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Art Pope steps down as state budget director

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RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) -- Art Pope, who has been a lightning rod of criticism within state government's highest ranks, is stepping down as Gov. Pat McCrory's budget director.

McCrory made the announcement this afternoon in Raleigh. The governor lauded Pope with a special proclamation for his service to the state.

"Art has been the the voice of reason and conservative common sense," McCrory said.

The governor said Pope accepted his offer to serve as budget director under two conditions: He would work for just one year and be paid just $1. Pope, widely criticized for his conservative influence in the state, agreed to stay in the job when McCrory asked him to stay on through the General Assembly's Short Session, which just wrapped up. Pope today said he will stay in the position through Sept. 5.

The governor said he plans to sign the budget passed during the Short Session this week.

McCrory announced Raleigh banker Lee Roberts, the son of newswoman Cokie Roberts, will succeed Pope as state budget director. McCrory described Lee Roberts as "a fresh voice" in his administration.

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Unloading the baggage

Art Pope as budget director is baggage that McCrory must lose before the election. However, he will remain McCrory's puppet master regardless of whether he has an official position within the government or not. I hope the voters of N.C. will not be fooled again into thinking that McCrory is a moderate and will vote him out in 2016. He is an extremist whose policies have helped only the richest people in the state at the expense of the poor and the shrinking middle class. He has denied adequate health care to over 300,000 working poor people, caused higher insurance and medical costs for everyone, and cost the state money and jobs by rejecting the Medicaid expansion that our federal tax dollars are paying for. He has suppressed the vote, drastically cut unemployment and stopped it completely for the longterm unemployed, endangered the environment, attacked and demoralized teachers while offering them only an election-year smoke-and-mirrors pay "raise" while eliminating their longevity pay, cut education funding, endangered women's health and reproductive choices, and made a regressive tax system even more regressive so that it greatly favors the rich over everybody else. His basic economic policy is the trickle down system that has always failed and has led to more and more unfair income distribution since the 1970s. He is doing nothing to change the fact that people can work very hard for 40 or more hours a week or even work multiple jobs and still have trouble making ends meet. He prefers to give huge tax breaks to the rich who do not need or even, in many cases, want them rather than pay teachers fairly and improve the state's infrastructure. He has damaged the image of this state, making it regular fodder for comedians. He has been and will continue to be a disaster for this state and its people until he is voted out of office in 2016.

amen

Amen to that

Well said

Ditto on your Amen...couldn't have said it better. May the beautiful state of North Carolina be delivered of these duplicitous, avaricious cronies as soon as possible. VOTE IN NOVEMBER, FOLKS!

All talking points...

from the Reverend Bully Barber and his Moral Monday minions.

Getting Rid of the Baggage

Art Pope as budget director is baggage that McCrory must lose before the election. However, he will remain McCrory's puppet master regardless of whether he has an official position within the government or not. I hope the voters of N.C. will not be fooled again into thinking that McCrory is a moderate and will vote him out in 2016. He is an extremist whose policies have helped only the richest people in the state at the expense of the poor and the shrinking middle class. He has denied adequate health care to over 300,000 working poor people, caused higher insurance and medical costs for everyone, and cost the state money and jobs by rejecting the Medicaid expansion that our federal tax dollars are paying for. He has suppressed the vote, drastically cut unemployment and stopped it completely for the longterm unemployed, endangered the environment, attacked and demoralized teachers while offering them only an election-year smoke-and-mirrors "pay raise" while taking away their longevity pay, cut education funding, endangered women's health and reproductive choices, and made a regressive tax system even more regressive so that it greatly favors the rich over everybody else. His basic economic policy is the trickle down system that has always failed and has led to more and more unfair income distribution since the 1970s. He is doing nothing to change the fact that people can work very hard for 40 or more hours a week or even work multiple jobs and still have trouble making ends meet. He prefers to give huge tax breaks to the rich who do not need or even, in many cases, want them rather than pay teachers fairly and improve the state's infrastructure. He has damaged the image of this state, making it regular fodder for comedians. He has been and will continue to be a disaster for this state and its people.

I'm sure the Libs...

will find something to complain about when Lee Roberts steps in.

Art Pope Thank You

Mr Pope servied the state well under democratic leadership and conservative leader. I find it funny the Star News editor/article writer, would NOW use the terminology.." alightening rod". So if "change" is only democratic party leaning...its not a lightening rod. Get it...hope and change..what a "lightening rod" statrement by me

Are you on

drugs?

There sure has not been democratic leadership in Raleigh since the last election if you are referring to party affiliation.

Who's the Druggie?

Perhaps it's you doing drugs. Every leadership in Raleigh is in the democratic form (okay, supposed to be). Be it Democrats or Republicans.

Please pay attention. The poster used the word "democratic" with the first letter in lower case. This is different than the Democratic party. See what I did there? Big first letter, party affiliation, small first letter, form of government. Yes, it muddies the waters when it's the first word in a sentence but that wasn't the case here. Intelligent, drug-free readers can usually figure that out. You should give the poster some credit for knowing what they are writing, rather than jump all over them.

Just say no, okay?