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INSTITUTE INDEX: The money behind disinformation attacks on NC voting machines

July 23, 2021 - Taking a cue from controversial efforts in other states like Arizona and Georgia, North Carolina's far-right House Freedom Caucus — repeating the Big Lie about "rigged elections" — wants to be allowed to open up the state's voting machines and peer inside, but state elections officials say that presents an unacceptable security risk. We look at who's funding the caucus leaders' campaigns.

How Art Pope's money shaped UNC's toxic debate over Nikole Hannah-Jones

July 16, 2021 - Long before journalist Hannah-Jones' tenure fight with the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, the influential conservative policy network built and funded by millionaire businessman and GOP power broker Art Pope had turned its attention to her reporting on racism with attacks and distortions reminiscent of its dishonest treatment of climate science. Pope denied direct involvement in the tenure controversy, but his organizations' messaging carries weight in a UNC system where he's a major donor and serves on the powerful Board of Governors thanks to the Republican legislature he helped elect.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Meet the conservative powerbroker suing True the Vote over fraud claims flop

December 4, 2020 - North Carolina pharmaceutical entrepreneur Fred Eshelman gave $2.5 million to the Houston-based group to pursue claims of fraud in the presidential election, which he says they failed to take adequate action to substantiate. It's not the first time Eshelman, a big political spender who gives most of his money to outside groups, has been involved in funding ethically questionable efforts.

Art Pope's think tank keeps misleading on climate science

August 30, 2019 - Despite record global temperatures and near-unanimity among climate scientists that human activity is to blame, the North Carolina-based John Locke Foundation continues to cast doubt on the science of global warming and to stymie efforts to address the problem through public policy — and mainstream media outlets keep boosting its message and lending it credibility.

Secret-money groups take aim at Southern supreme courts

October 11, 2018 - The same secret-money group that pushed the U.S Senate to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh is dominating spending in judicial elections in Arkansas and elsewhere in the South. In some states, justices are looking to be re-elected with the help of campaign cash from corporations and law firms that have business before the courts.