Your View: Pope calls shots in GOP Legislature

Aug. 14, 2013 @ 08:22 PM

The opening of “Despicable Me” seems so fitting after our last round of legislative action.  Art Pope has spoken and his group of minions, including our own John Blust, John Flaircloth, Jon Hardister, Phil Berger, Trudy Wade, Rayne Brown, Stan Bingham and Roger Younts, have listened and followed.
Pope, currently budget director for North Carolina, worked his way up the ladder the easy way.  He gave millions to various election campaigns, including Pat McCrory and most of the aforementioned legislative members, and his reward was a nice little government job.  These minions have been busy following their marching orders.
As if decimation of our public schools and ability to carry guns on school campuses wasn’t enough, they went and turned back the clock to the 1960s with their voter suppression legislation. So what’s next on their time-machine agenda.  I am sure they would now love to hop in their Delorean and turn it back to 1919 and remove women’s right to vote or maybe they would want to go to 1800 and only allow land-owning North Carolinians the right to vote.  Nothing is beyond question when your intent is not to improve government but rather dissolve it.
Our previous moderate North Carolina was not a good place for these individuals.  We had laws that benefited people and not the agenda of Pope and his wealthy friends, including the Koch brothers. To these individuals public schools, clean air, clean water, affordable health care, the right to vote without intimidation benefit the common person rather than maximize profits.
Buckle up my friends because this crazy train has only began.  To borrow from a previous letter sent in, the American Taliban is surely in action.  We are beginning to resemble Afghanistan with each passing legislation: more guns, more religion, less education and now voter suppression.

Ward Street Mission benefits from service
If you happened by 1619 W. Ward Avenue on July 23, you would have wondered if there was a big gas leak when you saw all the Piedmont Natural Gas trucks in our parking lot. However PNG was at Ward Street Mission UMC for another reason. We were the lucky recipients of PNG’s Day of Caring and what a day it was.
PNG workers came to help us with some needed maintenance and repair projects. All morning long 18 men and women pulled weeds, trimmed bushes, brought and put out three truckloads of mulch, pressured washed our ramp and did minor repairs to the playground area.
PNG employees also brought donations of clothes and food for Ward Street Community Resources programs and helped us sort and store these items. We also received much needed shelving that they could no longer use. Everyone worked together and so much was accomplished.
Thanks to PNG employees Ricky Maynard, Jeff Phillips, Parrish Reddick, Lonnie Angel, Rodney Brooks, Larry Spaulding, Rodney Bouldin, Joni Shore, Randy Boyles, Kimberly Michael, Vince Price, Loretta Horne, Chad Witcher, Bolen Young, Michael Smith, Michael Gibson, Zach Harris and Eva Nifong who toiled in the hot summer sun and thanks to PNG for letting these wonderful employees have time off from work to perform this community service.
And a final thanks to the United Way of Greater High Point, through which we learned of this great opportunity with United Way’s Kellie Cartwright and Joe Barnes coming out to make sure we got off to a good start. It was truly a Day of Caring and made a big impact for our facility and programs.
Edwards is pastor of Ward Street Mission UMC. Barnes is board chair of Ward Street Community Resources.


Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a bill that changes numerous N.C. voting statutes, including voter ID requirement, early voting and use of paper ballots. What’s your view? In 30 words or less (no name, address required), email your thoughts to or go to under Opinion and post a comment. Here are two responses:
• I don’t mind showing my ID. I think that it is fair to everyone.
• I concur with the changes, which cause no undue hardship on anyone and will help to ensure that our election process remains accurate and fair.

Guilford County officials are considering banning the tethering of dogs except under special circumstances. Should owners be prevented from keeping their dogs on tethers? In 30 words or less (no name, address required), email your thoughts to or go to under Opinion and post a comment.