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McCrory tosses ball, catches controversy

Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision Monday to throw the baseball around with one of his security guards is causing some grief.

Here’s what happened: A group of advocates against cuts to public education delivered petitions signed by 16,000 people to the governor’s office at the N.C. State Capitol. The petitions asked McCrory to keep the cap on class size and to oppose private school vouchers. The delegation, led by former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge and including a group of children, was told by an aide that the governor was busy in a meeting until 5 p.m.

But a short time after, one of the group took a picture of McCrory throwing the baseball around. The group said the photo was taken about 4:42 p.m. On Tuesday, Progress NC distributed the photo with the headline: “Pat McCrory Throws Kids A Spit Ball” and accused the governor of ducking out of the office to avoid facing the children.

Kim Genardo, the governor’s spokeswoman, said McCrory had been in a meeting when the group stopped by at 4:20, but it ended earlier than expected so that by 4:45 p.m. the governor had a few free minutes.

Genardo later released a statement that said:

“The photo being circulated today by that liberal advocacy group was taken AFTER the petitions were dropped off at the Capitol.

“Taking the advice of First Lady Michelle Obama, the governor each day attempts to get some exercise, yesterday throwing the baseball and today walking from N.C. State’s campus back to the Capitol.

“Governor McCrory will be back out tomorrow throwing the baseball perhaps with children who share his All-American passion.”

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