protester game screenshot
A screenshot of Civitas' "Pick the Protester Game."

Art Pope-funded group launches database targeting Moral Monday arrestees

The John W. Pope Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank based in Raleigh, N.C., has launched a database targeting people who've been arrested as part of the Moral Monday nonviolent protests at the state legislature.

The Civitas Institute was founded by conservative mega-donor and discount-retail mogul Art Pope, now the North Carolina budget director under Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, and it was named for Pope's father. The nonprofit gets about 94 percent of its funding from the family foundation Pope chairs. That raises questions about the ethics of a public official who's been a target of the protests being involved in an apparent effort to target the protesters for harassment -- or worse.

"This is troubling from a group whose supporters include far right extremists in favor of loose regulation of gun ownership, among other things," Progress North Carolina, a liberal advocacy group, said in post on its Facebook page.

The Civitas database includes each protester's name, city and county of residence, sex, race, age, arrest date, occupation, employer (and whether it's in the public, private or nonprofit sector), interest group affiliations, and mugshot.

It also includes arrestees' voter registration information and whether there was a discrepancy between the address the person is registered at and the address they gave when arrested. A number of those discrepancies appear to involve students, who often register to vote at their parents' home while living elsewhere to attend school. Discrepancies can also occur when someone has moved since the last election but hasn't updated his or her registration.

The database offers infographics detailing demographic and political characteristics of those arrested. And it offers a "Pick the Protester Game" in which visitors to the database are shown three mugshots and asked a question about them, such as "Which protester is 55 years old?" or "Which protester is from Orange County?"

Civitas says the project aims to shine a light on the growing protest movement. "Recent media reports have suggested that the protesters disrupting the General Assembly at 'Moral Mondays' represent a cross-section of North Carolina citizens," according to a statement on its website. "We decided to investigate that claim. Using arrest records and other public documents, we investigated who really is involved in these protests -- the results may surprise you."

Nearly 500 people have been arrested since the ongoing protests, organized by the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, began in late April. Those arrested have faced misdemeanor charges including trespassing and failure to disperse after gathering inside the legislature, singing and holding signs, and disobeying police orders to leave. Among those arrested was Chris Kromm, executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies, the nonprofit publisher of Facing South.

The protests oppose the legislature's far-right agenda, which has included rejecting federal funds to expand health care for the poor, curtailing voting rights, cutting unemployment benefits, and restarting the death penalty.

North Carolina's current legislature is controlled by a Republican supermajority that was elected with generous funding from Pope and his immediate family, and from outside spending groups supported by Pope and his business, the North Carolina-based Variety Wholesalers discount retail chain. The supermajority was also enabled by a controversial redistricting process that favored Republicans and packed minorities into majority-minority districts while diluting their power elsewhere, and to which Pope served as an advisor.

Republican leaders' response to the Moral Monday protests has at times evoked a painful chapter of Southern history. Speaking earlier this month to the state Republican Party convention in Charlotte, Gov. McCrory said the protests were the work of "outsiders" -- even though Civitas' own database shows that those arrested are overwhelmingly North Carolina residents. McCrory's remark calls to mind how former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, an ardent segregationist, blamed civil rights demonstrations in his state on the work of "outside agitators."

Civitas' database brings to mind another troubling episode of mid-20th century U.S. history: how in some Southern cities at that time the white-supremacist White Citizens' Councils (WCC) would publish in local newspapers the names of NAACP supporters and those who signed anti-segregation petitions in order to encourage retaliation against them. The WCCs, like Civitas, also had close ties to powerful government officials.

* * *

UPDATE: The Civitas database got the attention of the Indy Week, an alternative newspaper based in Durham, N.C. The day after the conservative group's project came to light, the Indy ran a story titled "Who's who at Civitas? Let's name names." Noting that "turnabout is fair play," editor Lisa Sorg compiled a comparable list of people on staff and on the board of the Civitas Institute and its 501(c)(4) sister organization, Civitas Action, along with their age, residence, party affilation, and other publicly available details.

Interestingly, while Sorg was assembling her list in the morning, all the staff names were listed on the Civitas Institute's website. But by that afternoon, the only one still listed was Civitas President Francis X. De Luca. But as Sorg points out, that's nothing that the Wayback Machine can't fix.

