“We just don’t have a close relationship."
--North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, about his boss, Gov. Pat McCrory
In an interview with John Frank, Lt. Gov. Forest is bragging that he's going to push North Carolina to make teacher pay in the state the highest in the nation, instead of 46th, our current abysmal ranking, which is down there in the cellar thanks to the new Republican majority in the General Assembly (and their stooge, Gov. McCrory).
Forest's "plan," of course, under the current power regime in Raleigh, is patently absurd, even though Republican lawmakers are fully awake to the fact that the teachers of this state would vote them all out of office RIGHT NOW, if they have the opportunity. Several of those Republican lawmakers -- more than just Mr. Forest -- are making promises about raising teacher pay next year, just in time -- they fervently hope -- to blunt the anger before the fall elections. But what that promise is going to do to their sacred austerity budget, or how fulfilling such a ridiculous promise without raising taxes or without wrecking some other part of the NC economy, is The Question of 2014.
While Gov. McCrory is a man without principles, a ship without a rudder, an empty suit who's taken out of the closet and made to dance in the political winds according to what Art Pope thinks best, Dan Forest is a Tea Partier, born and bred. He's the son of Sue Myrick, who never waffled on conservative principles, and he's hugged certain national RWNJs so tightly, he got santorum all over himself.
Forest is the leading opponent of Common Core standards in education, a stance that seems calculated to put air between himself and McCrory (since McCrory has said he supports Common Core, though he could change tomorrow, or simply get run over without anyone in his Party even caring). Forest looks like an opportunist, positioning himself for being the real top leader of Tea Party ideals in the state.
All the talk about raising teacher pay is just that ... talk, and may end up making things worse for Republican politicians when teachers quickly realize that they're to be treated to a worthless show of tokenism or, worse, the old bait and switch in 2014.
In the meantime, Forest will be interesting to watch, especially his "relationship" to Pat McCrory.