We’re having a Tony Tata beatdown today at PoliticsNC.
Apologies for the title, which is kind of a misnomer. As it turns out, the reason Tata, McCrory’s Secretary of Transportation, is getting so much heat is precisely because he wasn’t in Raleigh for the winter storms that came to our state this week. Instead, he was in Chicago promoting a novel he wrote, “Foreign and Domestic”, a thrilling tale of a dishonored U.S. Army Captain working to clear his name by bringing an American Taliban to justice. Liberals for some time now have been questioning Tata’s commitment to the job, noting not only his taking the time to write novels but also his role as an occasional contributor to Fox News.
Tata, a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General, came to NC politics by way of the Wake County Public School System. The then-Republican dominated board appointed Tata as Superintendent, hoping he would bring some military discipline to the system. By all accounts Tata did a pretty good job, but not long after Democrats took over the board, he was given a pink slip. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed to the Transportation gig when McCrory took office.
Concerns about Tata’s outside projects were first raised by Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch, whose initial post on the subject was greeted with a lot of eye-rolling. Just three weeks later, with the imagery of the Transportation Secretary being away from the state at a critical period, Schofield probably feels vindicated, and there’s now more of a spotlight on Tata’s “double life.”
Still, this is somewhat “inside baseball”, and as far as bad weeks go, this one isn’t so bad. No one is calling for Tata’s head, mainly because it’s hard to argue that his absence really made a major difference. The key thing here is that concerns about Tata was once confined to lefty blogs. Now, the state media is paying attention too.
Tony Tata, for inadvertently giving liberal gripes about your job commitment a wider audience and bringing their concerns somewhat closer to the surface, you’re the winner of this week’s “Worst Week in Raleigh” award. Congrats, or something.
These people also had a bad week:
Do you know an NC political figure who had a bad week? Nominations are accepted in the comments, or you can e-mail us.
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.