Regarding the Nov. 17 news article “McCrory: Don’t send Syrian refugees to N.C.”: Gov. Pat McCrory joined several other governors in calling for a halt to U.S. efforts to help refugees fleeing violence in Syria. What motivated the governor’s decision?
In his news conference, he noted that his “primary duty as governor is to keep the citizens of North Carolina safe.” But actions are usually a better indication of motivations than someone’s own words.
What does the governor’s public safety record tell us? It tells us the governor personally intervened to ensure a major campaign contributor, Graeme Keith Sr., continues to receive state contracts for providing the physical integrity of our prisons. It tells us that another campaign contributor, Charlie Shelton of Shelton Vineyards, needed only to write a memo to ensure that the State Highway Patrol would force sleepy truck drivers to stay on the road even longer; state and local safety officers shifted their circulation to focus on the Interstate ramps near the vineyards. A few days later, the Shelton brothers contributed more money to the governor’s campaign.
The governor may talk of safety when it comes to keeping out refugees, but his actions suggest that, when it comes to public safety in North Carolina, pay-to-play is alive and well.