Art Pope is North Carolina's best known financier of conservative causes and according to Politico he'll be honored when Republicans meet in Florida for the party's national convention. From the Politico story:
And Americans for Prosperity – the nonprofit that last week announced a $25 million ad campaign expressing disappointment in President Barack Obama – is planning a Thursday reception honoring Koch, and fellow big donor Art Pope, a North Carolina businessman.
The reception, which is open to journalists, is being billed as “A Salute to Entrepreneurs Building America.”
In a prepared statement announcing it, Americans for Prosperity president Tim Phillips praised Koch and Pope — who each chair an arm of Americans for Prosperity — as “two remarkable businessmen who are dedicated to the principles of economic freedom, and have done so much to advance its cause.”
Koch and Pope both plan to partake in the actual convention – Pope as a delegate from North Carolina and Koch, who hosted a $50,000-a-head fundraiser for Romney this summer in the Hamptons, as an alternate from New York.
Pope, the CEO and chairman of Variety Wholesalers, reportedly has donated more than $28 million through his family foundation to a network of conservative think tanks. He is a regular attendee of the secretive donor summits held twice a year by Koch and his brother Charles Koch, and at one such summit last year, Charles Koch singled out Pope for donating more than $1 million to groups related to the Kochs’ network — which intend to steer nearly $400 million to conservative groups ahead of the 2012 election.
Pope has maxed out to the RNC, but it’s not possible to know the totality of his giving 2012, because he gives much of his money through non-profit groups that don’t disclose their donors, and his foundation only discloses its contributions months after giving them. But he said he’s not sure how much more he intends to give this year. “I’m getting close to being tapped out. So, I don’t know whether I’ll be giving more or not.”
Pope and his family helped create think tanks like the John Locke Foundation and Civitas Institute, which provide some of the intellectual backing for Republicans efforts in the state legislature. It's also worth noting that Americans for Prosperity has a very active branch here in North Carolina.