What is it with Pat McCrory and the Department of Health and Human Services? Yesterday, news outlets across the state reported that Secretary Aldona Wos had made yet another political hire with an inflated salary. So when I heard McCrory was calling a news conference, I expected to hear about “changes” at DHHS.

Instead, McCrory doubled down. He defended Wos and said the criticism of her had been unfair. If that’s true, why can’t anybody give her a reasonable defense? Nobody has explained how a department can have such bad press for so long and nobody is responsible. Until yesterday, the only explanation McCrory has given is to blame outside groups and the press.

Now–get this–McCrory is blaming transparency. According to the governor, the problem is not that DHHS is hiring people who have no experience or qualifications. It’s that the public knows about it. And this from the guy who promised more transparency in government! (Can I call that another lie?)

McCrory says that he’s concerned that the public having “details of recent hires might deter people from seeking jobs in government.” There is an 8.9% unemployment rate in the state. I doubt it’s a problem. The rest of us are more concerned about the government hiring political cronies at inflated salaries to do jobs that they can’t handle, like keeping the Department of Health and Human Services out of the news or delivering assistance to needy families.

My real question, though, is who is directing those hires? Is Aldona Wos lone-wolfing it and scraping up every unemployed political hack or wing-nut activist she can find? Or is somebody in McCrory’s administration telling her to hire these people either to hold them until the next election cycle or pay off some political debt?

Regardless, it’s utterly tone deaf and conduct unbecoming a governor. McCrory claims he wants to run government like a business but would a business keep people who can’t do the jobs they were hired to do? Morale in that place must be in the dumps, and not from the problems left by the previous administration, but by the blatant incompetence of this one.

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