The governor hasn’t been out in the public much this week, at least not in places where reporters could ask him about the $21.3 billion compromise budget Republican legislative leaders announced yesterday.
But Gov. Pat McCrory’s office did take care Tuesday night to give last-minute notice to the state’s press corps that the governor would speak about the budget, just at an event reporters were barred from attending.
Sent at 7:25 p.m. Tuesday, an emailed media advisory from McCrory’s press office notified reporters that the governor would speak in 20 minutes, at 7:45 p.m., for the N.C. Sheriff Association’s annual banquet in New Bern.
McCrory’s talk would include “an update on the immigration issue many states, including North Carolina, are facing. The governor will also provide an update on the ongoing budget negotiations back in Raleigh.”
(It’s worth nothing here that, though details about an average teacher pay raise of seven percent in the budget deal were announced yesterday by legislative leaders, the actual budget has yet to be publicly released.)
McCrory’s media advisory from Tuesday night also noted that the event was closed to media — meaning any reporters who could have scrambled with 20-minutes notice to hear his thoughts on these two big public policy issues wouldn’t be welcome.
McCrory spokesman Ryan Tronovitch wrote in a written statement that the decision to go to New Bern was made at the last minute as a result of the ongoing budget negotiations.
“In the interest of transparency, we thought it would be better to send something out on late notice rather than nothing at all,” Tronovitch wrote in an email to N.C. Policy Watch.
When pressed for details about the content of McCrory’s speech, Tronovitch would not provide specific information about the governor’s speech. He wrote,”He [McCrory] provided updates on the immigration issue the ongoing budget negotiations [sic].”
As for today, McCrory’s public schedule has no events listed.
A McCrory spokesman said earlier Tuesday that McCrory cancelled plans to speak Wednesday at the annual meeting in Dallas for ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) in order to stay in Raleigh for the budget negotiations.