Well, you make sense of it.

Quoted in Rob Christensen’s column this evening, Art Pope does what he always does, calmly and patiently explain how things work, even though he knows his interrogator is keen not to hear or understand.


Art Pope, the governor’s budget director, is advocating a continuation of North Carolina’s film incentive program.

But a battery of conservative organizations with close ties to Pope are leading the charge to kill the film incentive program. …

I asked Pope whether he didn’t find himself in a bit of a sticky wicket.

And Pope’s answer?

“I am not in the least bit of an awkward position,” Pope replied in an email. “As a member of Governor McCrory’s administration, I support and implement Governor McCrory’s decisions. The Locke Foundation, Civitas and AFP have always spoken for themselves, respectively, not me. At times they have disagreed with each other or with me on specific issues. That will always be the case.

Which doesn’t register a bit:

Whether because of the barrage of opposition from conservative groups or not, I don’t know, but McCrory’s film incentive program is in trouble in the legislature.

If you assume, as I do, that Pope could have turned off the barrage of opposition with a phone call, McCrory has to wonder what role his budget chief played in the film incentives debate. At the very least, we are entering a gray area where it is difficult to see distinct lines between government public policy and advocacy.