North Carolina? Nah, South Jersey

One of my neighbors is a New Jersey transplant (insert your own joke here), and in a sidewalk chat the other day he remarked on the extraordinary amount of news recently about insider dealing, pocket-lining, and general sleaziness among our elected officials in North Carolina. I thought: Boy, when a guy from Jersey is complaining about our political corruption, things must really be bad.

What I realized is that reading the daily trickle of news about former Gov. Mike Easley, his wife and his various henchmen/stooges is like watching a faucet with a slow drip — the individual drops don’t seem like much until somebody points out that a bathtub’s worth of water has gone down the drain. That’s what we’re experiencing in North Carolina politics now. The accumulated weight of current allegations, past convictions and moral turpitude (I’m looking in your direction, John Edwards) is enough to make a Chicago alderman look away in shame. Or come here for lessons.

The greater problem is that political corruption is particularly tenacious. Like kudzu, it spreads relentlessly in all directions. The Easleys didn’t leave questions hanging over just the governor’s mansion. Their employment — Mike as governor, Mary as a glorified, highly overpaid events coordinator at N.C. State University — also left both the university system and the N.C. Highway Patrol facing investigations. In fact, between the Easleys and Edwards, the federal grand jury in Raleigh sees more traffic in and out of its chambers these days than a mining-town bordello.

But my neighbor is the best barometer. If he’s sentimental about the relative honesty of New Jersey, we’ve got a serious image problem.

5 Responses to “North Carolina? Nah, South Jersey”

  1. Locomotive Breath Says:

    The Democrats have controlled the statehouse for about twice as long as the Communists controlled the Soviet Union. When they have no fear of losing power, this is the kind of behavior you get.

  2. al Says:

    Democrats?? Down here?? They sure don’t act like dems, where is collective bargaining?? I call these people dixiecrats.

    Good luck with this new gov, she truly is a poor excuse for an elected leader of this state.

  3. In The Arena Says:

    Personally, I loved the “slow drip” metaphor. Effective, subtle, graceful.

  4. pungoriver Says:

    I didn’t really understand the magnitude of corruption until I started to list recent events:

    1. Meg Scott Phipps - and 7 other folks charged and did time.
    2. Jim Black - currently a guest of the Feds
    3. Kevin Gettings - of lottery fame - not elected, however spent a lot of time with elected officials
    4. Frank Ballance - just got out of jail
    5. Frank’s Son - disbarred
    6. Randy Parton Theater - no indictments yet - waiting for that shoe to drop.
    7. Wake County School Transportation - 7 people - 3 million bucks
    8. Wake County Solid Waste - trips to Disney World and points beyond.

    Weasley Easley is just the latest in what appears to be a very disturbing pattern.

    Depressing isn’t it.

  5. john Says:

    Dear Gearino,
    Your shameless plug (disguised as your September 1 blog entry) is closed to comment. A loyal reader such as myself must stoop to commenting on a blog totally unrelated. Hard times we’re living.

    Here I am, fixing to logon on to some online bizmag. Why? Because there might be a picture of you sittin’ on a front porch with another local luminary. Lets see…Raleigh. Who’s famous in Raleigh? Well, whoever it is, you’re fortunate to be in their august company.

    This is none of my business, but I can only wonder what perqs you’re getting from the magazine gig - besides filthy lucre.

    Season tickets for the upcoming Tarheel basketball season, perhaps?

    Good luck with your house hunting endeavors.

    Alexander Julian! That’s it; it’s a pic of you sipping juleps with Alexander Julian - a distinguished UNC alum. He designed their basketball uni’s a few years back. The ones with the argyle accents on the sides. Argyle. Jeezus.