The state Democratic Party today called for a boycott of the stores owned by Raleigh businessman Art Pope to protest what they call his “corporate takeover of our elections.”
At a news conference at party headquarters, Andrew Whalen, the Democrats' executive director, said Pope's company, Variety Wholesalers, had helped finance three independent committees in an effort to influence 20 legislative races in 48 counties.
“Pope's company, Variety Wholesalers, has directed hundreds of thousands of dollars – profits taken from hard-working North Carolinians who shop at his stores – to fund organizations that attack Democratic candidates,” Whalen said.
He said Pope is “an ultra right wing political operative” pushing to dismantle an agenda that gives protections to many working people and provides a safety net for people down on their luck.
The Democrats plan to list the names and locations of Roses, Maxway, Super Dollar, Value Mart and Super 10 Stores in North Carolina on their website and also send the information in an e-mail to 50,000 Democrats.
Pope said he doubted the boycott would work.
“The Republicans believe we will prevail by having better qualified candidates and being right on the issues,” Pope said Tuesday. “The conservative policy groups will continue to set forth proposals they think will improve the lives of North Carolina families.”
“The Democratic Party, rather than engage in that debate, wants to threaten people with economic retaliation to shut them up,” Pope said. “I will not be shut up.”