My Email this Morning to My Legislators

Here is the email I sent this morning to Rep. Joe Sam Queen (D-Haywood) and Sen. Jim Davis (R-Macon).

Gentlemen: Care to comment on yesterday's report in the Raleigh News & Observer that one Joe Hauck was paid $228,000 over 8 months as a consultant to DHHS Secretary Alana Wos?

DHHS Spokesman Ricky Diaz defended the consulting contract in a statement. This is the same Ricky Diaz who, at 24 years of age and with absolutely zero public health policy experience, enjoys a taxpayer-funded salary of $85,000, including a $23,000 raise after a few months on the job.

What kind of racket is DHHS running? Is this agency's budget being used as a slush fund to reward campaign aides and big-money contributors? Meanwhile, working class North Carolina residents, school teachers, firefighters, police, state troopers, and others are being told to sit down, shut up, and be thankful you have a job at any wage. Hospitals are closing down, teachers are paying for classroom supplies out of their own pockets, and the courts are bogging down in a backlog of cases.

This came after the Governor and his business executive Budget Director "found" $10 million in a blatant attempt to pander to teachers. Isn't the Budget Director the state's model of the ideal businessman - selling cheap imported goods to low wage workers who can't afford anything else? How does a competent business executive "find" $10 million after months of budget negotiations and legislative action?

Who's in charge? Who's minding the store? Who's allowing these shenanigans? Someone's obviously doing a heckuva job.

Cross-posted on my blog.

Comments

I know it's an old line...

...but don't pee on my boots and tell me it's raining.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Jim Davis' reply

Kevin,
I suggest you contact the governor's office regarding this issue. I have little knowledge about what the governor's office does and why it is done.
Jim

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Reply to Jim Davis's reply?

Jim,

I suggest *YOU* contact the governor's office regarding this issue and gain a little knowledge about what the governor's office does and why it is done.

And maybe you could arrange for some adult supervision over there.

Kevin

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(GREAT letter, BTW!)

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

Fairly close!

Here's what I said: "Forgive me for assuming that the Co-Chair of the Senate Committee on State and Local Government would have any knowledge of what goes on in state government. And forgive me for assuming that someone with such close ties to the Budget Director would have knowledge of how the state spends its money."

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Knowing the NC GOP,

they will simply use this as an excuse to strip funding from DHHS programs, instead of taking steps to stop the patronage. Punishing the people who have done nothing wrong, while allowing the crooks to prosper.

That's clearly the plan

Aldona recently quintupled (yes, you read it right) the number of internal DHHS auditors from 8 to 40. They'll be finding imagined "waste" in the form of delivering services and benefits to people who need it while ignoring real waste in the form of consultant gouging and overpaid communication boys.

Then they'll slash the budget. Aldona, communication boys and consultants will continue raking in the cash, but the people who do the real work will be laid off and people who need health and human services won't get them.

And DAG McCrony will crow that he's fixed that nasty Medicaid cost overrun problem that was keeping us from funding all the deserving causes.

I don't often bet, but I'll put a wager on this one.

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

And he's off!

In a recent speech, DAG McCrony more clearly articulated the first step outlined in my preceding comment:

“... I’m going to have to bring up some fairly controversial proposals to change Medicaid, or we’re going to continue to have some very, very serious issues here in North Carolina,” McCrory told a crowd of business owners, corporate representatives and elected officials.

“That’s coming in the next three, four months. I’ll probably introduce them while the legislature’s out of town, between now and May,” he said, drawing laughs.

Changes to Medicaid, he said, are “the way we’re going to get raises to the teachers.”

There you have it. Further put the screw on poor people, and claim "It's for the teachers" -- which is, of course, an outright lie. The money for teacher raises can be found today in the $500 million revenue loss that went to tax cuts for Art Pope & Co. This isn't about funding education, it's about dismantling DHHS and strangling government benefits and those who receive them.

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

Jim Davis' Committees

Co-Chair: Appropriations on General Government and Information Technology
Commerce
Health Care
Insurance
Judiciary II
Co-Chair: State and Local Government

One would think that a Senator who is Co-Chair of two committees dealing with "General Government" or "State and Local Government" would have some minimal amount of interest in "what the governor's office does and why."

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Boss Pope

In 2010, the Pope family contributed $16,000 directly to the Davis campaign. The Little Dictator's Real Jobs NC and Civitas Action spent another $267,000 on ads attacking Davis's opponent, Senator John Snow. Snow lost by 161 votes and Davis has been in Pope's pocket ever since.

Everything after the word "knowledge", in the second sentence of his reply, is just as irrelevant as McCrory himself.

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"Let's not be too rough on our own ignorance; it's what makes America great!" - Frank Zappa (6/29/1988)

My own letter to Sen Hunt and Rep Fulghum

I've just read in the Raleigh News & Observer about Joe Hauck being paid more than $228,000 over 8 months as a consultant to DHHS Secretary Alana Wos... The same Alana Wos whose husband employs Mr. Hauck. What an arrangement. WHAT kind of contracting process was used to expend such a large expenditure? Where were the competing bids?

It was DHHS Spokesman Ricky Diaz who defended the consulting arrangement. This is the same Ricky Diaz who, at 24 years of age and with absolutely zero public health policy experience, who enjoys a taxpayer-funded salary of $85,000 and who was evidently hired without an approved applicant search for that position. I am VERY concerned about mangagment at DHHS. Do ALL Republicans really see the public coffers as "theirs for the taking"? It certainly appears that at the very least the rules about filling jobs or advertising for contracted help don't seem to be of any concern to Secretary Wos.

Meanwhile, programs operated through DHHS suffer. People already eligible for food stamps are now in week ten - and counting - without the food assistance that we, as tax payers, WANT to provide. Is that delay in expending those funds part of the five million dollars that Mr. Hauck's consultancy is supposed to have "saved". When I worked in creating pilot/model and demonstration programs we were very careful with our metrics and even submitted to third party evaluations before touting our "economic impacts". I urge you to get to the heart of what is happening at DHHS. It appears to be on its way to becoming a haven for cronies and an opportunity for further siphoning of public money into the hands of political cronies or personal friends.

I urge you to ask for the specifics on the hiring practices at DHHS, the competitive bid process that was used (or ignored) in hiring Mr. Hauck and for additional detail about the claims of success being touted as the result of his consultancy.

I would also appreciate knowing, through your office, how the figure of five million dollars is being computed and what elements constitute that claim. As my representatives in the General Assembly you used your vote to spend my tax dollars on the budget you passed. As my representatives I count on you to be watchful stewards of how that money was spent.

I look forward to hearing back from you.