And Fran DeLuca’s timing couldn’t be more inappropriate:
The head of a conservative-leaning group says money paid annually by pork producers from a 2000 settlement with North Carolina must go to public schools rather than grants designed to improve the environment.
Francis DeLuca of the Civitas Institute sued Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper in Wake County court Tuesday. DeLuca wants a judge to force Cooper — also running for governor this fall — to stop the payments of up to $2 million and to recoup those funds back to 2014. The complaint cites a 2005 state Supreme Court decision in its arguments.
The settlement with Smithfield came in the wake of Hurricane Floyd, and the horrific environmental disaster that resulted from the flooding of hog farms and lagoons. Sound familiar? I don’t know if Art Pope and Colonel Francis are doing this to set up an 11th hour television ad saying, “Why doesn’t Roy Cooper want our precious children to have money for their schools?” or something equally noxious, or if they’re doing this as part of their crusade against environmental protection in general. But whatever their reasons, the settlement itself is very straightforward, and re-purposing those dollars could violate and nullify the agreement: