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Governor McCrory has to hope that Aldona Wos and the high-paid operatives around her pull off a miracle at DHHS. Because he clearly can’t fire her.
 
Wos is the most powerful person in Raleigh today. Back in January, it looked like Budget Czar Art Pope was. Then, during the legislature, it was Senator Phil Berger. Now, it’s Wos. And now we know why.
 
Since 2000, she and her husband have given over $600,000 to candidates and committees at the state and federal levels. They raised even more, much of it at their $5.9 million, secluded, fenced-in “turreted mansion” in Greensboro. She raised so much money for President Bush, he named her an ambassador.
 
When you’re that rich and raise that much cash, nobody tells you no.
 
So Governor McCrory jumps when Wos says jump. When she’s upset with media coverage, he jumps to her defense at a press conference. When she questions the value of “transparency,” he questions media scrutiny.
 
When her chief of staff leaves after just one month on the job and Wos wants to pay him $37,227.25 in severance pay – on top of the $14,000 he earned that month – Budget Czar Pope quickly OKs it. Remember, this is the same sharp-eyed budget director who had a hissy fit to keep Billy Ray Hall from getting $241,000 in severance pay after 36 years at the Rural Center.
 
Clearly, Wos is in a different league from now-departed Secretary of Public Staff Kieran Shanahan. Whatever he did, he was gone quick. Whatever Wos does, McCrory appears to be stuck with her.

 

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