By Ian Millhiser/Think Progress
In 2010, Republicans took over both houses of the North Carolina legislature for the first time since 1870, due in no small part to the spending of a single, very wealthy Republican. As Jane Mayer reported in 2011, “three-quarters of the spending by independent groups in North Carolina’s 2010 state races came from accounts linked to” wholesale baron Art Pope. Of the 22 state legislative races targeted by Pope’s family and his organizations, 18 fell to Republicans. Yet Pope’s bought-and-paid-for legislature had limited reach until very recently thanks to the state’s Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue. That all changed last January, when Perdue wassucceeded by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.