TAR HEEL VIEW: Now playing at a state building near you…

It will probably be a little while yet — maybe a year or two, after the election’s over — before they start carving Pat McCrory’s grinning visage, aviator glasses and all, on the side of Grandfather Mountain.

In the meantime, our fearless leader is leaving his mark elsewhere on the Tar Heel State — notably, the Department of Administration building in Raleigh.

Until recently, the department’s hallways were decorated with posters for movies filmed in North Carolina. After all, film and television used to be one of our most prominent industries — until the Republicans fixed it.

But that was then, and this is now. Last Thursday, alert eyes in the state capital noted that the movie posters were all gone — replaced by some generic tourism photos. Front and center, though, was a poster of Our Governor, the No. 1 Honorable, noting the fact that he (well, with a little help from the legislature) had raised average teacher salaries to $50,000.

Other politicos would have to go out and spend big bucks for a billboard or a banner ad on a website. When you’re the Top Tar Heel, though, you run state office buildings and what goes on in them — and presumably, what goes on them — at least on the walls.

Oh, did we mention that McCrory raised teachers’ salaries to $50,000 (with a little help from the counties, which are expected to approve the salary supplements from county taxpayers’ money, to raise the average to that level)?

On the whole, this is progress. Movies are so 1990s. Yes, North Carolina in general and Wilmington in particular used to make a lot of money from having them shot around here.

The legislature, however, slashed the state’s film incentives, while Gov. McCrory did, well, nothing in particular. (Did we mention he raised average teachers’ salaries? Did we mention $50,000?) After all, it’s not right for government to subsidize the film industry.

Now, it’s OK to subsidize OTHER businesses, with tax breaks and abolishing pesky regulations and such. But those businesses are largely sound, solid contributors to Republican political campaigns. Those movie types — drifters and erstwhile circus people, most of them — tend to give to Democrats. So, you can see the difference.

So, good riddance to bad rubbish. Let all those movie types move to Atlanta and take their posters with them. It’s like the NBA All-Star game, which left town after getting huffy about HB-2. We’re better off without them. They can take their ball (and infusion of millions of dollars into the state economy) and go home.

Besides, we’ll be rolling in tax revenue once the school teachers head down to Walmart to spend part of their average $50,000-a-year salaries on school supplies — and did we mention that Pat McCrory was sort of, partly, responsible for that pay raise?

All we can say is, it’s leadership like this that’s helped make North Carolina what it is today.

Wilmington Star-News

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