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Aside from death-penalty cases, it’s the toughest decision governors make.
And that’s so regardless of whether they are Republican or Democrat, named Holshouser, Hunt, Martin or Perdue.
The dilemma: A gubernatorial appointee is accused of an ethical – or even criminal – violation.
Immediately, the media demands that heads roll. Political opponents pounce.
Then the governor hears from the other side: the appointee and his or her friends.
Most always, the appointee is a friend and supporter. He or she gave money. Or even hosted an event in their home for the governor.
They say: “The media is making a mountain out of a molehill. You need to stand by your people, Governor. A person is innocent until proven guilty.”
But the media, political opponents and much of the public assume the opposite: guilty until proven innocent. There is an automatic assumption that anyone in politics is by definition corrupt.
“Just another example of the pay-to-play culture,” the righteous thunder. As though a governor should only appoint people who oppose his or her policies – or are agnostic. Heaven forbid you put someone in public office who might be committed to your priorities.
What’s worse, it’s tough for the governor to ferret out the facts. The appointee and friends tend to cover up. Their opponents leak damaging information in the most damaging way.
And, in today’s hurry-up, 24-hour news cycle, there is little patience for deliberation and fact-finding.
But, in politics, you only find sympathy in the dictionary, and you know where. That’s why governors get paid the big bucks and live in the big house.
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Jim Stegall
# Jim Stegall
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 9:45 AM
"Heaven forbid you put someone in public office who might be committed to your priorities."

Of course a governor should only appoint to office those who are committed to his priorities. And of course, the public should examine the actions of those the governor appoints to gain insight into what those priorities are. In this case, it's clear that the governor's priorities are to allow your friends to make money at public expense, and the public interest be damned.

What's unclear about that?
Da king
# Da king
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 11:00 AM
What, if anything, has the democratic party in North Carolina done to dispel the notion that corruption isn't rampant within their ranks other than to deny, deny,deny as we watch them continue to push corruption to new levels.
# rush
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 7:24 PM
I can think of several democrat governors including the present one that should be in the "big house."
# sherman
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:54 PM
"What, if anything, has the democratic party in North Carolina done to dispel the notion that corruption isn't rampant within their ranks other than to deny, deny,deny as we watch them continue to push corruption to new levels."

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