For Republicans it was like old times – just when they were getting into a funk because they won’t have Governor Perdue fumbling through press conferences anymore, instead of riding quietly in the sunset the Governor held one last press conference. And it was like manna from heaven. Senator Phil Berger (meta-phorically) let out a whoop of joy.
The Governor announced she wants the Council of State to approve a deal she’s made to turn the Dix Hospital property (300 acres worth $58 million) over to the City of Raleigh so it can turn the state mental hospital into a tourist theme park – before Pat McCrory takes office.
McCrory, of course, immediately said, Hold on.
Senator Berger was more candid. Without beating around the bush he said the Governor’s proposal was out of bounds.
Then Perdue fumbled again. She explained giving away 300 acres in downtown Raleigh was a great deal because it was only going to cost $90 million dollars to move the state health department from Dix to a new site near the Research Triangle Park. Lt. Governor Walter Dalton and Attorney General Roy Cooper both immediately agreed with Perdue.
One amazed Republican legislator offered an alternative. He said, We’re about to raise unemployment taxes on every business in North Carolina – so why not just sell the 300 acres and use the $58 million to make a down payment on the $2.5 billion we owe Washington for unemployment claims?