Thursday, February 12, 2015

Phil Berger and Eric Frazier, pen pals?

Last week, the Observer's Eric Frazier wrote an open letter to N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger. Frazier urged Berger, arguably the most powerful man in state government, to start treating Gov. Pat McCrory more nicely. 

"As he heads into the last two years of his term, it's time you let him be the middle-of-the-road Republican the state thought it was electing in 2012," Frazier wrote.

He urged Berger to be open to McCrory's interest in Medicaid expansion and his idea of a billion-dollar transportation bond.

"If (McCrory) nudges toward the center lane, feel free to give him that stern raised-eyebrow look dads give mischievous kids. But hold your peace," Frazier wrote.

Berger took notice, and now responds with an open letter of his own back to Frazier. He writes that he and McCrory are better buds than Frazier gives them credit for -- and will continue to be in 2015.

Here's Berger's letter:

Dear Eric,

I’m sorry it took so long to respond to your open letter. Running a law practice, serving in the State Senate and spending time with grandkids was keeping me busy enough. As it turns out, searching for examples of the times I’ve supposedly embarrassed Gov. McCrory was even more time consuming.

I never found one. But here’s what I did find: loads and loads of cheap shots at the governor spread across your own pages, from editorials to columns to cartoons. Are you sure I’m the problem?

Rest assured, Eric: Compared to the treatment we typically get from North Carolina’s editorial writers, Pat and I consider each other family (I’m the *other* brother Phil).

Sure, the Governor and I have had honest, respectful disagreements about the complex details of public policy. That might be hard to fathom in the far-left ideological echo chamber of an editorial board meeting, where you tackle the major problems confronting our state – like an awkward hug between two Charlotte mayors. But in government, it happens daily, even (sometimes especially) with members of your own party. And that’s healthy for North Carolina.

Maybe you and I watched different State of the State addresses last week. At the one I attended, I heard the governor (from center stage, no less) champion a host of sweeping accomplishments: an unemployment insurance overhaul, tax reform, regulatory reform, teacher pay raises and much, much more.

None of that was achieved by fiat. The governor and the legislature worked together. We found common ground. We compromised. And eventually we landed in the same place: on solutions that we (and most voters, unlike most editorial writers) agree are best for North Carolina families.

Expect more of that cooperation in 2015 and, I’m sure much to this editorial board’s dismay, through 2020 – even if it follows a disagreement or two.

Thanks for writing.



Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to your thoughts Eric as I enjoyed your writing for the business section. Taylor and Peter work way too hard to skew facts towards all things Democrat and liberal. Hopefully, you will be a reasoned and grounded point of view with NCs current events.

Robbie Beck said...

And that explains why he can't see things for what they are. He lashes out instead of trying to have an actual dialogue. Nothing is going to change with that guy.

James said...

Poor Phil. So busy, but he still has time to be a smart ass.

jweaks said...

Over the target, boom, Berger gets a direct hit. Well played sir.

EuroCat said...

If anybody needs any explanation for why North Carolina is circling the drain, they need look no further than this bloviating nonsense from Berger.

With "leadership" like this, our state will soon be at the bottom of all the quality-of-life categories we're not already at the bottom of.

Wiley Coyote said...

European Cat,

We can thank Democrats for flushing this state down the toilet for 100 years....

Republicans should at least get 100 years to jiggle the handle and stop it....

Larry said...

I like the new way the observer is not inflicting us with their slanted views and has started posting replies from well versed and informative folks like Berger.

Maybe you can start posting letters from McCrory and Tills.

Thank you observer, glad to see you finally wanted some pith in your editorials

Sam Crubish said...

It's odd, but I don't recall a Charlotte Observer piece urging Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid to back off and let President Obama govern from the center. Did I miss it???