This summer, I got to know a little about Bob Orr, one of three Republican candidates for governor. After I gave him holy hell here and here for being so cuddly with Art Pope, we exchanged a few messages about this and that. It didn't take long to discover he wasn't the lunatic I would have expected from someone anointed by the Puppetmaster.
In case you haven't been keeping up with his campaign, Orr is riding one big horse in his bid to fill Easley's chair. He's almost myopic in his passion for stomping out government incentives for corporations (a passion I share), and his timing couldn't be better. The General Assembly's passage of the great Goodyear/Bridgestone giveaway offers Orr a soapbox he couldn't have built for himself in a million years. Don't be surprised to see him filing a lawsuit to stop the giveaway any day now. The state will have one heck of a time defending the money being offered to Bridgestone for investments the company has already made, and Orr will almost certainly argue that spending serves no public good whatsoever. Unless of course you consider it a public good to bribe a company so they won't get mad at you for giving money to one of their competitors.
With a well-timed court challenge, Orr will have his name in the headlines throughout the primary cycle, chipping away at the bazillions being spent by Fred Smith and Bill Graham, neither of whom is half as smart as Orr. I wish him well, but I don't hold out much hope for the ex-judge. Orr's too nice and too reasonable to be the top choice of the North Carolina Party of Greed.