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« Money-go-round | Main | Munger money bomb »

Jul 01, 2008

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Fred Gregory

Perhaps Queen Mary is in training for a second career as a writer for,
Conde' Nast

Steve K.

In this new age of transparency, our "public servants" are going to have to learn to live (and work) at a more modest level (like, closer to what their constituents live at, perhaps?!) or we the people are going to hold them accountable.

We're sick of the top executives getting off scott-free with loads of cash in their pockets while the rest of us toil away in the bottom income brackets.

This is part of my problem with McCrory and his plan to drill for oil off the NC coast. Who do you think is going to benefit from that? It'll no doubt benefit McCrory and his financial/political ambitions to be digging around in the back pockets of the oil companies, but it doesn't do my family (or MOST North Carolina families) a bit of good.

drfranklives

Yeah, maybe she should have gone to St. Petersburg, as the representative of a sovereign state, and waited for a bus outside the Motel 6.

Come on. There are far greater wastes of taxpayer dollars than these. I do not expect the Governor and First Lady to eat mac and cheese and ride bicycles. I expect them to have the benefit of some pomp and circumstance, and I don't find that to be wasteful.

One exhibition from the Hermitage, say, the Faberge eggs, and this would pay for itself a hundred times over.

justcorbly

I heard The Gov blamed it on the weak dollar, asserting that a cheeseburger and fries costs $60.00 in Europe.

I guess The Gov and I frequent different restaurants. Europe ain't cheap for us Yanks (A thrifty week in London a few months ago cost me $4000), but 60 bucks for a burger? Somewhere there's a staffer who needs to be thrashed.

Meanwhile, I assume that if these expeditions had resulted in at least one rewarding contract, we'd be hearing about it.

justcorbly

DRFrank, I agree with you. I suspect it wasn't The Gov and Mrs Gov who handled the logisitics. I'm also pretty sure that Mr. and Mrs. Easley could not have avoided the security detail, chauffer, etc, etc.

The focus should not be the cost of the trips, but the eventual benefits to the state. A few hundred thousand bucks is a good investment if it pays off.

Still...

cmf

"The trooper, C.H. Alford, mostly stuck to the state's limits on spending. He typically billed the $7.50 for breakfast, $9.75 for lunch and $19 for dinner allowed under the state's policy.

Alford joined the delegation at Palkin.

"He didn't eat much," Wheeler said."

Kudos to the cop. Bless his heart.

justcorbly

>>'"He didn't eat much," Wheeler said."'

No, he certainly must not have. Burgers don't cost 60 bucks, but $20 for a cold sandwich and coffee would not be atypical.

Ed Cone

There's plenty of room for very nice travel between mac & cheese and bus rides on the one hand, and the super-luxury our public servants enjoyed on the other.

Arguing that there are worse abuses of taxpayer money is a non-starter -- we happen to be discussing this one right now.

NC Democrats had better wake up to their vulnerability -- they've been in power so long that they think it will always be so. Lickspittle defenses of their bad behavior don't do them any favors.

Is North Carolina actually a sovereign state in any meaningful sense of the term? I understand that our elected officials act like sovereigns, and that there may be Madisonian language behind that term, but in contemporary usage isn't a sovereign state an independent nation?

Brad Krantz

Easley's lying with his comment about a cheeseburger and onion rings being $60. According to website makeupyourownmind.co.uk a Big Mac in Russia is 54 Rubles. One US Dollar = 23.45 Rubles. One Big Mac is therefore $2.30.

Spag

"Is North Carolina actually a sovereign state in any meaningful sense of the term? I understand that our elected officials act like sovereigns, and that there may be Madisonian language behind that term, but in contemporary usage isn't a sovereign state an independent nation?"

There were these things called the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution that at one time actually meant something, and to my knowledge have never been repealed. But Ed is correct that in contemporary usage, the idea of states being sovereign has been rendered obsolete thanks to activist Supreme Court decisions.

Other than that, Ed's comments in his last post are exactly right.

I suspect that when Easley leaves office, he will go work for corporate America or as a lobbyist- question what ties to Russia such a position will hold. I wonder if he was lobbying for the State or himself. It won't be the first time. He and his wife have been government employees almost all of their life, yet through his connections, he has managed to become a multi-millionaire and has a history of getting sweetheart deals that none of us would get. He has clearly used his office for personal financial gain.

justcorbly

It's isn't important if North Carolina is a sovereign state. It isn't 1787 anymore. Or 1861.

Re: the price of European burgers: I'd hope the Easley's would have sense enough to avoid MacDonald's if they were craving a burger.