Image: 
A screenshot of Civitas' "Pick the Protester Game."
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Good! We need to know who

Good! We need to know who these potential terrorist are!

Keep up the great work!

Moral Mondays are the best chance we have for showing the rest of the country that we aren't as backwards and hate filled as the cons

america supports you!

a couple times a week i google "moral mondays" so that i can be inspired by the great people of north carolina!

The machine keeps rolling

It is interesting the Left and the Right use the same tactics.

We all should be at an uproar over the Obama Administration's abuse of power with the IRS scam targeting conservatives, Allowing the murder of our diplomat and 3 former SEALs in Libya, Eric Holder's obvious illegal actions against the AP and numerous other news agency groups who dare to question our Dictator's ways and means, our government's disreard for the constitution, the obvious racism of Ms. Obama (just read her own writings) as well as our President (again, read his own writings), etc..

Now the right complains about the left's use of these tactics and are justified to do so. BUT at the same time the right does the same thing ( albeit on a much smaller scale) as pointed out by this article.

Please know that no matter whether the left or right is in power the same sort of things will happen. Maybe it is time we should all take a much longer look at the Libertarian party. It is the only party which thinks the government should allow personal and social freedoms (ie., liberal) while running a government being fiscally conservative (ie., conservative). Common sense must come into play at some point. For example, you must have a valid ID to cash a check or buy alcohol. But the LEFT says no to a valid ID to exercise the most cherished of all freedoms, that is the right to vote. Whereas, the RIGHT says no to abortion even in the case of rape. BUT the right not help that mother with money to raise the child that the mother does not want. Again, common sense on both the Left and the Right must come into play.

Please stop with the democrats and republicans and start learning more about the Libertarians. Wake Up.

Libertarianism, like its

Libertarianism, like its opposite Nationalism(Authoritarianism), are Social policy ideals which can be defined by both the Left and the Right as these terms describe 'economic' ideals: Collectivism/Socialism on the Left and Capitalism/Imperialism on the Right.

So to call a Party 'Libertarian' makes no sense as its economic policy would have to accommodate everything from Full Communism through to Free Market Extremism.

Incidentally, what the USA currently has is a neo-liberal executive and a neo-conservative congress which are both Right-wing Nationalist philosophies, and both subject to the same market-driven corruption you'd expect to find in any Capitalist system. Repeated claims of the Obama Administration being on the Left makes political scholars laugh almost as much as the Tea Party claims of being Libertarian, rather than the narrow-minded Nationalist Individualists they are.

Now they fight you

Take heart protestors your work is showing that you are having a great effect on the issues you care about.
First they tried to ignore you
Then they laughed at you
Now they fight you
Next you win.

so where did they GET those pictures anyway?

If some police officer handed them over to this private group, seems like that would be misconduct. We should demand an investigation.

Mugshots are public records.

Mugshots of people arrested in Raleigh, N.C. are available to anyone upon request at the City-County Bureau of Identification.

Moral Mondays

I do admire the MORAL MONDAYS group actions. Unfortunately my health does not permit my joining them, though I have marched for the feminist campaigns in the past. It can be a very satisfying means for working for your beliefs.

Every week I watch to see how things are going. I was most pleased to see a bus is going from Asheville this Monday.

I noticed someone in the above comments called certain people
POPE-ETTES. A good name for our legislature, governor, and others. I shall use it henceforth.

Never forget---THERE ARE MANY NATIVES OF NORTH CAROLINA WHO ARE CHEERING FOR YOU EVERY MONDAY.

Moral Mondays

Yes...we are cheering you on even when we aren't there!

Here in Wisconsin a tea party

Here in Wisconsin a tea party group created a database of those who signed the petition to recall Gov. Walker. Just a week ago a young UW student's appointment to the Board of Regents was withdrawn simply because he had signed.

pride

I too am so proud of all these protestors, and glad to know the full list so I can thank them for continuing the long legacy of civil engagement and participation that brings honor to our state. My thanks for your acknowledging these leaders.

What I told Civitas (settherecordstraight@nccivitas.org)

I'm so proud of each of these protestors, these brave North Carolinians standing up for the future of this state while honoring a historic legacy of civil disobedience. I'm glad to know their names and affiliations. I'll be sure to thank them, and give support to their organizations.
Thank you, and best regards.

