Governor McCrory increasingly looks like a modest Triple-A ballplayer who is befuddled by big league pitching. His latest whiff is defending the DHHS salary debacle.
McCrory should have put as much distance as possible between himself and the decision to give 24-year-olds who worked in his campaign senior jobs paying $85,000 and $87,500 in DHHS.
Instead, he jumped to their defense: “They got promotions. They were actually moved over to areas that frankly a lot of older people applied for, too. But frankly, these two young people are very well qualified and they are being paid for jobs at which that’s the pay rate for that job.”
McCrory should have said: “Frankly, I didn’t know about that. I need to know more about whether that’s appropriate.”
No, he should have said: “It’s wrong. I told Secretary Vos this morning that raises like that are totally out of line when teachers, nurses and state troopers didn’t get raises. I directed her to rescind the raises.”
That would have been politically smart. Instead, he now owns this problem big time.
It’s a problem people that get. Eyes glaze over on some issues and numbers, like billions spent on education. But the public’s eyes – and tempers – light up over giving 24-year-olds who worked in McCrory’s campaign senior policy jobs making $85,000 and up.
Now, a very smart young TAPster cautioned me that age isn’t the issue. That “just comes off as old people being cranky.” True.
The question is: What experience or expertise do these two appointees have in the complex matters that DHHS handles – Medicaid, mental health, personal care services, home care, disability rights, to name a few? How did they, as the Governor said, beat out “a lot of older people”?
Look, we know the answer. They worked in the Governor’s campaign. To the victors go the spoils.
And so does the accountability for decisions like this.