And, I suppose that no fiscally responsible GOP governor would ever go on that kind of junket. If he did, he'd surely dispense with the entourage and travel around in a rented Renault with a Highway Patrol cop on the back seat. We might check the records of the last few GOP governors to see how they spent on such things, but we'd have to call in researchers to find evidence of the last GOP governors.

drfranklives

Go to court in the State court system and tell the judge he is not a representative of a sovereign power.

When you get out of jail, call me.

Anthony

justcorbly,

"I suppose that no fiscally responsible GOP governor... etc "

It's weak when Repubs play the "but they do it too" game, it's also weak to play it here. You're right that Dems have no lock on wastefulness, corruption, etc, but in this case it's a Dem behaving irresponsibly. That Repubs do it too doesn't excuse it, so it's irrelevant. Easley should be held accountable if accountability is what's called for here.

Alan Cone Bulluck

Easley is pond scum, a typical eastern NC redneck. Winning the governorship was like winning the West Virginia Lottery for him and his family. What exactly has he done in office aside from spend time in his basement in Raleigh and on Bald Head Island, take lavish trips, and endore Hillary Clinton?

He can't be proud of his son. He talks like a Vienna choirboy and was blackballed by his father's fraternity.

keith

did anyone notice this from the news and observer,

Once there, Easley had a round-the-clock chauffeured Mercedes-Benz that cost taxpayers more than $27,000. Taxpayers paid another $8,900 for Easley, her executive assistant and a state trooper -- along for security -- to stay in a hotel and participate in a Monet-themed tour. The trip was five months after the Monet exhibit closed at the N.C. Museum of Art.

They went on a Monet themed tour after it had been in North Carolina, what is up with that?

keith

on top of that Mary Easley got a $79,000 jump in pay from N.C.State read it here underthedome ,

and if you are outraged by this the phone number for Provost Larry Nielson is 919-515-2192 and his email address is: larry_nielsen@ncsu.edu

drfranklives

Did you forget how to read or just not get to the paragraph that described the additional duties she will be undertaking?

Spag

My suggestions to Brad & Britt's quest for a name for this scandal:
"Taxnost" (in honor of Glasnost- a thawing of relations with the Russians- in this case, at the NC taxpayers expense) or even better, "Marystroika" (in honor of Perestroika, an opening of the Russian economy- in this case to people like Mary Easley, etc).

keith

No Dr. Frank I can't read but I sure can smell a load of crap and this is a load of crap. This is about as ridiculous as paying John Edwards for his work at the Poverty Center in Chapel Hill.

keith

new number Larry Nielson is 919-515-2195

Spag

A little of the facts:

In 2004, Wake County:

1) voted straight Democrat 55% compared to 44% for the GOP.
2) voted for Erskine Bowles over Dole 51% to 47%
3) voted for Bob Etheridge 74% to 25% over his GOP challenger.
4) voted for David Price 52% to 48% over his GOP challenger.
5) voted for Brad Miller 57% to 42% over his GOP challenger.
6) In fact, voted Democrat for every statewide office except Secretary of Labor.
7) voted for John Kerry 48% to Bushes 50% - the only race for national office that was in the GOP column out of Wake County.

This is pretty much standard Wake County voting and demonstrates that Wake County, the most conservative of the main Triangle counties, is a Democratic county. This whole idea that the Triangle is a GOP stronghold that could go Democrat this election and prove that there is some great liberal tide and transformation of NC into a blue state is simply preposterous. I fully expect Wake and the rest of the Triangle to go Blue this time like they always have for the most part. No surprise there.

Anthony

Let me throw this out there too: At one point, Easley says "If you're in Ireland, or Belgium(?), or England, they drive on the other side of the road. We don't know how to do that."

First of all, the trip wasn't to Ireland, Belgium or England, so that's totally irrelevant. Second of all, "we don't know how to do that"??? What? Give me a break - it's really not that hard. Plenty of everyday tourists seem capable of pulling it off.

keith

anthony you can add that to the list of what the hell is the governor saying, just like when he was in High Point let's not forget this complements of wall street journal:

The locomotive-centered locale offered plenty of fodder for hokey metaphors politicians like to use when stumping. “This is the perfect place for Hillary Clinton to meet you, at a train station, because this lady is strong as train smoke,” Easley said.

He added, “As a matter of fact, we were in Gastonia, [N.C.] in the back of a pickup truck yesterday or the day before, and a train came rumbling by while she was speaking and that locomotive gave out of steam before she did. That’s the kind of leader she’ll be!”

Trains, however, proved more helpful as metaphors than as props during the brief campaign stop. First, a freight train chugged by the boarding platform – located just below where the crowd of hundreds gathered to hear the speech. It honked a greeting and nearly drowned out Easley.

What a great governor we have.

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