For the love of North Carolina,
Kriti.

NC

I am going to join the protesters on Monday. I urge all voting age citizens to go to the polls and vote. Before elections come, be sure to find out what new rules/regs have been put in place to thrwart your vote. If anyone needs help getting to the polls or doesn't understand what is different, go to your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and make sure you are eligible. Find out about election dates (especially in off-presidential years) and vote. Talk to your neighbors and urge them to vote. Don't try to sway them; let them choose. If they need help getting to the polls, help them or find someone who will. We all have to be pro-active. I actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement, The Women's Movement, the protests against Vietman, and KNOW that change can happen if enough people voice their opinions publicly and at the polls.

Publishing names of the name publishers

Here are the email addresses for the staff of CIVITAS, the organization behind the recent public database of Moral Monday arrestees. No doubt they'd be interested in hearing what people think of their work. Often.

"FRANCIS X. DE LUCA - President" francis.deluca@nccivitas.org,
"BRIAN BALFOUR - Director of Policy and Operations" brian.balfour@nccivitas.org,
"DR. ROBERT LUEBKE - Senior Policy Analyst" bob.luebke@nccivitas.org,
"JIM TYNEN - Director of communications" jim.tynen@nccivitas.org,
"SUSAN MYRICK - Elections Analyst" susan.myrick@nccivitas.org,
"ALEXANDER GUIN - Director of Development" Alexander.Guin@nccivitas.org,
"BILL GILBERT - Director of Technology and Outreach" bill.gilbert@nccivitas.org,
"CAMERON HARWICK - Web Development and Media" cameron.harwick@nccivitas.org,
"ANGELA HIGHT - Policy Analyst" angela.hight@nccivitas.org

Many thanks to the Internet Archive project for capturing the CIVITAS Staff webpage just prior to its scrubbing by CIVITAS.

http://web.archive.org/web/20130402095521/http://www.nccivitas.org/about...

Thanks for publishing the

Thanks for publishing the names of the folks from Civitas. It's nice to know who to thank for their service to our state.

Proud to be NC

I have been privileged to attend four Moral Monday protests, but have not had the privilege to be arrested yet. There are hundreds of people from every walk of life there. The arrestees are only a fraction of attendees. They are making their point in this fashion because the media focuses on the arrests and it is vital to help all North Carolinians realize what these Popettes are doing to the people of our state. Unfortunately, many are unaware of what damage recent legislation is causing.

A large number of the legislators attend, at tax payer expense, meetings of ALEC, where legislation is written for them by businesses such as Pope's. The businesses pay from $4000 to $25000 to have this opportunity and the legislators are their willing "Popettes". See http://alecinnc.wordpress.com/ for a partial list.

Pope and his type also buy the legislators with millions in campaign contributions, most of which are hidden in 501 C's.

Thom Goolsby, senator from New Hanover County, called the protestors morons and aging hippies. Pope is acting in the same threatening, childish and disgusting manner. It makes one wonder if there are any normal Republicans left. If so, they need to make their presence known and stop bowing to these extremists.

Sending love to the protesters

Keep protesting! Thank you for doing it! Throw the bums out.

VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE

Change it people! Keep up the great work, and the rest of the country is watching!!

NC Legislature reaction to Moral Monday protests

Let the impeachment process begin! This legislature is destroying NC and is a national embarrassment.

Despicable. We all know that

Despicable.
We all know that the NC Republicans are just corrupt self-dealing garbage whose #1 job is to screw over the many for the benefit of the connected few. How people were stupid enough to have voted them in is astonishing.

Aggregation of public records

Aggregation of public records and publishing them is clearly an effort to intimidate. Disgusting.

On the bright side

The good news is, the more info posted about arrestees, the easier it is for us to thank them and support their businesses, schools, and churches. "Neighbors who walk the walk" can be the true name of that list...

Take them all to jail

NC has a chance to be reborn now that the GOP is tasked with undoing the stupidity that has been bankrupting this state. I happen to know many of the protestors and their arguments were wrong during the election and they continue to be wrong today. Toss them all in jail for all I care, just put NC back on the right track for the rest of us that enjoy this great state. Time to grab the game and help the GOP make these peoples lives miserable and may be they will move to Colorado.

