a couple of days ago and sat next to a middle aged black woman and the two of us began talking about the state of our state (I’m white) and she admitted that she would be forced to leave the state in 2016 if the current administration were re elected. She said that if she stayed she would be restricting her children’s future-Her daughter is currently in college in Boone and was not able to vote due to the recent voting “changes” that made getting there nearly impossible for college students. Our only hope is that our congress decides that the law has to change and determines that our country should NOT be run by a RICH man (or some RICH interests) but should be determined by the votes of all of us. The latest decisions of these very smart people in the supreme court have me bewildered-they decided that a COMPANY has the right to discriminate against a woman’s right to birth control based on a religious belief that is unfounded (medically not valid) and then also determine that DARK money (we don’t care if it’s from a drug cartel or from a terrorist organization) can finance a political candidate (party) to serve an interest or agenda (that probably impacts them financially is A-OK-when it HURTS the rest of the population? What kind of country is this? People will be leaving North Carolina in droves along with businesses just like they are leaving the republican party. They need to realize that the United States of American is a country that is a multi cultural diverse country made of many layers of colors, shapes, beliefs, educations, values, economic levels or we are lost as a nation. When I see the BS that is going on now with the republicans trying to sue the president when they could be spending their time working with the rest of congress to work out solutions that are necessary to move our country forward it just illustrates how we as a country have lost our way. The election is over. You lost. This is the same as insubordination if you were working in a REAL job. You were elected to SERVE the people. The American people. Your job is to make things BETTER, not to BLOCK and STALL place blame. If you are not able to work together then don’t run again. Please. Just don’t run for office. You should have learned how to play with others in first grade.

  • Anonymous

    General strike.

  • Anonymous

    I wish!