Appointing political supporters to government positions is a time honored tradition. It happens in virtually every position where an elected official has the power to hire and fire. In the case of Pat McCrory, though, he’s appointing unqualified people to oversee important positions and those appointments directly contradict his campaign promises.

The latest flap has to do with Bryan Gossage, a perennial candidate who served several terms on the Apex Town Council. Gossage is taking a $40,000 pay cut and moving into a newly created position at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources after his job at the Commerce Department was eliminated. His wife is already in the administration and Gossage has little background in land and water conservation that his new gig requires. Personally, I’m betting he’s trying to wind his way over to the Department of Health and Human Services where they pay political cronies the big bucks. 

Most of these shenanigans fly under the radar of average voters and probably wouldn’t matter much except for one thing. Pat McCrory was elected on a promise to end cronyism and add transparency to state government. He’s done neither.

And the governor is building up a nice record of blatantly and unabashedly violating promises he made to the voters. His pledge not restrict access abortion is neither debatable nor ambiguous. And neither was signing the law that restricted access to abortions.

McCrory and company seem to operate under the assumption that politicians can say anything during a campaign and nobody will hold them accountable. They are wrong.

During Watergate we often heard the phrase, “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.” In McCrory’s case, it’s not the deed, it’s the lie. It’s not that McCrory restricted abortion. And it’s not that he’s hired political cronies. It’s that he pledged during the campaign to do neither and then blatantly did both.

In 2016, voters will learn what reporters and political gadflies already know. You can’t believe what the governor says. In politics, that’s deadly.

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