Raleigh, N.C. — Four years ago, inspired by Politifact's effort to track President Barack Obama's promises, WRAL News embarked on a project to track the promises made by Gov. Pat McCrory when he campaigned for office and whether he followed through.
Pat McCrory Promise Tracker Our expectation was that he would, by and large, keep his word from the campaign trail. Now, as McCrory prepares to leave office at the end of December, the finally tally shows that we weren't all that disappointed.
In all, we rated 23 of 33 promises by McCrory fully kept, with another four getting mixed results. That's a success rate of around 80 percent. We rated three of his promises as failures – things he didn't accomplish but tried to do – and three as promises broken.
Until this week, we had left five promises open as some form of "in progress." As we close down the tracker, it's now apparent those last five promises provided the toughest sledding for the governor, reflecting just how hard it is to turn campaign rhetoric into governing reality.
- Fail: McCrory promised he would clear the way for hydraulic fracturing gas drilling, or "fracking," to begin in the state. A combination of legal and legislative events has left the state without an Oil and Gas Commission that would be able to sign off on fracking permits. So, while companies could apply to drill, there is nobody available to approve those permits.
- Broken: McCrory promised a more transparent government. But he failed to push through measures that would allow for more sunlight on campaign donations, and his administration actively resisted public records requests. In a recent court hearing, the administration claimed immunity from certain public records requests.
- Mixed: McCrory promised to be regularly available to the media for questions. While he certainly spoke a lot on issues of his choosing, such as emergencies when there was a gas shortage or a hurricane, his administration finished his term by avoiding questions from reporters.
- Fail: McCrory had pledged to sell 600 acres related to an effort to build a deep water port near Southport. That sale never happened.
- Fail: As part of an campaign-developed education plan, McCrory pledged to create a testing regimen for ninth-graders to spot failing students. That testing scheme never came about.
With the McCrory tracker closing down, it's time to tally up Gov.-elect Roy Cooper's campaign promises. We have been seeking your suggestions for promises to track since March. You can still contribute your thoughts below or by clicking through to a full-screen version of the form.
We will be rolling out the Cooper Promise Tracker in January.