Viewing Category

North Carolina - Republicans

05
The Governor climbed into the ring with the State House Monday morning and thirty minutes later he was lying sprawled flat on his back on the canvas then, the next morning, he climbed back into the ring – this time with the State Senate – and the same thing happened again.  
 
Pat McCrory’s not down for the count and he’s probably not wobbly-kneed but getting whipped on two vetoes in less than thirty minutes each is a sign – like a low-grade fever – that somewhere beneath the surface something’s not right.
 
Of course, the Governor’s friends say sure he lost two votes but he also accomplished his bigger goal of putting some distance between himself and the smelly, cantankerous legislators – and there’s some truth in that but there’s no avoiding the bigger fact the cantankerous legislators also gave the Governor an education in who’s boss in Raleigh. 

Had the Governor lost fighting for a noble cause, redemption would be waiting down the road but this thirty minute brawl wasn’t the least bit noble – it was an old-fashioned political tug-o-war over power and the Governor lost. He’s taken a hard but not a crippling blow – now the question is: Will the Governor rise from the ashes like a phoenix or does a low-grade fever turn into a heart attack?

 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

04
A local CEO was shocked by Governor McCrory’s comments in Rob Christensen’s Sunday N&O story (“During session and beyond, McCrory has rough start”).
Here’s the message he left on voice mail:
 
“I can’t tell you a CEO in any organization who could get away with saying I have no agenda, I have no legacy, my job is boring.  Is there a board in the country that would accept a CEO who doesn’t have a desire to move whatever organization they’re running in big way? Or allow them to get away with saying their job is boring, which by the way I think is insulting to the people who elected him?”
 
He rated the Governor this way: “midlevel McCrory.”
 
Christensen wrote, “McCrory said he is not seeking some big legacy project of the type that past governors have promoted.”
 
He added this about McCrory’s mood: “The Republicans are winning every political battle, but McCrory sometimes sounds as if he is in a political bunker. He talks darkly about efforts to ‘eviscerate’ him.”
 
McCrory said, “Other governors have called themselves the education governor or the jobs governor.” But not Pat. On education, “His administration is working on an education program.”
 
Working on an education program? He spent four years running for Governor. Did he ever think about what he would do if he got there?

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

03
What did Governor McCrory pay the DHHS Gold Dust Twins when he was spending his money, not the taxpayers’?
 
A curious TAPster decided to find out. The answer: You (the taxpayer) are paying the two 24-year-olds a lot more than Pat did. Maybe twice as much.
 
The TAPster looked at McCrory’s campaign reports for 3rd and 4th quarters of 2012 on the State Board of Elections website.
 
Ricky Diaz was paid $3,410 per month. Matt McKillip, $2,786 per month.
 
Now Diaz makes $85,500 a year. McKillip, $87,500.
 
That’s something north of $7,000 a month. You do the math.
 
Politicians like to say they’ll spend the taxpayers’ money like it’s their own. McCrory spends your money twice as fast.
 
Will Republican legislators let this stand?

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |

31
An Old Wise Lobbyist (OWL) gives me a Labor Day break by sharing this:
 
“Contributors to Rep Edgar Starnes' campaign should be disgusted and dismayed that he used their contributions to beautify his Raleigh legislative office.
 
“The Republican House leader used $7,000 of campaign money for furniture and other niceties at the legislative building. He defended his expensive upgrade by saying his constituents deserve to find him in comfortable surroundings when they visit.
 
“He forgot that his contributors supported him financially to help him and his colleagues win elections, not lounge in luxury. It's tantamount to misappropriation of funds when he uses dollars entrusted to his campaign to do a Martha Stewart on his office so he has a comfy place to park his rump.
 
“He's not the first arrogant legislator to suffer this financial brain spasm. Plenty of others used campaign funds to buy cars, clothes and other fun stuff for themselves with the best kind of money – other people's money. They forget that their contributors are largely working stiffs who have to pay for things with their own money.
 
“During the many, many years he was in the minority party, Starnes had a crap office in a dark hallway. No one visited nor cared what he thought.
 
“But he’s a leader now, and his poor judgment further erodes what's left of public trust in
legislators. If Starnes is such a poor steward of his campaign funds, can he be trusted with the people's money? Or the future of the state?”

