posted on August 21, 2013 08:28
Last week, “a bodyguard prevented a News & Observer reporter from asking (DHHS Secretary Aldona) Wos any questions” after a speech.
This week, when questions arose about DHHS paying $85,000-plus salaries to young campaign aides to Governor McCrory, “the governor’s spokeswoman, Kim Genardo, referred questions” to Wos. “Wos could not be reached.”
Hold the mayo. Go back. A “bodyguard?” Prevented a reporter from asking questions?
Is this a State Trooper, paid by the taxpayers? Or a private bodyguard? Blocking a public official from answering questions?
What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?
Thomas Mills wrote at PoliticsNC that the salary debacle “isn’t Wos’ first misstep.” Early on she appointed an opponent of early childhood programs to head early childhood programs. Then she blamed Wayne Goodwin for not expanding Medicaid. Now she has embarrassed McCrory a third time.
The Governor doesn’t need this. He has to be asking: Is Wos over her head? Will I have to replace another Cabinet secretary? Is DHHS going to blow up on my watch?
Already, he’s blaming Medicaid for everything he can’t do, like pay raises for people who aren’t 24-year-old campaign aides. Can Wos handle that – plus the mental health crisis and the enormous range of human and budget problems that DHHS manages?
This is maybe the toughest department to manage in state government, with the greatest potential for problems that hurt people and embarrass administrations. A Republican tells me that Wos works from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. He says she is an accomplished person, but has no management or political experience. And she has controversial top aides with scant experience.
That, as Governor McCrory is seeing right now, is a recipe for disaster.