We're half a billion dollars in the hole

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Pat to the rescue

After signing off on the tax "reform" bill that put the state half a BILLION dollars in the hole so that Art Pope could get a tax cut, Guvnor McClueless has the solution: sell the state's helicopter!

That might get $3M. One time. Only $452M to go Pat! And that's just for this year!

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

If you read closely ...

... you'll notice that McCrory's negotiating a contract to outsource NC's needs for a helicopter to a private contractor.

While it might be cheaper for the state to do this, why isn't there an open bidding process for the contract?

And, since the helicopter is used by the Department of Transportation and other state agencies for various functions, why aren't there multiple contracts for use of these aircraft in different parts of the state?

I get the feeling that this is another PR opportunity for Pat to tout the "savings" for the state while, at the same time, a nice little contract is handed out to a political crony.

When I saw this story, I did some web searching on pricing for a similar type of helicopter and the figures quoted on the cost of operating the aircraft by McCrory didn't make sense to me - it was something like three times what a private supplier might charge. Are these figures quoted by McCrory accurate? If so, why is it costing the state so much more?

One of the commenters on the story at WRAL noted that the state made a profit of $600,000 by leasing one of their aircraft to other states for Forest Service work and this funding was put back in the general fund. What's up with that?

The reporters fell down on reporting this one and could have done some more digging. I swear, if I were an editor, I'd be knocking these stories back to the reporters and telling them to get it right the first time.

In the meantime, I suppose someone can get a good deal on ebay on NC's helicopter while they're shopping for Beanie Babies.

NC GOP tax "reform"

The NC GOP keeps shouting to low-information voters that THEY HAVE MORE $ IN THEIR PAYCHECK! MORE TAKE-HOME PAY! VOTE GOP!

From the cited article:

The [$445M revenue] shortfall is related to the personal income tax. The state's coffers haven't taken in as much revenue in the form of taxes withheld from worker paychecks, the memo said.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014