08/25/10 — Got her; move on -- Warning to state GOP: There are bigger issues to discuss as elections near

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Got her; move on -- Warning to state GOP: There are bigger issues to discuss as elections near

There is a danger when you decide that the time has come to mount your white charger and gallop through the forest to rid your country of villains.

First off, you have to make sure your own saddle is clean. And second, you have to know that the crimes are worth charging for.

And that is where the state Republican Party is skirting a fine line in its continued calls for the capture of the renegade Gov. Bev Perdue and her unaccounted-for campaign flights.

Is it something that should have been done right in the first place? Yes. Has there been a legacy of corruption connected with the Mike Easley administration that many think might be tied to the new state leader who served as his lieutenant? Yes.

But now that the Elections Board has assessed its fine and its members have said they are done with the matter, so, too, should the state Republican Party.

The reason is simple: There are many, many more important things to talk about as election season nears.

There is this odd little fact about politicians. They seem to think that if they can find fingers to point and ethics transgressions to trumpet to the voters, then that will be enough to get catapult them into power.

Hogwash. North Carolina voters are not going to be fooled like that again.

In the coming months -- and years -- the state's Republican Party is going to have to come up with a plan, a roadmap and some real ideas of what it would do differently if it were to become the new majority.

The criticisms of the what-seems-like-decades-ago Easley administration are valid concerns for anyone considering who would be best to leave in charge of the state in the coming years. But they are not enough to coronate a new round of Republican leaders -- especially since some of those same legislators were also around while no one was watching what was going on in the governor's office. One has to wonder why it took so long for the real work of cleaning up Raleigh to begin.

So the governor has been fined and the issue has been put to rest. And until there is something else of substance about how she is doing her job -- or concrete proof that she was an integral part of the Easley mess -- there are more important discussions to have.

North Carolinians expect legislators to police themselves -- that is no campaign slogan that will get them to back a certain candidate or party.

What they really want to see are leaders who do more than just talk. They want to see real issues addressed and tackled.

Otherwise, quite simply, it is just more of the same -- and really, who needs that.

Published in Editorials on August 25, 2010 10:25 AM