There’s been a small, yet significant piece of theatre playing out recently in Raleigh. Act One featured an effort by senator Jim Perry (R-Kinston) – the blow-dried, dry-cleaned and pressed perpetual Carolina frat boy with the (h/t to the late Jesse Helms) “jackass-eating-briers grin” – to remove Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey as the state fire marshal. Causey’s close work with the state’s fire departments has been well-known and well-documented. So, this move could easily be seen as a shot at him — a reprimand, if you will.
Why would someone go after Causey? Well, for instance, Causey is the kind of guy who would report an attempted bribe to the FBI, instead of just taking the money. Also, Causey is the kind of guy who will speak up and speak the truth when a, um, “generous” campaign donor seeks special favors from the General Assembly that will likely harm most of the state’s consumers.
The political class doesn’t take kindly to people who don’t go along with the grift. Grifting is THE favorite past-time in that section of Raleigh between Blount and Jones Streets.
Act Two saw Perry accomplishing his mission and getting Causey and his team removed from their suite of offices. Perry arranged for Paul Coble – the legislature’s administrator – to specially oversee this effort.
Team Causey is now reportedly paying the SAME rent for HALF the floor space PLUS additional rent for the fire marshal staff in separate offices.
Act Three saw State auditor Beth Wood and her staff moved into Team Causey’s old digs. This particular office suite, in recent years, underwent expensive and extensive renovations. Wood and her team were allowed to make even further renovations to get things to their liking before moving in.
Wood’s requested renovations for the office reportedly included a refrigerated wine cooler. Given her recent publicity, is it wise to have the taxpayers PAY for a place to store Madame Wood’s vino?
Wood is also getting TWO sound-proofed seated phone booths, estimated at $12,000 apiece. This isn’t the CIA. I don’t know WHY those would be necessary.
Even more baffling are the covers for the seating areas located INSIDE the office suite. There is already shelter! Why add more?