by Jeanne Milliken Bonds
Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared at NC Spin.Com
Pat McCrory campaigned for four years for Governor. As details of his administration emerge, it is interesting to look back at what he didn’t say on the campaign trail:
Art Pope put together a network of money and influence to reward those with the Pope philosophy with third party advertising by anonymous donors. Now, Pope can reign over those in the NCGA he helped put there as well as those in the Administration. Pope is not, by any measure of political ideology, a moderate and McCrory’s appointment of Pope in the budget role goes a long way to showing that on fiscal matters, McCrory isn’t either.
Tony Tata was brought in by the right on the Wake School Board. There were some issues and when the Democrats took back control and there was a dust-up about buses getting kids to school, he was canned. Now, he is running DOT. Schools-Transportation? McCrory says that since he operated under fire in Afghanistan, he is up to the task. But is he? Parents in Wake County are a formidable force and when under fire, Tata misfired. Transportation has a combination of federal and state funds with interesting mathematical formulas. Rail has its own language. Perhaps this cabinet slot would have best served by someone with some training in US-NC transportation, not Afghan military ops.
The Supreme Court ruled on Video Gambling/Sweepstakes/Name du jour recently and the ban is in effect. Appeal to the US Supreme Court? Or influence the new Governor? I was poo-pooed by my fellow panelists December 23 on NC Spin when I said that I thought the issue, “would be revisited” and voila! today the Governor-elect said, “I’m going to have to do more study …” Of course, it helps if you know that the Governor-Elect’s former law firm employer just hired his former communications guy and that firm is now working for the industry that was just banned. And we thought the Republicans were focused on jobs. They are, but just the ones associated with video sweepstakes.
Money! “Money, get away. Get a good job with more pay. And your O.K. Money, it’s a gas. Grab that cash with both hands. And make a stash.” Roger Waters with Pink Floyd got it right. It’s a gas especially when you set up a foundation to start raking it in before you even take office. A new foundation is poised to haul it in starting January 12, at an “inaugural” event.
All those voters who thought McCrory would be a moderate Governor like he was a moderate Mayor, well, it may come as a shock, but with statewide campaigns come money and people with money. And they usually end up with a lot of influence.
Brad Kennedy commented, “Governor-Elect McCrory filmed a rosy ad in an abandoned warehouse, during the campaign, about the need to forget politics and think about us. But his appointment of Pope does not signal a fresh era of bipartisanship, rather an era of appeasing the far right faction of his party. So much for forgetting ‘politics’.”
On a personal level, it is sometimes best to leave things unsaid. In politics, what is unsaid is that which is avoided in order to get elected.
Jeanne Milliken Bonds was the first female Mayor of Knightdale, North Carolina. She was first appointed to the Town Council in 1994. She was elected Mayor Pro Tem in 1995, elected by the citizens in 1995 (top vote getter); re-elected in 1999 (top vote getter); and appointed Mayor in 2002 upon the election of Joe Bryan to the Wake County Board of Commissioners. She currently works as a political consultant in Raleigh.