Mary Easley: It Is SO On

Guys and DollsYou’ve got to hand it to someone who’s willing to take on her bosses. Both newly elected NCSU Board Chairman Bob Jordan and UNC system prez Erskine Bowles would like to see the back of the former First Lady (though not in a rude way) pronto. She not only had her attorney announce that she will not resign her position, she stood beside him while he said so. Mrs. Easley didn’t actually say anything at the presser, but she showed up, which was mildly gutsy. Not nearly as brassy as refusing to do the best thing by the university she serves, however. Here’s one of the highlights:

Mary Easley’s lawyer said she received her job on her own merits and said she was committed to continuing her work.

‘I’m of the view that women should not be pressured into taking a course of action as a consequence of the conduct of their spouse,’ he said.”

A regular feminist that dude is. What about her actions? What about trading on her husband’s position to get a job in the first place? Isn’t the political capital she accrued over his career part of her defense? In general, I agree with the idea that we can’t be held responsible for our spouse’s actions, but this case is more Gordian knot than spousal slip-up. Her resignation is just the sort of sword stroke called for now.

Yet, both Easleys remain not only unapologetic but downright defiant. Despite their benefactors dropping left and right, they’re both “comfortable” with what’s going down and satisfied that she, at least, has been “above board [and] transparent.” A cynic might think this is her last ditch effort to get all the money her contract would’ve paid her. I’m no cynic, so let’s take her at face value. Does she really believe she can go on in this position successfully? This is all so sordid, how can the Easleys not see it? Perhaps they’re just innocent little lambs, taking perk after perk while offering nothing in return. I’m sure they’re shocked, shocked at the implication that he put people on every board he could in return for free flights and, eventually, a fat contract for his wife. I can just see them performing an elaborate duet of Adelaide’s “Take Back Your Mink”: “I thought that each expensive gift you’d arranged was a token of your esteem. Now when I think of what you want in exchange, it all seems a horrible dream.” Sigh, Guys and Dolls, such a classic. The Easleys… classic political conflicts, definitely not classy.


  1. Dr. Mary Johnson

    May 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Fire her. Fire her now! Without cause. Let her do her fighting in court – like the rest of us in this “right-to-work” state. All that lovely money will disappear . . . straight into the lawyer’s coffers.

    Give both of the Sleazelys a taste of the medicine they’ve allowed to be dished out to their constituents.

    Spare me the feminist clap-trap. Mary Easley did very well for herself standing by her man. I’m of the opinion that women-of-substance who are REALLY “giving back” should not be threatened or fired unjustly while in public service. The people who did that to me had important friends in Raleigh – and still do – they still think all they have to do is make a call and they’re free-as-birds.

    I’ve fought hard. A great many “progressive” types have spent YEARS looking the other way.


    Fire her now. Let her take her lumps.

  2. Abigail Lincoln

    May 21, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    It would be a big mistake for her to give in to the losers who are now making political hay over nothing. The university is lucky to have her. This is all politics and everyone knows it. How about some kudos to her for having the guts to stand and fight.
    And, Dr., your personal attacks are out of line and are what keeps good people out of politics. We’ll see how you like it the next time someone accuses you of malpractice and you are personally attacked and called names because you won’t just give in.

  3. Jimmy

    May 22, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Why is the university lucky to have her? What’s she done to earn $170,000 a year? Nothing I’ve read about her position indicates that job deserves a 6 figure income – she was doing very well @ $80,000 & I’d love to know all the people who thought an 88% increase was in order?

  4. Abigail Lincoln

    May 25, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Her salary is in line. Why don’t you worry about your football and basketball coaches salaries? Oh, I forgot, you still harbor the illusion that this is important somehow.
    Since you’d love to know all the people who thought the pay increase was in order, why don’t you start with the University President who signed off on it and then turned tail and ran once the heat was turned up four or five degrees. Nice example for the kids.
    She could make the same salary in six months in the private sector. But she chose to work at the University and help build it up.
    What a terrible person.
    You’re right. We’d be better off with an 80k a year talentless drone who can’t get a job anywhere else. How about you Jimmy?

  5. dianne rianey

    May 25, 2009 at 9:33 am

    I understand that Mrs Sleasely is as crooked as her mother when her mother was a judge…if you had enough money you got the results you wanted…If I could only get into politics I could be taken care of for life…or have two governor mansions paid to be taken care of for me…I hope the Sleasleys get theirs…

  6. Abigail Lincoln

    May 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Please get into politics. I’m sure you would get creamed like you did when you ran for Cheerleader in the 9th Grade. We’re all still laughing about that one.
    Mrs. Easley more than made up for her salary by all she did for the school—ie, bringing in Bill Clinton for free (he waived his normal 200k fee), and Bill Bradley and Lindsay Graham. Ask the students ten years from now what they remember and I guarantee that these will be some of their memories. Oh, and of course Erskine Bowles matriculation speech where he almost fell asleep himself in the middle of it. I was there. These people are ridiculous. You still can’t separate the winners from the weiners.

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