The folks in the North Carolina Republican Party keep wanting to have it both ways on Common Core. Abolishing the standards has become a crusade for the Tea Party wing led by Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, when he is not planning wacky constitutional conventions.  But much of the state’s business community, specifically the NC Chamber, has been outspoken proponents of retaining the Common Core standards.

Governor Pat McCrory has praised the standards too, and McCrory’s appointment to a commission rewriting the standards is a Common Core supporter, much to the consternation of the party’s hard-right activists.

But when Texas Governor Rick Perry came to North Carolina last week to stump for Thom Tillis’ Senate campaign and shared a stage with McCrory, he specifically mentioned Common Core as a reason to vote for Tillis.

He will go to Washington, D.C., and do everything he can to dismantle Obamacare,” Perry said. “He will say no to things like Common Core. He will say no to things like Race to the Top.”

Wonder what McCrory was thinking when Perry was speaking and when they both held Tillis’ hands high for the crowd?

Does McCrory want Tillis to go to Washington stop things like Common Core that McCrory himself supports?


McCrory-with-Polar-bear (2)Governor Pat McCrory was all smiles today at the N.C Zoo as he cut the ribbon for the new polar bear exhibit. It’s not the first time that state politicians have talked about polar bears.

In the 2010 and 2012 elections, Republican-allied groups ran ads against Democrats in the General Assembly for supporting funding for polar bears at the zoo.

A 2012 story by WRAL-TV had the details.

One other ad targets former lawmaker Cullie Tarleton, a Democratic (sic) who is running against Rep. Jonathan Jordan in a rematch of the 2010 race, which Jordan won. This year’s anti-Tarleton ad features the lines: “He (Tarleton) voted to spend $200,000 on a Shakespeare festival and $2 million on a playground for polar bears. Real Jobs used the polar bear accusation to great effect in mailers during the 2010 election.

Now Republican Governor McCrory is posing with people in polar bear costumes to celebrate the exhibit that was attacked by the groups working to elect legislators of his own political party.

It is apparently not very far from Real Jobs to Real Hypocrisy.


One of the most interesting parts of the Pro Publica report  in the News & Observer today about the huge profits from taxpayer money made by charter school operator Baker Mitchell is the story of how Mitchell lobbied the General Assembly for a tax break for himself and then denied it.

Mitchell was intimately involved in seeing the bill through as chairman of a pro-charter lobbying group, the NC Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Asked about the tax break and whether he had pushed for provisions that would directly benefit him, Mitchell told ProPublica, “There was another group that pushed that through. I didn’t have anything to do with it.”

But a lobbyist for Mitchell’s group, Debbie Clary, said, “It was our bill. I was the only lobbyist working on it.” Clary added, “The person most engaged was Baker (Mitchell).”

Whoops. It’s bad enough that Mitchell is raking in millions in taxpayer money with his questionable operation and apparently violating the law by not releasing financial details about his schools.

He at least ought to own up to his role in passing the legislation that is helping make him a wealthy man.

McCrory Truck

Photo provided by McCrory’s press office

Buried in one the latest “flash polls” from the Civitas Institute is what appears to be bad news for Governor Pat McCrory.

The poll was taken to get a read on the race for the state House between Republican incumbent Michele Presnell and her Democratic challenger Dean Hicks in District 118—Madison, Haywood, and Yancey counties.

Hicks leads the race by 12 points according to the poll, somewhat of a surprise in what Civitas considers a Republican district.

The poll also found that 39 percent of the people in the district approved of the job President Obama was doing, while 53 percent disapproved.

Then there’s Governor McCrory. Just 35 percent of the voters in the Republican district approved of the job McCrory was doing while 57 percent disapproved.

That means that in a Republican part of North Carolina according to a poll taken by a right-wing advocacy group, people think President Obama is doing a better job than Governor McCrory.

And that comes after months of ads bashing Obama as part of the attacks on Senator Kay Hagan in the Senate race with House Speaker Thom Tillis.

That doesn’t bode well for the governor. Might be time to step on some more toes or come up with a new Carolina Comeback or give somebody else cookies or something.


Just because House Speaker Thom Tillis couldn’t stop talking in the debate last night about the alleged 7% percent teacher pay raise the General Assembly passed this year doesn’t mean all the Republicans in the General Assembly are happy with it. Rowan County legislators in particular don’t seem thrilled with the 7% or 5% percent or 0.29% percent salary increase according to a story in a Salisbury Post over the weekend.

Rep. Harry Warren, a Republican who represents Rowan County, said the budget and, subsequently, the teacher pay raise, weren’t fiscally responsible.

“By making a commitment to fund everything that we funded, it’s going to cause some very tight fiscal maneuvering,” he said. “Money was pulled from a lot of different pots to fund the teacher raises. It was more than we can afford.”

Then there is Senator Andrew Brock who doesn’t seem to understand why there’s such a fuss about low teacher pay anyway.

Sen. Andrew Brock, a Republican who represents Rowan, Iredell and Davie counties, said teacher pay may seem low, but ultimately depends on the area’s cost of living.

“When you move away from those large cities, your dollar goes further,” Brock said.

So remember that teachers. Just because you had to work 16 years to make a $40,000 salary, it’s not really a big deal, especially if you live outside the cities. And the state can’t really afford the raise that some of you received this year anyway, so there’s not likely to be another one any time soon, what with the exploding cost of those tax cuts.

With friends like these in power in Raleigh, teachers really have it made.