Aww yes Democracy through

Aww yes Democracy through thuggery what a great system the GOP has developed.

Belittling the GOP

Belittling the GOP for acting like thugs is pretty comical, considering that the Democrats had control of this state for decades. When the shoe is on the other foot, it doesn't feel too good, does it?

reply

and "may be" one day you will learn how to write proper English. Now go crawl back under your rock.

Impeach

Someone must come up with legal grounds to start impeaching these egregious, immoral bastards.

Civitas

No, this is meant to intimidate them, not "shame" them. Pope and his minions are at least smart enough to know that the people who committed civil disobedience are not ashamed of anything they have done. This is being done so the thugs who support Pope's politics will take matters into their own hands and target these people and their families with threats, intimidation, harassment and violence. They're hoping that if these people are employed that their employers will either fire them outright. Don't forget thanks to slimeballs like Pope, NC is still a "right to work" state. (What a misnomer-"right to work" means in fact you DON'T have a right to work. It means your employer gets to set the conditions at whim and you can in fact be fired for any reason except an obviously illegal one.)This is merely an intimidation technique. I just hope that when it doesn't work and people aren't intimidated, and their employers don't care, that Pope and his ilk don't start hiring a private army of Brownshirts to try to take it further.

cancer here in NC

When someone has cancer that can be treated you surgically remove it . When a dog gets rabid you put it down. when teabaggers take over you remove them. and the people of NC will do just that

I SUPPORT THE PROTESTORS!

What has happened to the state of North Carolina? This is appalling.

These are public records,

These are public records, true. But that doesn't mean public records can't be misused. This is essentially the equivalent of piling up a bunch of names for... what purpose? To shame them? Well, we know that is not the reason since they are not ashamed. As no one would be for being arrested protesting something they believe in. So what is the purpose?

The only reason I can think of doing this is to bring retribution of some sort. Considering this is a far-right group involved, that has the real potentiality of violence. So, does this aggregation have a fear-based incentive?

Does anybody know where this

Does anybody know where this Pope family lives, works, worships, make and model car they drive, dentist office they visit, their voter registration info, etc? That would be interesting stuff.

Well, I know he is the

Well, I know he is the CEO/President of Pope's discount stores, Super Dollar stores, Roses discount stores, Maxway, Eagles. He was a huge contributor to Pat McCrory's campaign funds which BOUGHT him the job of State Budget Director. He is also behind the so-called restructuring of our state university system and public education reform so he can teach his version of history to our children. He is using the money that the low income citizens of NC spend in his stores to destroy them and they probably are not even aware of it. Many of them probably even work for him and don't know this. We need to get the word out to BOYCOTT his businesses since we can't get rid of him until we can get rid of McCrory! http://www.artpopeexposed.com/

Pope Funded Group

I see his activities as a govt official and head of this private group as a conflict of interest and their gathering information on the protesters who are arrested sounds to me like the tactics used by Hitler and his minions in WW2. They have got to be stopped. They have drawn the line in the dirt and stepped over it.

I hope anyone who is targeted

I hope anyone who is targeted in this manner sues the state of North Carolina in federal court. A class action suit would be especially nice.

Since when are people in this country to be silenced?? Keep it up, protestors. Grow so great in number that you run those bastards right out of the state!!!!

protests

Keep it up Protesters! America supports you!

Moral Monday Protesters

Thank you for doing this to help us show that those supporting Moral Monday's are NOT outsiders. Many of those arrested have told me how proud they are to have their name and address publicized.
You are performing a great service here. We were unable to get this information anywhere else.

Pope's Campaign on nccivitas.org against Moral Mondays

Moral Monday protesters have got to organize to rebutt the points that Pope is making on nccivitas.org. The website says to send emails to settherecordstraight@nccivitas.org. So lets flood the site with many and multiple emails that are repetitive or just make one point per each email. That might send so many emails their way that they will be overewhelmed and hopefully their servers will crash. Start as soon as you can and send as many as you can.

Public Records Fair Game

I support the Moral Monday protestors & loathe the oppressive turn of NC's state government, but I have no problem with aggregation & reporting of public records.

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