As an attorney, I proudly represented a man who spray-painted “Screwed by the Town of Cary” on his house after Cary tried to force him to remove the sign. We won at the trial court, but ultimately the federal appeals court reversed that decision. The “amicus” group that supported my client on appeal was the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law, which state budget director Art Pope created and which has received millions of dollars from him.
Why do I mention this? Because I was arrested at a “Moral Monday” protestand just recently Pope’s Civitas Institute posted an Internet blacklist of protesters’ names, addresses, employers and mugshots. You know, so neighbors and employers can “be informed” and “discuss things” with the troublemakers. (Does this ring a bell for anyone around in the 1950s and 1960s?)
I’m not a radical liberal, an aging hippie or a crazy person, as my work with one of Pope’s own foundations might suggest. I’m just a moderate North Carolinian who is sad at the current legislature’s rejection of North Carolina’s long history of moderation and pragmatism. I’m not intimidated by my personal information being put on Pope’s website. I’m proud of what I did, and the information is, after all, public.