Gov. Pat McCrory is sick of the second-guessing and pushback. He’s grown tired of the far-right zealots calling him a RINO. And he most definitely does not want to talk about the growing scandal in his administration.
That one involves an old friend from his days as mayor of Charlotte, Graeme Keith Sr., for whom our governor put in a good word with state prison officials in October 2014. Keith, who says he is retired, secured an extension of his contract to maintain our corrections facilities as a result of this intervention.
McCrory took a hard stance against the media outlets that reported on this issue — tough guy! — but the FBI is already questioning Keith and his associates about the deal.
Our governor needed to reassert himself as a take-charge guy, and what better way to establish dominance than set himself up at a desk in the sheriff’s office in the state’s third-largest city, and one of its most diverse, to sign a law banning sanctuary cities in North Carolina?
Sanctuary sounds like a good thing, but not in McCrory’s myopic view. It means that these cities don’t use their police to enforce federal immigration laws, which is the purview of the federal government. We only have three of them: Chapel Hill, Durham and Carrboro, which voted to adopt sanctuary resolutions. With the stroke of his pen in Greensboro, he nullified the ID cards issued by these cities to people who have none, something that developed here with full support of the Greensboro Police Department.
The bill also limits access to food stamps for people without kids.
Take that, hippies!
The theme here is not simply one of crony capitalism and heavy-handed governance of the cities that voted against him. What McCrory and his handlers are doing here is the same thing they’ve been doing since the country-club governor was elected in 2012: coddling the powerful and well connected while taking great whacks at poor people, immigrants and other groups that cannot fight back.
If this were happening on the playground, we would call McCrory a bully. But in North Carolina, we call him governor.