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |

29
There is growing talk in Raleigh – by Republicans and Democrats – that Governor McCrory will be one and done. And he’s not going to the NBA.
 
The consensus, which could always turn out wrong, is that he’s over his head. Some people even say he won’t run again. The job isn’t what he expected, they say. It’s hard work, the spotlight can be brutal and he didn’t count on that.
 
Democrats sense weakness. He looks emasculated by the legislature, befuddled by the challenge of managing his Cabinet and flummoxed by how to handle controversies like the $87,000-a-year salaries for inexperienced, 24-year-old ex-campaign aides. (That’s four times I mentioned it this week!)
 
Part of all this, to be blunt, is a skepticism about McCrory’s intellectual depth. Not to knock a liberal arts degree from Catawba College, but it’s not a law degree (Jim Holshouser), a chemistry Ph.D. (Jim Martin) or economics, masters and law degrees (Jim Hunt).
 
With all due respect to indifferent students (like myself), being Governor requires a certain level of intellectual rigor, the mental stamina to master a mass of material and the ability to think critically.
 
McCrory invited the scrutiny of his academic and intellectual credentials when he suggested that stories about economics are too complex for reporters. Actually, it was the first thing he ever said I agreed with. I know they’re too complex for me.
 
But his griping betrayed defensiveness and a thin skin that cause political pros, who are a brutal and cold-blooded lot, to smell blood in the waters. Not to mention needlessly irritating reporters.
 
If the legislature comes back and overturns his vetoes, he will look even weaker. Once that perception sets in, it can prove hard to shake. McCrory is at a critical point. Does he recognize it, and can he change the story line?

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (5) RSS comment feed |

29
A long-time Raleigh veteran warns that next year's short legislative session could bring a “hopeless muddle” in the office of speaker Thom Tillis. I quote:


“Tillis is forsaking the best political job in the state to run for the US Senate. If he remains speaker for the short session, the possibilities are endless for conflicts of interest, ethical dilemmas and back-room shakedowns


“We can't recall a sitting speaker running for another office (we would check this, but the Republicans cut funding to our research department). If he wins the primary, it will be impossible for him to separate his legislative agenda from his campaign agenda (i.e. fundraising) no matter how hard he tries. It's simply not humanly possible for him to listen to a plea from a desperate lobbyist during the legislative session without an implied or overt link to his campaign.


“If he loses the primary and his political career is ending, it would be natural to remember who helped his Senate campaign and get even with those who didn't.


“Tillis emasculated himself in the legislature by announcing his Senate plans, creating a leadership void and chaos among his already unruly followers. If he remains speaker while he's a candidate for Senate, the short session will be even worse than the long session, which is simply unimaginable.”
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |

28
Do Republicans want America – and North Carolina – to fail? That’s the only explanation that makes sense.
 
If they starve public schools, they can say public schools don’t work – and abandon them. If they derail Obamacare, they can say it’s a train wreck. If they kneecap cities, they can say cities aren’t run well. If they shut down the federal government, they can say the federal government can’t do anything right. And if you don’t like it, they won’t let you vote.
 
Exhibit A: The City of Raleigh. Senator Josh Stein said the other night that the Republican legislature doesn’t want Raleigh to succeed because Raleigh, like most cities, elects Democrats to run things. So the legislature ripped up the Dix lease. They don’t want the Wake schools to do well, so they tried to take over the school board – again.
 
(By the way, Josh was speaking at a reception for City Councilor Randy Stagner hosted by Rep. Grier Martin. A three-star lineup.)
 
For a decade in the 90s, Raleigh suffered through Republican mayors. Downtown was a dump. Everything was petty, partisan and political. Just like this legislature.
 
Then came Mayors Charles Meeker and Nancy McFarlane, Democratic and Independent City Councilors  and Democratic county commissioners. Today, downtown is thriving and attracting jobs and smart, entrepreneurial young people. And we have an incredible greenway system.
 
Contrast the quality state government in Raleigh with municipal government in Raleigh. For one thing, nobody in Raleigh is giving $87,000-a-year jobs to inexperienced 24-year-old campaign aides.
 
(Note: This is the third day in a row I have mentioned this. Did I mention that Governor McCrory and the legislature didn’t give teachers raises?)

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

27
Republicans have been riding high since the 2010 elections but, now, there’s a bushel basket full of polls – by both Democrats and Republicans – floating around Raleigh that tell a sad tale.
 
