Politics & Government

Gov. Pat McCrory channels his inner McConaughey

(Raleigh) News & Observer

Gov. Pat McCrory dabbles in the world of theater now and then and was most recently inspired by award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey.

In a video gaining traction, the governor is driving around uptown Charlotte at twilight talking to himself about his past appearances on Charlotte Squawks, the annual Saturday Night Live type show that pokes fun at North Carolina politics, sports, and pop culture. The video opened the 11th annual show in June at Booth Playhouse at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

The governor says in the video that he’s not going to participate in the opening skits anymore, as he is, in fact, acting in the opening skit. It’s filmed to mimic the latest Lincoln car commercials starring McConaughey.

“Squawks used to ask me to do idiotic and dumb things to open their show. I told them I’m not doing it anymore. I’m too busy for that. Too important for that,” McCrory mutters to himself as he drives.

He’s interrupted by WFAE’s Charlotte Talks host Mike Collins in the back seat telling him to pull over.

“Man, this is the last time I take Uber,” Collins says. “You guys are nutjobs, you know that?”

McCrory re-posted the video skit on social media last week to coincide with his signing of North Carolina ride-sharing legislation that regulates services such as Uber, Lyft and SideCar made available through smartphone apps.

“In honor of ride-sharing bill I signed, #TBT (meaning: throwback Thursday) to the time I channeled my inner McConaughey 4 @cltsquawks skit,” McCrory tweeted Thursday.

The law requires these taxi-like companies to conduct local and national criminal background checks on the drivers and pay a $5,000 annual state permit fee.

Additionally, they must have insurance to cover their drivers and passengers.

House votes on charter control

The House voted Monday to move control of the state charter school office to the State Board of Education, and to have the board appoint the office’s executive director.

The bill keeps the charter school office in the Department of Public Instruction for administrative purposes, but says the office is “subject to the supervision, direction and control of the State Board of Education.”

The House approved the measure 85-19. If the Senate approves the bill, it will go to McCrory for his signature.

The charter office director is currently a DPI employee working for State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, a Democrat. The office is running with an interim director.

Under the bill, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, the Board Vice Chairman A.L. Collins and another board member would be on the search committee for the next executive director. They would make a recommendation for appointment to the State Board, which has a Republican majority.

Rep. Paul Luebke, a Durham Democrat, objected to the change, saying it would shift authority away from DPI.

Taylor Knopf, Lynn Bonner