10/31/08 — Waste, again: Easley travel bill just another scary revelation

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Waste, again: Easley travel bill just another scary revelation

And you thought Mary Easley's new salary at the University of North Carolina system was shocking.

The revelation by the state auditor that the governor's wife turned in an astronomical bill for trips she took as part of a cultural exchange effort to Europe has made many in the state wonder what else we are going to find out when the final numbers are in on the expenses of the state's governor over the last two terms.

Included on the list were expensive dinners, a chauferred SUV limousine as well as a few other excesses that don't exactly meet the definition of "state-sponsored trip."

And even more shocking is that Mrs. Easley and the governor, as well as the state officials who arranged the trip, are actually defending the purchases.

They say that travel in Europe was expensive and that the governor's wife went as a favor to the Department of Cultural Resources. The trips, they added, were designed to bring more exhibits and attractions to North Carolina.

The officials with the Department of Cultural Resources -- sounds like a place the new governor ought to consider for a cut first, doesn't it -- are heartbroken that they have caused Mrs. Easley such embarrassment.


There have been many people who have said that perhaps we need to start over in state government, that some of those who currently hold posts there do not seem to get whom they work for or that their first priority should be prudent use of taxpayer dollars.

And the Easleys and their continued high-faluting use of North Carolinians' hard-earned money seem to prove that point.

And where is the outcry about not only this expense, but about the sky-high salary Mrs. Easley is about to receive at N.C. State?

It almost seems like the Easleys are making sure they get theirs before they leave the public payroll.

It is up to all of us to make sure they don't.

Published in Editorials on October 31, 2008 11:44 AM