At their zenith, last fall, Governor McCrory was the most popular political leader in the state. Better still for Republicans, the Governor was unusually popular with Independents – the voters who decide elections.
 
Now, in the blink of an eye, the good times are gone.
 
Suddenly, the Governor’s job approval numbers have turned upside-down which, translated into plain English, means more people think the Governor is doing a poor job rather than a good job.
 
Compounding the problem the Governor’s friends, despite their good intentions, aren’t doing him any favors. Last Sunday, one McCrory supporter wrote the newspaper defending the pay raises and government salaries the Governor’s paying two of his former campaign workers and actually compared the young men to Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson – which was just plain silly.
 
Republicans have been on top of the world. They won in 2010 and won again in 2012. But now there’s been a sea change. The halcyon days are gone, the tides are shifting, and an ill-wind is rising.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (5) RSS comment feed |

27
Governor McCrory should have hung around to hear Colin Powell. He would have seen a real leader. He might have learned something.
 
Presumably, McCrory had “boring stuff” to do that was more pressing than hearing Powell address the CEO Forum. He introduced Powell, then fled.
 
But the 400-plus suits in the audience saw the contrast.
 
Powell made clear that real leaders aren’t afraid of voters: “I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote.”
 
McCrory’s response was extraordinary in its lameness: “The Governor appreciates the warm compliments Secretary Powell made today regarding many of the Governor’s initiatives and on voter ID we respectfully disagree.”
 
But now Phyllis Schlafly has admitted the voter-suppression law isn’t about fraud. It’s about taking the right to vote away from Obama voters and Democrats. She wrote, "The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game.”
 
One also wonders whether Powell, as Secretary of State or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spent 80 percent of his time on “boring stuff – operations.”
 
McCrory told the CEOs that’s what he does: “It’s boring stuff – operations – but that’s what I spend 80 percent of my time on.” Bet that impressed the crowd.
 
Maybe McCrory should spend 80 percent of his time lobbying the legislature not to overturn his vetoes and make him look weak.
 
One also wonders what Powell thinks about giving 24-year-old campaign aides with scant experience state jobs making $87,000 a year – and no raises to school teachers.
 
Note to readers: I’ve challenged myself to see how many times I can mention that McCrory gave 24-year-old campaign aides with scant experience state jobs making $87,000 a year – and no raises to school teachers. That’s twice today, three times this week.
 
Call me butter. I’m on a roll.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |

26
Republican pay policies are the same as Republican economic policies: For the top 1 percent, lobster and champagne! For everybody else, crumbs. Cookie crumbs, I presume.
 
The N&O reported that DHHS (Department of High High Salaries) “has created new high-salaried positions in its central office this year and is paying some top executives more than their predecessors even as the agency’s full-time payroll and average salary have declined.”
 
This on top of high, high salaries for campaign aides with negligible health and human services experience.
 
On top of McCrory, in his first official action as Governor, giving big raises to his Cabinet secretaries.
 
This is such a wonderful line of attack because it is so simple and people get it so clearly: “Governor McCrory paid two 24-year-old campaign aides more than $85,000 each. But he wouldn’t raise teachers’ pay.”
 
Now Democrats have called on the Republican legislature to inquire into the raises. If they don’t inquire, Tillis, Berger & Co. are complicit.  
 
The Republican response goes like this: Criticizing these raises for 24-year-olds is age discrimination.
 
That’s a knee-slapper. But here’s an even better one. A Richard Dietz wrote in the Charlotte Observer: “Alexander Hamilton was in his 20s when he began work on the Federalist Papers. Thomas Jefferson was barely 30 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Ifyoung people can draft the core tenets of American government, surely they can help run a state agency.”
 
You’ll know the rest of this story if you remember the 1988 Quayle-Bentsen debate. (You kids who don’t know, look it up. You’ll get a kick out of it.)
 
To paraphrase Senator Bentsen, I know about Hamilton and Jefferson. Hamilton and Jefferson are heroes of mine. Diaz and McKillip are no Hamilton and Jefferson.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |

Page 18 of 118First   Previous   13  14  15  16  17  [18]  19  20  21  22  Next   Last   
Copyright (c) Talking About Politics   :  DNN Hosting  :  Terms Of Use  :  Privacy Statement