Amidst crushing deficit, Tillis lavishes staff with huge raises

Apparently "living within our means" is a subjective term:

House Speaker Thom Tillis in the last few months handed out raises as high as 27 percent to half his staff after vowing in January to set an example for others in state government by cutting his office payroll.

I expect Tillis et al will have a hard time justifying these excesses in the days to come. But today, we're going to take a little side-trip and look at two men: One, a relatively seasoned investigative journalist, and the other a propagandist Pope puppet:

Chief of staff Charles Thomas got a 25 percent, $30,000-a-year increase, from $120,000 to $150,000.

Policy analysts Christopher Hayes and Amy Hobbs received $12,000 raises, both going from salaries of $70,000 to $82,000 a year. Kay, Hayes and Hobbs are all new hires who joined the state payroll for the first time in January. Thomas is a former state House member from Asheville.

Just a note to Lynn Bonner: I know you're aware that Chris Hayes formerly(?) worked for the Civitas Institute, but what I don't know is: Why did you fail to mention this in your article? Moving on...

While Tillis in the House is throwing an additional twelve gees at Puppet Chris, the Senate is plotting to get rid of, among other people on the Governor's staff, former News & Observer reporter Mark Johnson:

Two voices on behalf of Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue could be out of work soon under a potential final budget deal by Republicans.

The budget unveiled Tuesday would eliminate jobs for Perdue Communications Director Chrissy Pearson and deputy director Mark Johnson. They are among 18 Governor's Office positions cut in the plan being voted upon Wednesday by the Senate, including two education advisers. Eight are vacant. Her office budget would be cut 23 percent.

I've been reading both of these guys for years, and there is simply no comparison. While I may not have been "pleased" with everything Mark has written in the past, that has more to do with me being a Democrat than anything else. He's about as objective as they come, which means he's exposed some distasteful things about some members of my own Party.

Now, I won't go as far as to say that Mark Johnson doesn't know how to spin, but I would bet a hefty sum that it goes against his grain. Making him exactly the kind of communications person we need in the Governor's office.

Hayes, on the other hand, has spun so much he makes a whirling dervish seem sedentary by comparison.

The way these two men are perceived and treated by the GOP speaks volumes about how they view their responsibility both to govern and communicate with the general public, and it's not something they should feel comfortable writing home about.