Here's a fact, the office of Lieutenant Governor is that one office on the council of state that combines an impressive title with virtually no responsibility and even less power.
Evidently Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, in advancing her inevitable candidacy to be governor, hoped to demonstrate that she has some mojo with the legislature. After all, it would be nice to show everyone that the entrenched leadership in the general assembly would be inclined to follow her initiative if she should be elected governor.
Therefore, Perdue wrote the script for a play to be performed in public that would have her make a high minded proposal, of little practical significance, and the legislative leadership would pay her idea the honor of a salute. They could say that her idea was, "interesting" or "had merit," before totally ignoring it and returning to the business of legislative sausage making.
Perdue's "proposal for positive press" was to create a commission made up of civic leaders who would offer ten government efficiency recommendations at the start of each new session of the legislature. Of course, the general assembly would have to approve these pearls of wisdom, and the governor - presumably Bev Purdue - would appoint the menagerie of civic leaders.
A Citizens Efficiency Commission sounded harmless enough, but Marc Basnight flatly refused to do Bev Perdue the courtesy of playing his part. Instead, he rather condescendingly lectured the Lieutenant Governor about the separation of powers in North Carolina state government. He polished off his brief dismissal with the reminder that governors can carry out government efficiencies on their own - evidently without further distracting the boys in the legislature who do the real governing.
The whole episode wound up making both Perdue and Basnight look bad. On the one hand, Perdue looked feckless and irrelevant, and it seemed odd that she hadn't done the behind the scenes preparation that might have won the greater courtesy, if not the outright cooperation, of Marc Basnight. On the other hand, it made Basnight look like a pedantic little weasel not about to take advice from the little woman with big ambitions.
At the end of the whole affair you were left to ask the obvious question..."OK, so who is Basnight supporting for governor?"
Probably not the response hoped for by Lieutenant Governor Perdue.