Editorial: No, governor, it’s not complex the least bit

Sep. 02, 2013 @ 06:37 PM

It must be the water in the western side of the state or something.

First came Sen. Tommy Tucker of Waxhaw. He was presiding as chairman of the State and Local Government Committee in April. During a meeting on a bill to move public notices onto government websites where we believe nobody will see them, he told a newspaper publisher, “I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need to be quiet.”

Then there’s Gov. Pat McCrory, last week speaking in Asheville to a business group about negative news coverage of his economic and tax policies.

“This is too complex for the journalists,” McCrory said. “They don’t have economics degrees. They’ve not been in business.”

No, governor, it is not complex at all.

McCrory hired Blannie Cheng Garrett in January as deputy secretary of commerce and advisor to the governor on jobs and the economy.

The Associated Press reports Garrett’s LinkedIn profile lists Garrett with a bachelor’s degree in international politics and no degree in economics.

Two 24-year-olds McCrory gifted jobs to are not complex either. They were on his campaign trail and now rake in $87,000 or more annually in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

In a television interview two weeks ago defending their hires, McCrory said they applied for positions older people applied for and were paid what others would be paid for the same job.

An AP review turned up no evidence of the jobs being advertised, state personnel listings showing the duo doesn’t meet academic or experience requirements, and their pay exceeds maximums for the most senior-listed positions.

After three months on the job, Matthew McKillip got a 35 percent raise and Ricky Diaz got a 37 percent raise. Each came despite the governor’s March 8 directive for state agencies to freeze salary increases, limit purchases and reduce travel.

The N.C. Press Association didn’t back down from a heating and cooling guy masquerading as a state senator. Journalists are only going to dig deeper when the governor insults our intelligence.

We don’t think that’s complex either, for a journalist or a politician.