Local Politics

Perdue gets mixed reviews after first six months

Posted July 9, 2009

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— Economic troubles and a tight budget have made the first six months of Gov. Beverly Perdue's administration difficult, but observers say it hasn't been all bad.

Perdue, the state's first female governor, gets high marks from veterans of Raleigh's political scene for accessibility. She has followed through with promises to make regular public appearances, retain government e-mail and improve transparency.

Beverly Perdue Economy has defined Perdue's tenure so far

"I think the strongest part of her performance is setting a different tone," Democratic strategist Gary Pearce said.

Lobbyist Theresa Kostrzewa said visibility is what separates Perdue from her predecessor, former Gov. Mike Easley.

"She publishes her schedule every single day, so anyone in North Carolina can know what she's doing at any given moment," Kostrzewa said.

Yet, the budget and the economy have defined the early months of Perdue's tenure.

She came into office in January promising to protect public education amid growing budget problems. Lawmakers' plans to cut teaching positions and her own across-the-board pay cut for state workers have jeopardized that promise.

"This is the absolute worst time for any elected leader," Kostrzewa said.

Perdue has tried to spare education from deep budget cuts by urging lawmakers to raise at least $1 billion in additional revenue during the 2009-10 fiscal year. Unsatisfied with their efforts, she unveiled a plan this week to raise $1.6 billion, primarily by raising the state sales tax rate by a penny for the next year.

Lawmakers and state Republican leaders have roundly criticized the plan, and recent public opinion polls show her approval rating is in the 30 percent range.

"This is ludicrous," state GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer said. "We've seen this movie before. We don't need to sit in the theater till the end of the day."

Pearce said the economic challenges have left Perdue with little choice but to try to right the state and ride out the storm.

"You've got to keep in mind, she took over the ship in the middle of a hurricane," he said. "You're in a bad budget. You're the commander of the ship. You're going to take some of the flak."

Observers said Perdue needs to put aside her experience as a legislator and tap into leadership intangibles to find a way to rebuild confidence and win back public support.

"Lead people to believe we're going to get through this," Kostrzewa said.

Perdue said she's up to the challenge.

"I believe we're doing incredibly well in a very challenging economy," she said.

The best thing the governor has going for her right now, Pearce said, is that the 2012 election is more than three years away.

"She simply needs to be stronger, clearer, more resolute," he said.


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  • Not_Time_Yet Jul 10, 2009

    The "Gubner" is always talking about new ways to generate revenue,.. Translation,.. new things to tax.

    Never mind making some hard choices and doing what normal people do, cutting back on expenses.

  • ncblue2 Jul 10, 2009

    Neither I ... but it may be too late ! :(((

  • Caring Jul 10, 2009

    Glad that I didn't vote for her!

  • lkanzig Jul 10, 2009

    bev has a phd in education???
    she might have but with her brain dead ideas she has had lately, i think she is on lsd because thats a serious trip shes on!

  • lkanzig Jul 10, 2009

    oh ok cerebrate.
    sarcasm is cool.
    after reading the articles from these capital fools, i cant beleive that these fools are out running this state.
    but then again by looking at this state they are doing a great job....OF RUNNING IT INTO THE GROUND!!

  • lkanzig Jul 10, 2009

    well prof they are bringing news jobs to the area. apple, dell and what was the other company?
    too bad the tens of millions of dollars these companies got in tax breaks pretty much make it worthless.
    how many jobs did those 3 companies bring in? what was the total tax breaks?
    im betting that nc lost 100 times the jobs then what those 3 companies created.
    hey bev if i open a lemonade stand in nc, can i get a 10 million dollar tax break?

    all they see is the money, not a care for the little people.
    you know how i know this?


  • Professor Jul 10, 2009

    Professor would make a better governor. At least I would work on getting jobs in NC. She is not doing that.

  • Professor Jul 10, 2009

    Don't vote for Purdue ever again!!

  • Professor Jul 10, 2009

    Purdue is doing nothing for NC. She is in it for the money and could care less for the people of NC. Where are the jobs in NC which is very much needed. She is doing nothing about that. COME VOTING TIME, DO NOT VOTE FOR HER.

  • ncblue2 Jul 10, 2009

    Reminds me of the old joke back in the cold war days when a Russian sports reporter wrote his newspaper article the day after a car race where there was only an American and a Russian entered (the American won by a mile). His report read that the Russian came in 2nd place while the American came in next to last.

    Love the way these reporters put their spin on articles to affect public opinion.

    Kemo Sabi


    I like your joke VERY much. This is EXACTLY how communist media did reporting in Eastern Europe before communist system collapsed. Déjà vu :(((