Pat McCrory 4Another day, another startling display of disrespect from a Republican state lawmaker toward Republican Governor Pat McCrory.

Patrick Gannon of the The Insider (subscription required)  reports that Rep. Phil Shepard was overheard Tuesday delivering some harsh words about the governor to his Republican colleagues.

Before a House Transportation Committee Tuesday morning, Shepard, a committee cochairman, was overheard expressing frustration about the Republican governor to fellow legislators. “If he would just shut his mouth,” Shepard said. “What does he think he’s trying to accomplish?”

Ouch. No wonder McCrory spends a lot of time flying around the state cutting ribbons.


McCrory_budget3Rep. Chuck McGrady is the latest legislative leader to question how Governor Pat McCrory, a fellow Republican, is doing his job.

McGrady—one of the House budget chairs—weighed in as part of a weekend Charlotte Observer story about the increasing friction between McCrory and the folks running the General Assembly.

McGrady, a former president of the national Sierra Club, said he would expect to find himself on the same page as a governor who came to office as a moderate conservative. But he laments what he calls “a lot of missed opportunities.”

“There’s a lack of engagement; there’s a lack of relationships,” McGrady said. “It’s like he doesn’t understand what our job is. And some of my colleagues don’t think he understands what his job is.”

As the Observer points out, the comments come on the heels of Senator Tom Apodaca saying McCrory “doesn’t play much of a role in anything,” and Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown saying he couldn’t figure out  “if Pat thinks he is the governor of Charlotte or the mayor of North Carolina,”

Now McGrady is piling on. Just another sunny Monday for the governor.

A memorandum from the state budget office issued earlier this month asks state agencies to let them know what’s essential and what’s not, in the event a budget stalemate leads to a government shutdown.

budget-pieThe July 14 memorandum (scroll down to read) asks agencies to go through their operations, and report back about public safety and essential services need to continue on in the event of a funding stoppage –things like keeping on the staff who feed animals at the N.C. State Zoo, emergency responders in the highway patrol and prison guards.

Agencies need to provide their responses by Monday, which need to include estimates about what would happen if funding is halted for a week, or longer.

Preparing for a budget stalemate is a lot different from how the state prepares for other emergencies, state budget director Lee Roberts wrote in the July 14 memorandum.

“For a budget contingency plan, we must instead identify the minimum functions and services that must be performed for immediate response to issues of public lives or safety, or to avoid catastrophic loss of state property, and the associated personnel required to carry out these tasks,” Roberts wrote in the memorandum. “This includes the number of personnel required to perform these functions at the critical level, as well as administrative staff that support those critical functions.”

He takes care to point out that the chance of government shutdown because of the current budget negotiations is unlikely, and his request is intended to make sure a contingency plan is available in case things fall apart on the federal or state level.

But it’s certainly not an unprecedented scenario, as North Carolinians found out in 2013 when the federal government stopped running.

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Graffiti on Confederate Women's Monument in downtown Raleigh (photo by Sarah Ovaska-Few).

Graffiti on Confederate Women’s Monument in downtown Raleigh (photo by Sarah Ovaska-Few).

The words “Black Lives Matter” were spray-painted on a Confederate monument on the State Capitol grounds overnight,

The Confederate Women’s Monument is downtown Raleigh is one of two Confederate monuments on the capitol grounds in downtown Raleigh, where Gov. Pat McCrory has his office.

Workers had begun trying to remove the “Black Lives Matter” graffiti off of the monument Tuesday morning.

Tuesday’s actions comes as the state House of Representatives will finish debating a bill today that would make it more difficult for local communities to remove Confederate monuments from public property. Any removals would have to be approved by the state legislature.

McCrory has also said he wants the legislature to pass a law preventing the distribution of “Sons of Confederate Veterans” state license plates adorned with the Confederate battle flag. Republican state Sen. Phil Berger has said McCrory has the power to stop issuing the plates on his own, and does not need the legislature’s permission.

Meanwhile, demand last month for the Confederate flag license plates depleted the state’s existing stock, and the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, which is under McCrory’s purview, is in the process of having more produced.

Workers try to remove "Black Lives Matter" graffiti on Confederate monument.

Workers try to remove “Black Lives Matter” graffiti on Confederate monument.


Pat McCrory 4The scathing assessments of Gov. Pat McCrory’s job performance continue to multiply — and, no, this is not a reference to Sen. Tom Apodaca’s observation that “the Governor doesn’t play much of a role in anything.”

The new take-down comes from the editorial board of the Winston-Salem Journal, which blasts the Guv this morning over his performance in the Paul Foley affair:

“The Associated Press reported late last week that ‘the chief legal counsel for Gov. Pat McCrory knew almost a year ago that Paul Foley’s law firm had received more than $1.3 million in payments [for legal work] from the target of an investigation into questionable political donations. However, Bob Stephens didn’t say anything to McCrory about the potential conflict of interest or other issues with Foley, a Winston-Salem lawyer … McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis said.’

This wasn’t Stephens’ first problem as chief counsel. McCrory and Stephens owe us all a full accounting of this latest one. As The Charlotte Observer said in an editorial Sunday, McCrory ‘should either stop throwing [Stephens] under a bus, or he should dismiss Stephens for poor judgment and incompetence.’”

As the Journal goes on to point out, the public deserves a much more thorough explanation:

“What does trouble us is fact that the governor acted far too late on the Foley issue. McCrory and Stephens both work for us. They both us owe us a full accounting of what they knew and when they knew it.

Perception is everything in politics, and, most important, public trust. Good leaders respond quickly to problems of perception to retain the public trust. Gov. McCrory responded far too late to the conflict of interest in this case.”

Sadly, given his past performance in so many other areas, one has to seriously wonder whether the Governor is actually capable of providing a coherent and convincing explanation of what the heck actually happened. Read the entire editorial by clicking here.