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Grading McCrory’s “State of the State”

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Liked: Let me say straight off the top that I liked two policy goals mentioned: cut the advertising, administrative costs of the lottery and apply money to kids and technology in education. The technology is needed and there’s a revenue stream to tap. And, the reinstatement of the Drug Treatment Courts. The courts are successful and were created with bipartisan support.

Interested, but need details: McCrory said he is an “Eisenhower Republican” with a focus on infrastructure – water, transportation, communications and energy.  But we need to see a plan. It’s not too much to ask to see a plan in conjunction with a speech. These are expensive propositions but there was no mention of funding.

I am interested in exporting, military spin-off business but there were no real details given and no plan handed out. Sequestration is a real possibly in DC, affecting the defense department, so not sure how that one will turn out.

Puzzled: We heard the refrain of a broken government focused on IT and infrastructure but nowhere near the levels of talking points over the past six weeks. We heard a few quick blasts of customer service focus but still no details on initiatives. DENR employees were praised on the response front but not other state employees and the example given for customer service was addressing double tolling, which can’t possibly be the only customer service success, can it?

I expected to hear about DHHS, at a minimum something about the audit or how that department will have his focus, but all I hear was a request to the NC General Assembly to stop making so many requests.

I am still puzzled as to why it is so hard to effectively articulate a real jobs plan.

Answers: Which bills will McCrory sign into law? He did answer that he would sign HB 4 into law, unemployment insurance extension. No real answer still on medicaid expansion except under the general umbrella of fiscal responsibility. North Carolinians deserve specific answers on these issues. He must explain to those without jobs how fiscal responsibility is more important than them paying their bills. He must explain to those who could get medicaid under expanded benefits where he stands on that issue and if fiscal responsibility is more important than their lives.

Relieved: I am relieved I did not hear “butts in seats” or which classes constitute a liberal arts education. I think McCrory learned his lesson. But I have to say “seat warmers” when referring to state employees is as unappealing a phrase for a Governor to utter.

Dislikes: I dislike education double-speak. When you say “market-based education solutions” just be honest and say you want to invest in charter schools, not public schools. North Carolinians deserve to hear you say what you mean and not play games with their kids’ education.  On energy, I am not sure what McCrory said. He attended a very extensive meeting about federal authority to explore offshore exploration but he made no compelling argument for offshore exploration or fracking except to say that we were behind other states. Talk about the market, talk about resources, talk about jobs, talk about the environment, talk about tourism, talk about commercial and sport fishermen. Energy exploration is complicated and must dictate more than a mention.

Delivery: a bit disjointed, but his usual enthusiasm and intensity

Policy: short on policy, long on “talking points”

Length: a bit long to be short on details (provide a plan with the speech)

Demeanor: comfortable but too informal

Cross-Post: NC Spin

Camel City Dispatch

Jeanne Milliken Bonds is a PR Consultant, Political Analyst, Commentator on NC Spin

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