Beltlines, Bubbles, and Business: What Gov. McCrory doesn’t seem to get about “Raleigh”

by | Jul 31, 2014 | NC Politics, NCGov | 2 comments

Daniel Gilligan is a lifelong resident of Raleigh and proud graduate of N. C. State.

Governor McCrory has been taking his case on the state budget stalemate to the folks that are, as he says “outside the beltline,” of Raleigh the last couple weeks. But there is one thing the “media stunts and budget gimmicks” of the last few weeks make clear: for a guy that claims to hate the political bubble, he sure is obsessed with it.

If he wasn’t he would only have to read the Forbes article last week, naming Raleigh the best place for business and careers in the country, to pick up on a pretty important point his political jabs at “Raleigh” seem to miss. In their profile of what makes Raleigh such a great place to work, the only mention of state government is a passing reference to the fact that it is the state capitol. Instead, Forbes focuses on our low cost of starting and running a business, our large educated workforce, our strong triangle research universities like NC State here in Raleigh and our neighbors over at UNC and Duke, the RTP, and our booming tech sector. While the state of North Carolina may be Wake County’s single largest employer, more people that live here work just for four companies that have little to do with politics: IBM, Cisco, SAS Institute, and Glaxo. That’s not to even get into some of our other large private sector employers that chose to locate here and plenty of folks own or work for small businesses and startups outside the sphere of government and politics. They were all a big part of why Raleigh was named a “Hotbed for Innovation” by Scientific American just last month.

If the governor wants to get out of the “Raleigh bubble of politics,” he doesn’t have to go far. NC State is literally just down the street from his office and was, just a couple weeks ago, ranked among the top universities for innovation and economic development. A few blocks south of the Governor’s mansion is HQ Raleigh and the new home of Citrix, and oh there is a giant skyscraper with a Red Hat on it that he can see from the balcony of the Governor’s mansion, he might want to stay past the ribbon cutting and learn a little bit more about what goes on in there. All of them inside that awful beltline, and all of them home to innovation that’s being recognized globally. And that’s just naming a few.

I don’t blame anyone for wanting to get out and see all that our great state has to offer, and I like to think it’s a lot more than just photo ops with red hot dogs. But if the governor is having trouble finding folks with innovative ideas in Raleigh, or maybe even just folks that don’t live and breath legislative politics, it’s because he’s not trying very hard. For a governor that ran promising to bring his private sector “experience” to bear on state government, it’s disappointing he spends so much of his time on the same old regional bickering that have gone on in the Capitol since before they built that beltline. That’s not just unfortunate for Raleigh, it’s bad for all of North Carolina.


  1. Robert McSwain

    Pfft, like McCrory has ever gotten anything about NC – Fracking, Offshore Drilling, Bobnets Arena. The man is an utter failure at everything other than being a career politician.

  2. Someone from Main Street NC

    McCrory’s private sector “experience” is being used to craft bills that shelter his private sector employer from the costs and issues resulting from its failures to maintain infrastructure used to limit pollution.

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