The GAY News&Observer (GN&O) is portraying the short session that kicks off today on Jones Street as do-or-die for Governor Pat McCrory. Will the honorables shove a knife in ol’ Pat’s back for November by failing to repeal the *ghastly* HB2?
Let me be clear: HB2 will not be what sinks Governor Pat McCrory’s re-election bid. In fact, it’s probably one of the strongest things he has going for him, right now But the GN&O and their,um, “buddies” won’t admit that.
Let’s go back to 2010. Republicans seeking to take over state government harped on the ruling Democrats’s penchant for corruption (see Black, Jim; Easley, Mike;) and taxing-and-spending. Things were going to be different under these Republicans, we were told. Let’s see how that has worked out:
CORRUPTION. Republicans loved to point fingers at Democrat Jim Black and his whole experience with the federal judiciary. But we now have legislators living off of campaign funds that are stocked mostly by lobbyists and other special interests with business in front of the legislature. Jason Saine with his $19,000-plus in clothes PAID FOR by his lobbyist-stocked campaign fund. You had a candidate for UNC Board of Governors lose a vote FIVE TIMES and STILL get seated. (It pays to toss some G’s to Thilli$$$$$.)
And that’s the tip of the iceberg.
The governor’s office has been on one long cash-hunt. Wave the right amount of cash in front of them, and you get what you want. Prison contracts? No problem. A judicial appointment? No problem. A seat on a community college board? Noooooooo problemo.
BACK-STABBING. Activists from Murphy to Manteo have told us stories about the governor’s team ignoring appointment recommendations from local Republicans to instead tap a Democrat who coughed up the right amount of cash. I heard from one local GOP activist who tells of McCrory blowing off their GOP function so he could go pick up some cash from some local Democrats who had a loooooooong history of creating havoc for the local GOP.
Let’s look at the whole Hasan-gate ordeal. Let’s remove the personalities from it. In essence, we have a powerful, entrenched clique using strong-arm tactics to forcibly reverse a vote from last June. The grassroots rejected a party chairman candidate endorsed by a who’s-who of elected officials for a no-name by the name of Hasan Harnett. Since then, establishment loyalists have been sabotaging the guy and smearing him with unfounded charges. Meanwhile, we’re getting deafening silence from the governor’s office while his loyalists publicly tear apart a man who simply went out and won an election fair-and-square.
Betrayal. Back-stabbing. Shakedowns. We got told it was going to be different. Instead, we just got a different set of players playing the same game.
BIG GOVERNMENT. New cabinet departments. Overall spending growth. We’ve had leadership from the Senate on shrinking government and allowing taxpayers to keep more of their money. But it seems they’ve had to fight the governor’s office and the House every step of the way. McCrory seems ready at the drop of a hat to criticize proposals from Jones Street as not spending enough.
His latest budget proposal increases spending over the last budget and surpasses what the legislators are recommending. In 2010 and 2012, we voted for something different in Raleigh. Not just a new set of players doing the same ol’ thing.
People don’t want Roy Cooper. He’s been campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime for the last four years. He’s done next to nothing as attorney general. But WHAT do we have to fight for in the governor’s office? McCrory has made some respectable appointments — like at Public Safety and Environmental Quality. So far, he’s stood strong on HB2.
But talk to what’s left of conservatives in Charlotte, and they will tell you we are watching at the state level what mayor McCrory did locally. As mayor, he regularly knocked heads with conservatives over tax hikes and bureaucracy expansions — regularly campaigning in support of them with Democrats.
If McCrory wants four more years, he needs to show some leadership on giving the people what they demanded in 2010 and 2012: more freedom, less government, less taxes, less corruption. Right now, Team McCrory is nurturing a whole lot of indifference among folks who ought to be in his camp. Those Democrats he is grabbing cash from are also lining Roy Cooper’s pockets and will be there for him in November.
Indifference toward Walter Dalton by a lot of Democrats helped McCrory in 2012. if things keep proceeding as they are, Ol’ Pat may find out in November what ol’ Walter felt like in November 2012.
If November goes poorly for ol’ Pat, don’t blame the so-called bathroom bill. Blame him and his team for thumbing their noses collectively at the troops who were ready to go to war for them.