I noticed that Pat McCrory was in Edenton this weekend with some of his Cabinet secretaries, including Secretary of Public Safety Kieran Shanahan. First, welcome home. I hope your time in New Orleans was fun. Second, did you have a chance to ask Shanahan about his other job?

I mean, you gave the guy a raise his first week of office. Would you have done that if you knew he was going to work his old job, too? He’s making $135,000 a year off taxpayers and, while that might not seem like much to you folks, that’s a pretty fair shake to most of us working stiffs.

Speaking of making money, what about his wife running her lobbying practice out of his law office? Or how about the fact that Shanahan is listed as the registered agent for the company? Did you ask him about that? Mrs. Public Safety ought to be making a pretty penny, too, especially since she lists “Fire and Public Safety” as an area of expertise. Probably helps, too, that McCrory appointed her husband’s law partner, Brandon Neuman, to the Banking Commission.

Just think about it. The Secretary of Public Safety, a Banking Commissioner and a politically plugged-in lobbying shop all under one roof! Hell, it’s a one-stop shop for special interests. What could possibly go wrong?

C’mon, Governor. Aren’t you going to at least ask Shanahan to divulge his clients, or are you just going to take his word that there’s no conflict of interest?

Governor, you remember all that stuff you said during the campaign about fixing a broken government and adding transparency? Tell the truth. You didn’t believe that, did you? You just said it because some consultant said it sounded good.

Well, that consultant got it right. The voters sent you here to fix broken government. But you’re not fixing what’s broken. It’s not Medicaid or public education or the Rural Center they want fixed.

No, they want you to fix a culture in Raleigh where too many too-cozy relationships leave the hint of scandal lingering in the air. They want an end to a system where the few benefit from access to power while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet in a lackluster economic recovery. They elected you to stop exactly the type of shenanigans that you’re letting happen in the Shanahan Law Firm.

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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