Dome: Gov.-elect Pat McCrory is no comedian

jfrank@newsobserver.comJanuary 2, 2013 

Pat McCrory, don’t quit your day job. The governor-elect started his speech at the Economic Forecast Forum on Wednesday playing the part of stand-up comedian.

He walked to the podium with a list taking aim at the Capital City.

The setup: Since being elected, McCrory said he’s “learning the Raleigh ways.”

“Because I’m an outsider,” he explained.

His first joke: “The definition of an elevator in a state government building really means take the stairs,” he said to mixed laughter.

(Apparently Republican Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry, who regulates elevators, wasn’t in the audience.)

Second joke: “You know there are really some good jobs around here that don’t require much work or no work at all either. Former N.C. State football coaches ... UNC professors.”

The crowd groaned loudly on each. “Oh, you guys can’t take it, huh,” McCrory replied with a smile. McCrory graduated from Catawba College.

McCrory apparently had a few more jokes written down but blushed on stage and said he wouldn’t repeat them. Click here and scroll down to hear audio from McCrory's speech.

Barber asked for moderate McCrory

Following a meeting with Gov.-elect Pat McCrory last week, the Rev. William Barber, state NAACP president, said the organization is going to release a petition Friday that calls on McCrory to govern as a moderate.

Barber told the News & Observer’s Thomas Goldsmith that he urged McCrory in last week’s meeting to focus on unemployment and poverty. The meeting lasted about 20 to 30 minutes, Barber said, and there was talk of meeting again after McCrory becomes governor.

In a statement, McCrory spokesman Ricky Diaz said the governor-elect thought it was a good meeting and the office is reviewing the schedule for future meetings with NAACP leadership.

Tillis gets new adviser

House Speaker Thom Tillis will start the new session with a new legal adviser to replace Jason Kay.

Ray Starling, who was general counsel at the state Department of Agriculture for about six years, is now working for Tillis. Tillis spokesman Jordan Shaw said Starling started work about a month ago.

Kay resigned in August, but continued to work for Tillis under contract. Starling has an undergraduate degree in agricultural and extension education from N.C. State and a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Johnson moves to CFNC

Gov. Bev Perdue has appointed the former head of the Governor’s Eastern Office to the board of trustees of the College Foundation of North Carolina.

Tate C. Johnson currently works for the N.C. Department of Natural Resources but his ties to Perdue are long. He was the deputy finance director for her gubernatorial campaign.

The College Foundation administers a portfolio of education loans and grant and scholarship programs for students who attend North Carolina colleges and universities, and the 529 college savings program.

Beasley sworn in Thursday

State Appeals Court Judge Cheri Beasley will officially take a step up and be sworn in as the seventh state Supreme Court justice Thursday afternoon.

Chief Justice Sarah Parker is administering the oath at the Justice building. Gov. Bev Perdue appointed Beasley to replace former Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson, who announced her resignation in November.

Beasley will have to run for the seat in 2014 if she wants to keep it.

Staff writers John Frank, Mary Cornatzer and Lynn Bonner

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