David Riggs: Pope Foundation never contributed to GOP

August 26, 2013 

No funds to GOP

The Aug. 20 Other Opinion piece “The massacre of the N.C. model” by Bloomberg’s Al Hunt contained false statements about Art Pope and the John William Pope Foundation.

Hunt wrote, “Pope has given to the Republican Party through his political action committee, foundations and personal contributions.” This is unequivocally false. Art Pope is a proud Republican, but he does not have his own political action committee. His personal contributions to the Republican Party do not come close to $1 million, even over his lifetime.

The Pope Foundation, a charitable organization, has never contributed anything to the Republican Party. By reprinting Hunt’s false statement that the Pope Foundation contributed to the Republican Party, you falsely accused the foundation of a major violation of the IRS Code and campaign finance laws.

The Pope Foundation has given millions of dollars to charities, including humanitarian, arts, education and public policy nonprofits. Humanitarian charity helps those in immediate need, treating the symptoms of poverty. The Pope Foundation’s support for public policy groups and those empowering individuals has the long-term goal of curing the underlying causes of poverty.

Publishing the false and defamatory statement that the Pope Foundation gives to the Republican Party was a disservice both to your readers and to the charities supported by the Pope Foundation.

David Riggs

Executive vice president, John William Pope Foundation

Raleigh

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