Toss in a little Tillis, and there you have it — one HOT MESS.

Some of the things the Raleigh drive-bys find stunning and surprising just crack me up.  The Berger endorsement of Mark Robinson?  Berger’s protégè – Jim Blaine – has occupying the mastermind chair of that campaign since nearly Day One.  Wherever Jim Blaine is, Phil Berger is not far behind.  And vice-versa.

Tillis endorsing Bill Graham?  Paul Shumaker is Thom Tillis’ political guru.  Has been for eons.  Shumaker is running Bill Graham’s gubernatorial campaign. Graham has collaborated with Shumaker and his protégè Dee Stewart on a number of political endeavors in the past.  Just as with Blaine and Berger – wherever Shumaker IS, Thom Tillis is not far behind.  (And vice-versa.)

Paul Shumaker pretty much told the world months ago that he was not thrilled with Mark Robinson.  There must be one hell of an ADD epidemic raging through the Capitol press corps in Raleigh. How did they not notice all this?

I’ve been hearing talk about an upcoming endorsement exchange between Tim Moore and Robinson.  Shumaker runs Moore’s congressional campaign.  I am betting the much-anticipated endorsement never happens.

The developments re: Graham and Robinson have collapsed into quite a nanny-nanny-boo-boo fest.  Shots have been taken at consultants in both camps.  It’s funny.  Mike Luethy – now working on behalf of a pro-Robinson PAC – has worked with Shumaker and Tillis in the past.    Some consultants have loyalties to certain political figures or ideologies.  But most consultants out there are most concerned with who can write the biggest check that won’t bounce.

RINO, RINO, GOPe.  Those terms are being flung around left and right.  But the NCGOP hierarchy and the RNC honchos have so watered-down the party message that it basically means NOTHING to call yourself a Republican.  You get an (R) next to your name.

Honest political historians in North Carolina will tell you that  eastern North Carolina’s swing to the GOP helped make The Tar Heel State a two-party battleground.  The western part of the state had been supporting Republicans since Abe Lincoln.  Principled leaders like Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms, John East, Jim Gardner, and Lauch Faircloth helped give conservative credibility to the party and make crossing over a lot more comfortable for a lot of traditional eastern North Carolina Democrats.

GOPe is a name we – and others – have given to Republicans who work to strengthen the power structure in DC and Raleigh at the expense of the rest of us.  Currently, there are so many elected Republicans engaged in activity like that.  The pro-Robinson camp’s tactic of blasting people who are not slobbering all over the lieutenant governor right now as “GOPe” is patently dishonest.

We’re in the midst of a primary right now for governor.  It’s not party disloyalty to look at another Republican besides Robinson.  It’s a time for kicking tires and making big decisions.  I’m still waiting for Mark and Yolanda to tell the truth about Balanced Nutrition.

The Graham campaign is making a big deal out of allegedly saving North Carolina from the Communist Chinese.  Yet, Graham has ties to PACs promoting the expansion of alternative energy into North Carolina.  The Communist Chinese have been making yuuuuuuuuuuge money off of the manufacturing of solar panels feeding alternative energy mandates like those governing North Carolina.

Dale Folwell – despite his lethargic campaign is still out there.  Folwell is a guy who has built up respect all around as a guy who gets positive results while maintaining his conservative credibility.  WRAL dishonestly portrayed him as a Tillis lieutenant.  Folwell got elected “speaker pro tem” while Tillis was speaker.  Tillis and his team blackballed and isolated Folwell because he would not go along with their sleazy quid pro quo management style in the House.

I’ve seen pro-Robinson folks smear Folwell as “a career politician.” He went to work very early to take care of his family and put himself through school.  Folwell built a successful career as a financial manager — handling the finances of folks like Joe and Jane Smith on Main Street to country music stars like Aaron Tippin. 

He left the House to run for lieutenant governor in 2012.  Governor McCrory appointed him to fix the disastrous and nearly-bankrupt unemployment insurance program.  Folwell got it done.

Folwell is finishing his second term as state treasurer.  He’s tackled some tough issues while managing the state employees health and retirement plans.   He’s fought legislators in both parties who tried to stymie his efforts to control hospitalization costs for state health plan customers.  Folks got mad at him, but he aimed for what he saw as the greater good.  If you’re not making anybody mad, are you really doing any good?

We can continue to look at the election like it’s another season of American Idol.  *Who is the prettiest? Who has the best stage presence?*

Or we can dig deep and demand answers on how these candidates seriously plan to lead us through the approaching tough years.  Thankfully, we don’t have to depend on the sloths in the Capitol press corps for our information.  Our site’s archives have a lot of valuable information.  There is also a lot of other valuable info across the Internet.

This race is FAR from over.  The latest poll shows 34 percent for Robinson with 49 percent undecided. Robinson has lost support and undecided has gained as this race has gone on and gotten more crowded.  Forty-nine percent says there are a lot of tire-kickers still out there.  It’s still anybody’s game.

If you base your vote on who entertained you the most from the stage one night, you are doing a disservice to future generations of your family, your fellow North Carolinians, and your fellow Americans.