Another voice

The coterie of conservative think tanks, lobbying groups and research organizations in North Carolina is about to grow.

A new group called the Center for Citizenship, Enterprise and Government will hold panel discussions around the state on such issues as taxes, trade, education and the environment.

The idea is to make residents better informed about the issues, said Jim Lofton, who was secretary of administration during the governorship of Jim Martin, who is heading the new group. Lofton said the panel discussions will include an ideological cross section to stimulate debate.

The project is designed to honor E.A. Morris, the late textile executive from Greensboro and longtime political supporter of former Sen. Jesse Helms, on what would have been Morris’ 100th birthday. The group is being financed by the E.A. Morris Foundation and the John William Pope Foundation.

The new group’s initial board of directors includes former state Sen. Lawrence Davis of Raleigh; Chuck Fuller, a veteran conservative activist; Raleigh lawyer Sam Johnson; Martin; and former state Rep. Art Pope, president of Variety Wholesalers Inc.

The group will have its first meeting Nov. 6 at a noon lunch at the Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. (For more information call 821-1340.)

This is the latest conservative group based in the Capital City. The John Locke Foundation is the granddaddy of Raleigh think tanks and has spun off several smaller think tanks. The Citizens for a Sound Economy lobbies for limited government. NCFREE monitors the legislature for its business clients.