Politics & Government

Gov. McCrory makes another cameo in annual parody-fest

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert AP

McCrory makes another cameo in annual parody-fest

Gov. Pat McCrory hasn’t exactly gotten rave reviews from fellow Republicans after his recent vetoes, but he got a lot of laughs from a Charlotte audience for his annual stage cameo.

The governor helped open the 11th edition of Charlotte Squawks with a video send-up of the Matthew McConaughey Lincoln commercial. The video features a pensive McCrory cruising the Charlotte streets behind the wheel.


Ready for some fun video cameos this year?

A photo posted by Charlotte Squawks (@cltsquawks) on

For McCrory, it’s part of an annual tradition of cameos that began when he was Charlotte’s mayor. McCrory can deliver a line, even when it’s at his own expense.

To be sure, Squawks pokes him in another skit in which he doesn’t take part. But then, it pokes about everybody from Charlotte’s six mayoral candidates to legislators to county commissioners.

It jabs Sen. Thom Tillis to the tune of the Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand. (“We shouldn’t wash our hands. Don’t hafta wash your hands.”)

It gigs commissioners Vilma Leake and Pat Cotham for their public spat over praying at a commission meeting. And commissioner Bill James for chastising them both. (“You know (stuff) has gone crazy when Bill James is adult voice of reason.”)

And, to the tune of “The Great Pretender,” city council members aren’t spared over debate about the non-discrimination ordinance. (“Yes we debate transgender. Just acting like sad little clowns.”)

Squawks run at the Booth Playhouse goes to June 28. For tickets, call (704) 372-1000. Jim Morrill

Watt heard Hastert rumor

Turns out last week’s revelations about former House Speaker Dennis Hastert didn’t come as a complete surprise to former U.S. Rep. Mel Watt.

The Huffington Post was the first to report that Watt, who heads the Federal Housing Finance Agency, had heard about the rumors years before allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against the Illinois Republican.

Hastert was indicted last month for lying to the FBI about agreeing to pay $3.5 million to “cover up past misconduct.” Reports have said the misconduct involved alleged sexual abuse.

In a statement to the Huffington Post, Watt, a Charlotte Democrat, said although he’d heard allegations, they didn’t seem reliable or serious enough to prompt him to act.

“Over 15 years ago I heard an unseemly rumor from someone who, contrary to what has been reported, was not an intermediary or advocate for the alleged victim’s family,” he said in a statement.

“It would not be the first nor last time that I, as a Member of Congress, would hear rumors or innuendos about colleagues. I had no direct knowledge of any abuse by former Speaker Hastert and, therefore, took no action.” Jim Morrill

No stars for you

What does retribution look like in the social media age?

Maybe like what a Facebook group called Exit 28 Ridiculousness is doing to the N.C. Department of Transportation.

The group is on a mission to lower the agency’s review rating. They’re taking credit for dropping it to just 1.9 out of five stars.

The Facebook group grew out of frustration with the design of the exit’s new “diverging diamond” interchange as well as the toll lanes that will be built on Interstate 77.

“The NC DOT invited citizens to express our opinions and that’s what we’re doing,” says Sharon Hudson, an anti-toll activist. “We’re expressing our opinion in one of the only ways we have.” Jim Morrill

Voter ID hearing…

Charlotte-area residents can comment on preliminary rules for North Carolina’s new voter ID law Monday at the Hal Marshall center, 700 N. Tryon St., Charlotte.

It’s one of nine hearings the State Board of Elections is holding around the state before the new rules takes effect next year. The hearing will run from 5-7 p.m. in the center’s auditorium.

Several groups that opposed the law are encouraging people to weigh in.

“Right now, the preliminary rules are pretty good, in the context of a law that is too restrictive and makes voting harder,” said Adam Sotak, a statewide organizer with Democracy North Carolina. “We are expecting a good crowd of concerned citizens to show up and speak out.” Jim Morrill

…And voter ID help

The North Carolina Republican Party is offering free rides to voters who need IDs.

The party invites people to visit a new site to register for the rides.

“The photo ID law passed by the Republican leaders is a common-sense measure to protect the integrity of our elections,” Todd Poole, executive director of the state GOP, said in a statement. “You already need a photo ID to buy Sudafed, to board a plane and to drive a car. And now there is no excuse for people not to get a valid ID to be able vote.”

Poole said the offer is good for people “of any political persuasion.” Jim Morrill