Bless his heart… he’s dead wrong.

"Talk about having your cake and wanting to eat it, too. McCrory wants to be able to attack someone else based on their financial information while still insisting that his own is not relevant."

North Carolina is known for its politeness. It’s part of our Southern charm. People are loathe to insult others to their faces or bring up uncomfortable topics in public. Even our state’s famed “bless her heart…” stealth attack is reserved for talking behind someone’s back. It’s a custom that helps us in social situations. But it doesn’t work so well when we’re choosing our leaders.

Unless you’re Pat McCrory.

Pat McCrory is counting on our politeness. He has chosen to deliberately remain an enigma to North Carolina voters, hoping we will fill in the blank mirror of his reflection with whoever we want him to be. He has avoided going on record about many issues and, most of all, absolutely refused to release any details about his financial interests to NC voters. He’s content to stake his election on projecting the image of a nice guy with some sort of unspecified expertise in business. And the people of North Carolina are polite enough to let him get away with it thus far – even if it means they may be buying a pig in a poke.

Just think of it: here is a man who will have immense power over our daily lives and yet we don’t even know where the money that supports his lifestyle is coming from.

Even his economic interest statement is an enigma, filled with such nebulous titles as “Marketing,” “Training,” and “Consulting.” We learn that, in addition to his salary from a large NC lobbying law firm, he makes money from his own personal sideline consulting company — but we don’t learn who that company’s clients are or how much cash it generates. Worse, even the limited disclosures made in this statement point out potential conflicts of interest involving at least four different companies having dealings with our state.

What exactly is McCrory’s role with these companies? If he’s simply a shareholder with Kewauhnee Scientific Corporation, that’s one thing. If he’s the guy who tries to get governments to buy their products, it’s another. Will he try to influence finance rate legislation on behalf of Lending Tree as Governor? Will he even have to, or is his presence in the Governor’s mansion permission enough to raise lending rates? He works for Moore & Van Allen, home to many lobbyists. How strongly will he support strengthening lobbyist ethical regulations, given these ties? Will he weaken them even more than has happened over the past two years? McCrory would have the power to appoint people to the board charged with overseeing the giant energy company that came out of the Progress Energy-Duke merger, yet he has ties to Duke Energy. Is he really going to appoint someone skeptical of Duke as a safeguard for rate payers? Or will he appoint one of his business colleagues instead?

In short, like the candidate himself, McCrory’s financial disclosures raise more questions than they answer.

And, yet, we seem willing to take McCrory’s word he will be able to represent the people of North Carolina without any conflicts of interest if he is elected Governor. We are too polite to point out that, if the Emperor does indeed have clothes, he sure as heck isn’t giving us a look at them.

But yesterday, we got a peek at something: the Emperor’s Freudian slip. Yesterday, Pat McCrory – a man who insists his financial ties are not relevant — attacked his opponent, Walter Dalton, for his financial ties. He accused Dalton of investing in companies that, depending on if outdated information is correct, might possibly outsource jobs overseas. (Note: McCrory made no mention of whether he intended to also attack Mitt Romney for being the granddaddy of outsourcing.)

The fact that McCrory mounted this attack on Walter Dalton is proof positive that McCrory himself acknowledges that financial ties do indeed matter.

Talk about having your cake and wanting to eat it, too. McCrory wants to be able to attack someone else based on their financial information while still insisting that his own is not relevant.

Troubling lapses of self-awareness and logic aside, the people of North Carolina have at last seen a glimpse of the real McCrory. Hypocrisy is, apparently, fine with him if it furthers his quest for power. And it’s this that may prove problematic for McCrory in the end. If there’s one thing North Carolinians dislike more than they like their politeness, it’s hypocrisy. Especially when it’s all that they know about someone.

Cross-posted from http://progressncaction.org/category/blog/

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Listen to the awesome sound of NC journalists digging in!

Show me the money