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An editorial in The News & Observer fondly hopes that Governor Easley’s appointees to lead the Progress Board – Mac McCorkle and John Merritt – will revive the board, which has been wandering in the wilderness for years now.

Not a chance.

The Progress Board has always been plagued by a fatal premise: Its supporters believe that the Governor and the legislature should put up public money and then appoint them to be kind of a super-board of directors for the state.

These brilliant people on the Board see themselves as telling the Governor and the legislature where they are falling short in meeting their public responsibilities.

Nice work if you can get it. But don’t count on it.

No politician is going to create an institution whose sole purpose is to bite the hand that feeds it.

And nobody with any political sense should expect them to.

The real motivation behind the Progress Board has always come from progressives (and I know most of them) who want an alternative to the Locke Foundation.

Well, we need that alternative. But we shouldn’t expect the taxpayers to foot the bill.

These progressives need to put up or raise the money themselves, just like the Popes did to launch the Locke Foundation.

It’s time to put up or shut up.

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