No mention is made on Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco's trip to the Paris Air Show, earlier this year. He and 5 staff members attended the Air Show, for at least the second consecutive year. In fact, this was the fourth consecutive trip to England or France to attend the Air Show by state employees.
They spent $112,000 while there this year. That's an average of over $18,000 per employee in expenses. Heck, some state Secretary's don't get paid that much.
One of the expenditures was $653 for a meal for 6 which included 4 bottles of French wine. Kind of interesting when one considers the per diem for meals is $37.50. The 6 individuals were the Secretary and his 5 staff members.
In fairness, it must be noted approximately $80,000,of the total pent, was expended on the display booth.
However, the Secretary's spokesman cited confidentiality when asked to name prospects contacted or projects being considered.
I guess they missed the reports on the state of North Carolina's economy and the budget.
And maybe the Secretary realized this was not the brightest move as he had not submitted an expense account 3 months after his return. I guess he travels with one of those Gold American Express Cards issued to the state.
In corporate America, an employee would be on the carpet for not submitting an expense report in a timely manner. Maybe he had to wait until the new fiscal year kicked in so the state would have the funds to pay it. Only he knows why he failed to do so.
Now, whether anyone likes it or not, this proposed plant by the German tire manufacturer was not an overnight development. It's been in the planning stages for over a year.
One has to question why the Secretary, and staff, would not have included a fact finding trip to Germany while in Europe during one of the past four years. Did the Governor even stop by when she was in Germany on her most recent European jaunt? What better way to show North Carolina's interest than through a fact finding trip to gather facts from the "horse's mouth" and determine just what factors would give North Carolina the best opportunity to garner this opportunity.
Interesting to note that South Carolina was one of 11 states in total with delegations at the airshow. Their delegation was led by their Governor. On conclusion of the airshow, she journeyed to Germany; wonder of she called upon the tire manufacturer?
Scott -- when are you going to turn one of the pit bull reporters like Wuzzardo loose on this type of topic? This could have jump started the economy in southeastern NC. If you don't want to send a reporter to Raleigh, how about email or telephone? Why not get after Senators Goolsby or Rabon for comment? Why not hit the House Representative for Brunswick County for comments?
Could it be the North Carolina failure is due as much to a second rate performance from Raleigh? This should have been a top priority by the Governor and her staff.
Clearly it was not on the radar of the Secretary of Commerce. Maybe it's past time for a new one.
I'm normally opposed to incentives to lure business to an area. Film incentives typically result in short term job creation. This would have been a long term, many year, job creator from the very start.
What does it take to get the Governor and staff to focus on real opportunities? Maybe she needs to talk to one of her mentors, former Governor Hunt who was a master at bringing industry to North Carolina communities when the textile industries began to fade.
In any event, the Secretary of Commerce should go. In the private sector, he would be gone.
"This is about building relationships,” said Tim Crowley,
Crisco’s spokesman. “If North Carolina is going to be a player in the aerospace industry, it must have a presence at the international air show.”
To make a statement like that is an insult to intelligent North Carolinians.
North Carolinians who pay taxes effectively are the stockholders in Corporate North Carolina. $112,000 for a repeat trip to Paris, France was not a wise move. Especially to attend an aerospace show. The aerospace industry is not growing and expanding. Frankly, Huntsville, Alabama is the center of the aerospace industry in the United States. What do these guys smoke in Raleigh?
Let's continue sharing the wealth.
Secretary of State Marshall traveled to Moldova. I had to look that one up. Moldova is a landlocked nation located between Romania and the Ukraine. In 2009, the European Economic Parliament declared Moldova the poorest country in Europe based on GDP. It imports all of its energy. It ranks extremely low in terms of human living standards. Moldova's leading industry is wine production. And it leads the world in per capita consumption of alcohol by its citizens.
How in the world could she justify this journey? How did North Carolina benefit from this? What was her purpose for going there on the State Taxpayer's nickel? Why could she not have stopped in Germany on a fact gathering visit to again show these European industrialists that North Carolina is interested in foriegn investment?
And that is a question which should be asked of every state employee, from the Governor on down, who makes these types of trips? What's the reason for going there? How will North Carolina benefit? And as a follow up to the trip, what futher does North Carolina need to do to bring the bacon home?
This is not rocket science. These are basic business principles.
To state that the failure to garner this project is due to one Republican is so misleading and so false, the Representative who made that statement should resign fo the good of the State. Certainly, he was trying to shield those in Raleigh from the light of another failure.
If they want to boost North Carolina's economy, they need to work with North Carolina business owners and spend less time out of the country. Is it too late for the Asian trip to be cancelled? And let's not forget, this is the second consecutive year for an Asian jaunt. Nothing concrete came from last year's expenditure; so let's do it again. Here's a question to ask Scott -- what leads, from last year's trip, will be followed up this year?
Scott, why not take the focus off of Tabor City, Uncle RC, and the recurring soap opera "All My Boys" and focus on some issues that have real significance? Here are a couple of issues which cry out for journalistic investigation.
Maybe all of these Democrats realize the 2012 elections are coming and want to glut out at the State Taxpayer's trough before a new administration takes over.
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