Bring in the new | Front Porch | Indy Week
Pin It

Bring in the new 

Whatever you're calling about, the thing people in Raleigh really have on their minds is Gov.-elect Mike Easley's transition. Who's in? Who's out? And the number-one question, Who's Easley going to make secretary of transportation?

Traditionally, if that word can be used to introduce a sentence about political corruption, the transportation boss is the governor's top fund-raiser, and seats on the state Board of Transportation go to key bagmen. Together, they control where roads go, and therefore development. Favored developers and construction firms show gratitude with checks made out to the governor's next campaign.

We know this because, sometimes, subtlety eludes these folks and they get caught in a (gasp) quid pro quo. That happened often enough in Gov. Hunt's administration that he was forced to fire one transportation secretary, Garland Garrett, and bow in the direction of reform by naming a successor, Norris Tolson, capable of cleaning up the mess. Tolson, most people think, did just that, but then went on a fool's errand--he tried, and failed, to beat Meg Scott Phipps in the Democratic primary for agriculture commissioner.

So now, Easley. Will he name a Tolson-style reformer, maybe even Tolson himself, and signal that the days of roads-for-cash are over? Or will he name a "traditional" secretary? R.V. Owens, a former member of the Board of Transportation from Dare County, is said to want the job and maybe even have the inside track. Owens, Senate President pro Tem Marc Basnight's nephew, was credited with putting together Easley's single biggest fundraiser this year, a $4,000-a-plate, $1.4 million dinner at the Grandover Hotel in Greensboro, and with getting Andy Griffith to do that winning "I know you" commercial for Easley at the finish line. His appointment will signal that Easley's just an old-fashioned guy at heart.

Latest in Front Porch

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

  • One vote

    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Box of one

    Was I paying to be helped or to feel important, a bona fide expert on only myself?
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • The Old South (Hills)

    The Old South (Hills)

    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Nobody will be surprised to learn that Hocutt never went to Nam. He was in the Navy but washed out …

by Jefflenter on Raleigh bad boy no more (Front Porch)

I see his concern. Yes, it was a well written story and showed his caring side for sure. But not …

by Linda Bates Terrell on Motorcycle men (Front Porch)

Follow-up to my "nervous mom" comment. The last coupe of weeks we have been in many situations with individuals that …

by paulapowers on Governor's School blues (Front Porch)

Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Most Read

  1. Drawn to Durham (Peripheral Visions)
  2. What Makes a Farm a Farm? (Back Talk)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation