Local Politics

Easley's Development Record Defended

Posted May 4, 2007

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— State officials on Friday criticized an audit that questioned Gov. Mike Easley's leadership in economic development.

A state audit released this week said Easley needed to do more to support development efforts statewide. It quoted economic developers who complained the governor doesn't show up for important events and that he needs to be more of a cheerleader.

Easley couldn't be reached for comment Friday, but Secretary of Commerce Jim Fain slammed the audit. He said Easley is good with clients and pushed lawmakers to pass major tax incentive packages to help lure companies.

"The governor took the lead when it was hard to do," said Fain, who was appointed by Easley. "I think Mike Easley will be known as one of North Carolina's finest economic development governors."

When Dell announced it was building a new computer plant in Forsyth County, Easley was there, Fain noted. The governor also was present to celebrate new jobs at Merck's vaccine plant in Durham, he said.

The Governor's Office boasts that 90,000 jobs were created in North Carolina in the last year. Site Selection Magazine has consistently named the state as one of the top places in the country to locate or expand a business, citing quality of life and education.

"The proof's in the pudding," Fain said.

The audit highlights Easley's management style, which some Democrats also have found questionable, Democratic political consultant Brad Crone said. Easley has the talent to light up a room, but often chooses to isolate himself instead -- a major departure from former Govs. Jim Hunt and Jim Martin, he said.

"He is a hands-off, not a micro manager, a macro manager, and he's built a wall between himself and the Democratic Party," Crone said. "He is a different duck when it comes to being governor."

5 Comments

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  • refiman May 6, 2007

    Has Easley done anything as governor, seems he just picks up a check

  • shine May 5, 2007

    Dead on bigjim ! What Jim Fain and Easley and the department of Commerce do not do is take care of what pays the taxes in NC now and in the past. The NC companies that have been here and supported NC for years get NOTHING from the state.It is a shame that this state does not care for the existing business. They will try and tell you that existing business is entitled to the same as new business and I am here to tell you - I have been doing this for a long time and I know exactly what they give new business to come in
    Yes we as existing business are entitled to the employee tax incentives through training which you have to promise the state how many "NEW" jobs you will create.
    What we don't get is the county and state tax incentives or the incentives the state gives in cash and electrical handouts.
    They can defend anything they want about their "development record". I love this state and I love living here, but I wish I could afford to do business in some of these other states t

  • colliefan May 5, 2007

    Look how he and his cronies have blown a 2 billion dollar surplus. And they still want to increase taxes? No wonder we have problems attracting business.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 5, 2007

    Lenovo and it's layoff of employees is a typical example of wasted economic development dollars.

    Lenovo and it's Communist Chinese owners played Easley and company like the fools they are.

  • bigjim835 May 5, 2007

    Tax hike mike may have brought 90,000 jobs to NC but at what cost. I don't think these jobs will ever repay the millions he spent to get them here, nor the millions it is going to cost the infrastructure to support them. These jobs will only be counted for the good of NC when easly and his bunch write about his legacy. Can't wait to get a governor in NC, no matter what party, that has some sense on how to govern the state. Less that 2 years till tax hike mike is gone.