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Monday, June 19, 2017

Pat McCrory: you can't sell sour grapes in a bottle, but you can do just fine with it in politics

Former NC Governor Pat McCrory bids fair to become the Tar Heel State's Harold Stassen. He is itching to announce his fourth consecutive bid for the state's second top job, after that of Republican Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.

The 60-year old Republican, who lost in 2008, won in 2012, and lost in 2016, has complained that his championship of HB2 (his signature law legalizing discrimination, freezing the state minimum wage, and stripping residents of access to state courts) has made it hard to find work and has led even friends and neighbors in the tony- and Tory- suburbs of south Charlotte to shun him and his wife socially, believes Republican voters will give him the nod for a fourth time in a row.

Except when he says it was the good ol' boy paving contractors, the liberal media, the lack of campaign spending limits he always opposed, and/or voter fraud by blacks and college students.

Stassen (1907-2001), was the "boy governor" of Minnesota from 1939 to 1943, a war hero, postwar university president, and leading GOP candidate for president in 1948. Failing, he tried again in 1952 and lost the party nomination, but spent the next forty years running for president seven more times, twice for the US Senate, once for the House, twice for governor of Pennsylvania, and once for mayor of Philadelphia, losing every time.

Like McCrory, he ran because he had nothing particularly better to do. Elected to Charlotte's city council at 33, McCrory became mayor of the state's largest city at 39 and served fourteen years. 

The first governor to be denied a second term since 1850, who six months ago signed Republican special-session laws to strip incoming Governor Roy Cooper of appointive and hiring powers, turned most of McCrory's patronage hires into civil servants, and reduced the staff of the Governor, McCrory apparently plans to spend the next three and a half years on a Sore Loser Tour of the state, croaking, "I told you so!"

He was on Front Row with Marc Rotterman in February, where the host begged him to run again in 2020. Last week McCrory appeared on the easiest interview in public television, Carolina Business Review to make his case. In between, he rehearsed it before the state GOP convention.

Now he's whining to Carolina Journal:
McCrory said Cooper has not reached out to him for advice or consultation. Instead, the current governor has fired as many McCrory hires as he could, “even down to administrative assistants that had no political connection whatsoever, so that’s a little disappointing.”
(McCory has always been a champion of the lowliest state worker bees: in 2014 he picked a Department of Health and Human Services employee, Valerie Macon, as North Carolina poet laureate. Of one of her two self-published collections, Macon wrote, " Her author statement for Sleeping Rough sets out her poetic project: "This book was written in my Suzuki Grand Vitara during a year's worth of lunch breaks. I had only to park, open my eyes, pick up my pen, and the homeless paraded before me, compelled me to tell their stories." She lasted five months. Another, a former McCrory campaign assistant, Ricky Diaz, suddenly found himself press spokesman for Macon's department at a salary of $85,000 a year).

McCrory, who spent vast sums of state money to sue the General Assembly over a separation of powers issue, and colluded with them to create a private law firm version of the NC Department of Justice to defend unconstitutional law after unconstitutional law, also says Governor Cooper is wasting tax money suing the General Assembly for political gain:
“He’s hiring a lot of his lawyers who contributed to his campaign, and millions of dollars are being spent,” McCrory said. 
The former governor also filed lawsuits, the biggest of which accused Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, of separation-of-powers violations involving legislative appointments that wrested control of three executive branch commissions from the governor. 
McCrory said he stood by that lawsuit, upheld by the state Supreme Court. But he said it was ironic Cooper is using the McCrory v. Berger decision to bolster his own legal claims against the General Assembly, even though the circumstances are different. 
“He’s not being a leader. He’s just being a person who fights against a Republican legislature,” McCrory said. 
“It’s working politically to his advantage,” McCrory said, because his liberal base wants to fight, and “legislators tend to be more unpopular than anybody.” He thinks last year’s shift of the state Supreme Court from Democratic to Republican control has emboldened Cooper, who’s convinced the high court will rule in his favor.
McCrory has lost none of his non-sequiturial thought processes, either:
He said the [unpopular Interstat 77] toll lanes were mistakenly called toll roads, and the backlash caused him 30,000 votes in northern Mecklenburg County. He lost the election by about 10,000 votes.
Mostly, in such interviews McCrory touts his handful of accomplishments in office. In his view, he was a leader, although one of the old bulls of the State Senate, former Rules Committee chair Tony Apodaca, said of McCrory last year,
The governor doesn’t play much of a role in anything.
McCrory pretty much confirmed his rubber-stampness in the Journal interview:
McCrory said he signed those bills because they passed with veto-proof margins, and he believed the General Assembly was within its authority on the measures.
After refusing to call a special session to discriminate against LGBT North Carolinians, McCrory signed HB2 three hours after its one-day passage, and the day after seeing a poll that showed he'd profit by doing so:
Former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2 a day after his political strategist shared a poll showing it would be popular with voters, newly released emails show. 
Strategist Chris LaCivita shared the poll with the governor on March 22. 
“Wow,” the governor responded after seeing the poll results.

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