The governor and 400 other close friends attend Diehl birthday bash
Bill Diehl doesn’t go small.
For his 69th birthday party this month, the Charlotte attorney rented out The Fillmore, a hall at the N.C. Music Factory, hired rockers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and invited around 400 of his closest friends.
Among them: Gov. Pat McCrory.
When the band took a break, Diehl grabbed a mic and introduced the governor, who was greeted with a loud smattering of boos.
It wasn’t the first time the former Charlotte mayor – elected and re-elected seven times – has heard hometown boo birds. This summer he was introduced during a concert at the Bechtler Museum. Many in the audience booed.
The one-time popular mayor, it seems, has been a less popular governor.
But some thought the birthday booing was rude.
“I thought it was in poor taste, but it happened,” said attorney Ed Hinson. “I sure heard it.” Jim Morrill
Duke Energy CEO lands on list of powerful women
Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good, who took over leadership of the nation’s largest regulated utility on July 1, has made Fortune’s list of the 50 most powerful women in business.
Good landed at No. 16 on the list, just behind business stars including Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg (No. 5) and Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard (No. 9). She’s the highest-ranked new member of the 50-woman club.
Fortune writes that Duke’s former chief financial officer, 54, was elevated “to steady the ship after Duke’s merger with Progress Energy, executive departures and an investigation (actually two) into whether Duke misled state regulators about management of the combined company.”
Good succeeded former CEO Jim Rogers, who will retire as chairman of Duke at the end of the year. Rogers agreed to retire as part of Duke’s settlement of the merger investigation by the N.C. Utilities Commission. Lead director Ann Maynard Gray will replace Rogers. Bruce Henderson
Republicans want apology from a Senate leader
The state GOP is calling on state Sen. Martin Nesbitt to apologize to Dr. Aldona Wos, head of the state Department of Health and Human Services, for his remark about witches last week.
Near the end of a nine-hour legislative committee meeting Tuesday, the Democratic Senate leader from Asheville responded to a Republican senator’s complaint that N.C. Health News was on a witch hunt in its efforts to obtain public records from DHHS. The news organization reported the agency slanted its response to a state audit, based on those records.
To which Nesbitt replied: “It’s not a witch hunt to try to find out what went on. ... Maybe the lady who wrote the article was on a witch hunt. I think she found one.”
Whether Nesbitt was really calling Wos a witch – his office says he was not (see below) – that’s how the Republican Party is playing it.
GOP Party Vice Chairwoman Joyce Krawiec, in a news release issued Friday, said it was “a highly offensive and misogynistic term.”
“For the Democratic Senate minority leader to so shamelessly disrespect a prominent female leader with that kind of rhetoric completely crosses the line and sends a terrible message to young women and girls across our great state,” Krawiec added.
Ford Porter, Nesbitt’s spokesman, issued this response:
“During Tuesday’s hearing, Sen. (Ralph) Hise and Dr. Wos had an exchange in which they bemoaned the inconvenience of government transparency. The topic at hand was an article published Tuesday morning indicating that the McCrory Administration had altered a state response to a Medicaid audit in order to portray North Carolina’s Medicaid system in a more negative light.
“During their exchange, Sen. Hise speculated that the problem wasn’t the altering of the audit response, but rather, the media’s ability to gain access to and publish public records. Sen. Hise then referred to public records requests by the media as a “witch hunt.” Dr. Wos appeared to agree with the sentiment and indicated that she would prefer her department not be subject to requests.
“Sen. Nesbitt’s position was that state government, and DHHS specifically, should act in good faith and “not fiddle with facts.” Moreover, Sen. Nesbitt took issue with Sen. Hise’s accusations about the motive of the reporter in question. By calling her story a ‘witch hunt’ Sen. Hise indicated that the reporter had intentionally sought to defame the McCrory administration, regardless of fact.
“Sen. Nesbitt merely noted that he had no knowledge of any such intent, but even if so, the reporter seemed to have unearthed some troubling behavior on the part of the McCrory Administration.
“While Sen. Nesbitt remains troubled by Dr. Wos’ leadership and the allegations of ‘systemic mismanagement’ at DHHS, it should be made clear that he was not talking to or about Dr. Wos personally when entertaining Sen. Hise’s notion of a witch hunt.
“There are real challenges facing this state and the Department of Health and Human Services and rather than provide solutions, Dr. Wos and her staff offered vague platitudes and attacked the ideas of transparency and accountability for taxpayer dollars. Clearly that’s not a good look, so some in the GOP are hoping to distract from the issue by once again ‘fiddling with facts.’” The (Raleigh) News & Observer
Tillis promotes endorsements of own campaign
House Speaker Thom Tillis on Friday announced endorsements of his U.S. Senate campaign by several Republican members of his caucus.
He singled out Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam of Apex as an endorsement that he was “especially honored” to have. After the 2010 elections, the GOP caucus in the House was closely split between choosing Tillis or Stam as their new speaker.
“His leadership has been instrumental in helping advance many conservative causes in North Carolina,” Tillis is quoted as saying in a news release that came out Friday.
Tillis also announced endorsements from Wake County representatives Marilyn Avila, Nelson Dollar, Jim Fulghum, Chris Malone and Tom Murry; and Mecklenburg County representatives Bill Brawley, Rob Bryan, Charles Jeter, Ruth Samuelson and Jacqueline Schaffer. News & Observer
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