Art Pope Resignation a Reflection of Thom Tillis Leadership

The Reform Party of North Carolina points to the resignation of Art Pope as evidence of State Speaker of the House Thom Tills and Governor Pat McCrory’s inabilities to lead. Art Pope’s resignation came after the Republican controlled state legislature fought a prolonged budget battle that highlighted the fractures within the GOP.

As leaders of the controlling party, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Governor Pat McCrory should have brokered a compromise with the state senate early in the reconciliation process. Instead their lack of leadership caused the budget debacle to last well passed the planned legislative schedule.

The resignation of Art Pope is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. Art Pope was one of the state’s largest powerbrokers and most influential donors. Mr. Pope is the current CEO of regional store chain Variety Wholesalers, a board member of the John Locke Foundation, Co-Founder of Americans for Prosperity, former four term NC House member, and son of the current Chairman of the state GOP. His resignation as Chief Budget Writer marks the fall of an NC political giant.

This defeat is proof that Thom Tillis is unable to be a leader for North Carolina. On his watch, he gridlocked a single party legislature, and the fallout took down one of his major allies. If he cannot lead a Republican controlled state legislature, how can he compromise with Democrats to end gridlock in a divided federal government?

This statement is in no way an endorsement of Democrat Kay Hagan. Her voting record in the US Senate is just as dismal as Tillis’. Her habit of voting in lockstep with President Obama has created nothing more than a larger federal debt and missed opportunities.

Sadly due to the strict ballot access laws in North Carolina, and the inability of the Libertarian Party to field a viable candidate, the North Carolina electorate will be forced to pick between the lesser of evils, or long shot write in challengers like David Waddell, Barry Burney and John Rhodes.

Many Reform Party members do not see Constitution Party’s David Waddell or Libertarian Sean Haugh as good options. David Waddell’s recent resignation for city council, by writing a resignation letter in Klingon, has earned him notoriety. Libertarian candidate Sean Haughes’ entire strategy of drinking beer and ranting about Austrian economics in front of a camera for internet distribution is off putting, and guarantees a loss for the Libertarians.

Even thou the Reform Party does not have a candidate in the NC Senate race, internal polls show that the membership supports Barry Gurney or John Rhodes. Neither Barry Gurney or John Rhodes are running with the backing of a political party, and are true independents.

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