So I wonder which one of those McCrory staffers got the job to remodel his bathrooms? At $230,000, it must have been somebody on the Republican pay scale. It certainly wasn’t any of the rest of us because we wouldn’t just be fixing the toilet. We’d be buying a whole new house.

Really, though, I shouldn’t be criticizing the governor. I should be submitting a bid. I’m only qualified to do three things: raise kids, provide political advice and fix houses. Lord knows, I’ve done enough of each.

You can gut and replace a bathroom in an average house for around $25,000 using relatively high-grade materials. I get that the Mansion is a fine old lady and she deserves fine fixtures and materials but it’s hard to see how you spend $50,000 for a master bathroom that belongs to a bunch of people who aren’t even going to get a chance to use it. And it’s not like all the bathrooms are master baths.

But really, the inflated cost is a minor point, though it fits right in with the narrative about overpaid, under-qualified political cronies populating the McCrory administration. The problem, as usual, is the optics. This administration has poor mouthed since they arrived in Raleigh. They don’t have enough money for teacher raises They don’t have enough for universities and community colleges. They tried not to have enough money for pregnant women, infants and small children but Art Pope was smart enough to head that one off before it caught fire.

And yet they have enough money to improve the governor’s creature comforts to the tune of $230,000 in bathroom renovations. They have enough to pay the former State Auditor $312,000 as a consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services (that’s 2.5 times his salary as State Auditor, by the way). And they have enough to pay a 24 year old English major $87,000 to serve as the chief policy advisor on policy issues he quite clearly knows nothing about.

I’ve got an idea, Governor. I’ll stop giving you shit about your renovations if you hire me to help you with your optics. I’ll even give you my services on the Democratic pay scale, also known as market rate. You just tell me what you are planning to do, and then I’ll tell you whether or not it looks stupid to the rest of the state. I’ll bet I can save you a whole bunch of headaches.

Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >

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