Les Merritt gets $150 per hour contract with NC DHHS

Reaping the rewards of faithful service to the Puppetmaster:

Merritt is a Certified Public Accountant and former State Auditor for North Carolina having served from 2005 until 2009. Merritt is a member of the North Carolina Ethics Commission. He earned degrees in Accounting and Economics from North Carolina State University. His contract began in May 2013 and expires in May 2014. It is capped at $312,000 and includes two, one year options.

Merritt also, along with Frank Perry (who also received a cushy government job) headed up an arm of Art Pope's network to investigate public corruption. But if you wanted to click that link to report Perry or Merritt or any other potentially corrupt Republicans, I'll save you the trouble:

HTTP ERROR: 504
Gateway Timeout

RequestURI=http://reportpubliccorruption.org/

That's right, the push to investigate public corruption, by this organization anyway, ceased as soon as Republicans took control of state government. Here's Les Merritt's contract:

And what he's billed (and been paid) so far:

Les Merritt CPA-CFP 7012013 199.50 29,925.00

Les Merritt CPA-CFP 8022013 190.50 28,575.00

TOTAL 390.00 58,500.00

That's two months of hourly billing, and $58,500 of taxpayer's money spent. If Merritt was really concerned about "balancing the books" he would start by tearing up his own contract.

Comments

What are teachers going to do about it?

For what it's worth:

I know teachers are not a homogeneous group, so forgive me for generalizing. But it looks to me like teachers missed a big opportunity here in North Carolina. A new school year just started, full of stories about teachers making do, squeezing by, barely. And what happens politically? Not much that I can see. Teachers are doing what the GOP knew they would: playing by the rules, taking crap, and being dismissed economically.

For sure there was recognition of teachers at Moral Mondays, thank goodness. But beyond that, where's the outrage and the action? Teachers are getting all the bad press that comes from being a union (I know, you're not one). Is it worth considering acting like one?

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not mad at teachers. I understand the dilemma completely. I'm mad for teachers.

Ten or so years ago when I was on the board of the Public School Foundation here in Chapel Hill, we implemented an idea called Teachers First. Maybe its time to take that show on the road statewide.

No time like the present

I, too, am mad for teachers. They need to grow a spine, to say the very least. Perhaps they should all go home and watch Norma Rae at least once a month until said spine is grown.

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"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Teachers first

Maybe it's the nature of teachers to be focused on the well-being of students ... even if it creates enduring disadvantages for themselves. That's certainly where we are, and I don't see many signs that suggest it's going to change anytime soon.

If you do decide to take things to another level, I will be there to support you with money and more.

You know what makes me mad?

It's the fact that teachers always get the shit end of the stick.

Lawmakers can get away with cutting funding, ending tenure, and putting in place a bullshit "bonus" system, which could only possibly help a tiny fraction of teachers, while also threatening the job security of all the rest with their contract renewal process, all without causing any general uproar amongst the population.

And you know why there's no uproar? Because parents (for the most part) blame teachers for every apparent problem their kids have, but rarely give teachers credit for the positive things. If a kid is making a C or D, it's not the parents' fault. Oh no. It's the system, or the teacher, or pretty much anything else but the parent.

See, that's why teachers can't take a firm stand for their own rights, because they wouldn't get a whit of sympathy from the vast majority of the population. And that's why those of us who aren't teachers need to stand up for them. So we can show all the others what it means to be a society, as opposed to a bunch of different groups that happen to live near each other. Just like it's popular now to show contempt for teachers, we need to make it popular to support them.

DHHSC

Perhaps Merritt will suggest "re-branding" the department (that's a popular thing for consultants to recommend, and it fits nicely with the absurd GOP idea that government should be run more like business).

I'll suggest a new name, and Aldona doesn't have to pay me a dime:

Department of Health, Human Services and Corruption (DHHSC)

or perhaps, to emphasize its new main mission:

Department of Corruption, Health and Human Services (DCHHS)

Discussed further in the August 25 entry at BackwardNC.

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

Ole Les At The 1% Corporate Trough Again?

If you were a 1% Corporate CEO. Who would you want to Audit his Tax returns? Ole Les or a Mean Ass IRS Dude, who lost his Son in Iraqi?

199.5 Hours in a month

8 hour days...that comes to just under 25 full days. That's full time working for the state as a contractor - in addition to one would assume another job.

I wonder how many hours he's billing to his other clients?

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

One thing I think you fail to

One thing I think you fail to understand about teachers is that a large majority of them are Republicans. They are some angry Republicans, but they are still Republicans.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Really?

I've never seen any data to suggest you're right about "a large majority" of teachers being Republicans.

I'm sure it varies according

I'm sure it varies according to location, but a majority of the 80 or so teachers I work with vote Republican. The strong Democrats would number less than 10. There might be 10 to 15 that might tend to vote that way. If it were a softball game the 10 run rule would be applied and we would all go to the Pizza Hut early.

Are there going to be some converts in 2014? I certainly hope so. It has been hard not to say, "I told you so" to so many of my co-workers. I have tactfully pointed out that elections have consequences. Many that I have bantered with over the last few years just prefer to avoid the topic all together.

I would call Chapel Hill an outlier and the suburban school districts more balanced, but if you drive out into Eastern NC, rural Piedmont counties and Western NC (other than Asheville) you will find a significant majority of teachers vote conservative.

I'm a moderate Democrat.