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McCrory signs budget, takes petty swipes at his critics and opponents

McCrory budgetGov. Pat McCrory held a formal signing ceremony to herald his approval of the new FY 2015 state budget this morning. The signing took place around a fancy old desk that was set up in front of some red carpeted stairs in the Governor’s mansion with a group of legislators and administration officials standing in the background. It was, in other words, a moment of gubernatorial pomp and circumstance — a moment in which the Governor was positioned to rise above the political fray and strike a statesmanlike pose.

Unfortunately, the Guv couldn’t help himself and in the middle of the ceremony — without any prompting from the media — decided to take cheap shots at his opponents.

First, it was the North Carolina Association of Educators. McCrory went out of his way to launch a broadside at NCAE leaders by mentioning that the president of the group — which has been critical of the confusing teacher pay plan in the budget —¬† makes more money than the teachers he represents. It was a petty swipe right out of the Pope-Civitas playbook. And this from a man who went out of his way to give big raises to cabinet secretaries who were already making six-figure salaries as one of his first acts as Governor in 2013! If he’s so exorcised about salaries in the state’s advocacy community, why did he never mention the salaries¬†paid to the heads of the NC Chamber, SEANC or any other lobby group that has played nice with the conservative majority (which no doubt outstrip the salaries paid to most of their rand and file members)?

McCrory followed this cheap shot up with an inaccurate and disingenuous claim that opponents of his budget had never presented an alternative plan. This, of course, is absurd. Not only have critics and political adversaries proposed dozens of alternative ideas on the budget, they have done so despite being denied the opportunity by the legislative majority via various procedural tricks to offer amendments or to engage in real public debate about alternative visions for the state.

The bottom line: Gov. McCrory takes a lot of heat in the job he has chosen and it’s no doubt a tough and frustrating experience at times. But he would do much better for himself and the state if he would try — at least on occasion — to display a thicker skin and a more magnanimous posture toward his critics and opponents.

5 Comments

  1. Concerned Teacher

    August 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I personally emailed each and every senator and representative with my thoughts and proposals on how they could handle teacher pay.

    Only TWO, Sen. T Wade & Rep. K Waddell, bothered via their legislative aides to acknowledge my email in any way, not even by automated “we got it response”.

    Just goes to show how the voice of the people is not heard.

  2. Alan

    August 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Maybe he was just upset that his organ grinder won’t be there to hold his hand, or pull his strings?

  3. John Grooms

    August 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Unfortunately, this kind of petty spite comes as no surprise to anyone who followed Lil’ Pat’s interminable years as Charlotte mayor, during which time he often made ill-informed, pissy statements about anyone in local politics or media who dared disagree with him. He’s defensive, thin-skinned and about a quarter-inch deep.

  4. Pat Ferguson

    August 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Pope hasn’t even left yet and McCrory is trying to step out on his own. His whole attitude and his reckless words are proof that the political environment in Raleigh is counterproductive to progress in our lovely state. Never in our history have the voters been so isolated by those elected to be honorable representatives – never in our history have we had such an ill-prepared and incompetent bunch of leaders on Jones St. While the Democrats might have done some questionable things and rammed through some budgets of their own – our state survived those moves and continued to move forward with respect from other states. NOW, we are the laughing stock of the nation – controlled by a government majority that does not know how to govern or how to fairly represent the people. Shame on them and double shame on him for this nasty performance and nasty attitude toward those who oppose him and them – November will prove how the citizens of NC can stand up for fairness and change.

  5. love my state

    August 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    well said Pat Ferguson!! You are fanned and famed!!