CORNELIUS, NC - Buoyed by a record of success in privatizing schools, prisons, roads, state parks, and highways, North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis today announced plans to extend his winning streak into the bold new arena of private government.
"I've often said that my role as an elected official is to divide and conquer," said Tillis in a wide-ranging interview with this reporter. "That's the thinking behind my new Initiative to Privatize our Government, iPog for short. By putting government itself in the hands of private companies, we'll be able to guarantee that the poor get poorer, while rich white men, like me, get more of what we truly deserve."
According to confidential documents uncovered this week by Blue Onion, the point man for executing iPog is Thom Tillis protege Stephen LaRoque, the veteran Kinston operative with a long history of diverting public money for personal use. "Stephen is as unprincipled a guy as you'll find in this great state," said Tillis. "He'll be the perfect shit-screen if things blow up."
Operating for more than a year under the public radar, iPog represents a remarkable accomplishment of collusion between Republican lawmakers and a shadowy network of fund managers representing select corporate interests. Topping the list of likely buyers of North Carolina state government are Duke Energy and Variety Wholesalers.
"Duke Energy is a natural fit," said economist Mike Walden, of the NC State Pope School of Economics. "Their history of monopolistic price-gouging in North Carolina has enabled them to build a war chest, and I suspect they'll be the high bidder. But that doesn't mean they'll win the deal," Walden added. "Never underestimate Art Pope's purchasing power. He bought me, for example, which is why I'm singing his praises today."
Though iPog efforts are currently underway in more than a dozen states, the momentum in North Carolina has attracted national attention. "Our unique combination of stupid people, growing poverty, and corrupt politicians makes the Old North State the perfect stomping ground for iPog," said Tillis. "People are desperate and will swallow anything for a buck. We should be able to get a constitutional amendment rammed through in the next two years."
By 2015, Tillis says, Republican will be able to shut government down completely. "And I'll be able to buy myself a Caribbean island to escape," said Tillis. "You think things are bad now? Wait until Variety Wholesalers takes over. North Carolina will look like a cheap-ass Dollar Store on the strip outside Fort Bragg."
Asked about potential limits of privatization, Speaker Tillis said there's but one line to draw. "iPog will extend to every area of North Carolina society except for vaginas," he said. "When it comes to women's private parts, we're talking public property, pure and simple. The only state agency that will exist once iPog passes is the Center for Uterine News and Techology."
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