Submitted by sethmorris91 on Tue, 12/03/2013 - 9:45am
...not qualified to be his own employee.
This is a posting for a Project Manager position in Ricky Diaz's DHHS Spin Shop:
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements: Graduation from a four-year college or university preferably with a major in journalism or English and two years experience in communications, public relations, or publicity work, or an equivalent combination of training and experience.
Q: So you were saying you need to change how you oversee it, but in terms of money wasted, you weren’t saying that. In terms of actual malfeasance, your findings weren’t of that nature.
A: You’re exactly right. That is not what my audit says. I can take you through about 10 points that ... my audit, the whole thing about how we denigrated them, all these things my audit supposedly says, you won’t find that stuff in my audit.
I’ve said in interviews that ‘broken’ is the governor’s term. I never said it. My audit doesn’t say it. The governor said it was broken before my audit ever came out.
The only thing I would accuse Beth of being is naïve. She wants to perform her job in a neutral, non-partisan fashion. But that's simply not possible when the GOP has control over her purse strings and her mission, and has demonstrated countless times that it will twist any findings presented to the NCGA to meet their ideological goals. And while this might be true:
NC Policy Watch recently reported that Little Ricky Diaz, not content with being a public trough-feeding taker who is paid $85K to do a job he's clearly unqualified for, has decided that he needs a complete marketing & PR department at DHHS.
The changes will create a one-member press team responsible for responding to media inquiries, as well as a six-person marketing team and a 13-member public relations team. The department headed by Diaz will also be now called the “Office of Communications” instead of the “Office of Public Affairs.”
Well, here's one of the first efforts from Little Ricky's genius bar:
North Carolina was the only state to cut off welfare benefits to poor residents during the 16-day partial federal shutdown, and Congressman David Price wants to know why. The state said it suspended processing Work First applications because there wasn't enough assurance the federal government would reimburse the state for payments once the shutdown ends. However Price (D-NC) said the state's skepticism raised red flags. "They said, 'Well we don't believe this,'" Price said of the McCrory administration. "Why wouldn't they believe them? Forty-nine other states did believe them. It's almost as though they were too ready or almost looking for an excuse to cut off these needy people."
They were not only too ready to punish the poor unnecessarily, they were chomping at the bit to do so. And considering that Republicans in DC may be planning further shutdown shenanigans, the McCrory administration needs to be shamed into never pulling these stunts again.
North Carolina, however, is the only state Lower-Basch has found that’s stopped processing TANF applications. That’s problematic, she said, because the longer the shutdown continues, the longer those applicants will see critical benefits delayed.
All of which is unnecessary. Last month, the U.S. Health and Human Services Family Assistance Office wrote a pre-shutdown letter to states, promising to reimburse money states had to spend to cover federal TANF benefits. That’s probably why so few states have yet to talk about shutting down their TANF programs.
Whether it's incompetence or actual malice towards those who would seek these benefits would be difficult if not impossible to discern, but either way DHHS is failing in its basic mission: to provide health services.
And, according to reports, 49 states indeed immediately found some way to keep it going. Only North Carolina said it couldn't.
Not only was that an erroneous judgment, but it was unfortunately all too typical of the initial reaction we've seen in Raleigh this year. Whether it's Medicaid, unemployment benefits or WIC, the first reaction is always "we can't" -- at least when it comes to programs that serve the poor.
For tax cuts that mostly benefit the well-off, the attitude is "we can and we will."
The spectacle of Aldona Wos all-of-a-sudden "finding" money for WIC, combined with DAG McCrory's almost tearful claim that taking care of children is his top priority, made me seriously contemplate hurling a projectile at my relatively new flatscreen TV. And I'm not in the habit of abusing my appliances. But the knowledge that people who are suffering will only get relief when Republicans are forced into a corner and embarrassed is, in a word, infuriating. And this effort to spin the debacle:
In a letter to senior lawmakers, Wood raises three issues with the testimony of DHHS officials, including Secretary Aldona Wos, offered to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Tuesday. In it, Wood suggests that Wos and her chief information officer, Joe Cooper, ignored findings of a May audit that found the state wasn't ready to go live with the NCTracks system.
A second point raised by the auditor pointed out that the system had not met critical benchmarks before the go-live date. This contradicts testimony from Cooper, who told lawmakers that the system had passed its tests.
It's plain that much of the testimony given to lawmakers the other day was at best misleading, if not outright lies. The longer Republicans in the General Assembly allow this fiasco to continue, the more likely they'll pay for it next November.
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