This isn't exactly a secret to Charlotteans who paid attention during Pat McCrory's mayoral days, but the governor is genuinely clueless about the day-to-day lives of people who aren't part of his comfortable social milieu. Examples are too numerous to rehash, but two that come immediately to mind are his goofball comments about those funny artist types who made proposals for public artwork for the Lynx, and his somber critiques of young black Americans "participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action." See? Culturally tone-deaf. Today, Gov. Pat and his boss, Budget Director Art "Richer Than You" Pope, continued McCrory's clueless traditions.
As Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch reports, the governor and the real governor have crafted "a rather amazing response" to the PR beating they've taken over their callous policies toward the state's poor, sick, unemployed and/or hungry. The bad press included news that Department of Health and Human Services Director Aldona Wos ordered her department to stop issuing vouchers for the WIC program that provides food to mothers and their kids. Wos told the press that federal funds had dried up for WIC, as she made North Carolina the only state that cut off its WIC program, giving the state yet another national PR black eye. Wos had to reverse her "policy decision," aka "kneejerk slap at the poor," when Raleigh's News & Observer pointed out that plenty of money was still available.
So what did McCrory and Pope do to counter their Scrooge images? Get this - McCrory says he's gonna be sure that 6,700 pounds of turnip greens from a prison farm will be delivered to the food bank that serves central and eastern North Carolina. And that's it. That's his answer to the charges of insensitivity - 3+ tons of f-in' turnip greens. Pope's barrage of charity and good will to the poor is only slightly less pathetic: he's giving $185,000 from his family foundation to, as Schofield puts it, "a smattering of worthy causes." The policy director of NC Policy Watch also pointed out that Pope's $185K is "almost enough to hire a high-priced consultant at DHHS for part of the year."
By the way, McCrory and Pope's governance of the state - including their refusal of federally funded emergency unemployment insurance benefits and declining federal money to expand Medicaid - has cost North Carolina billions of dollars in aid for what would have been hundreds of thousands of N.C. citizens. But it's OK. At least now they can scramble to get McCrory's turnip greens.
Brilliant show as usual. Can't wait till they return to Charlotte.
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