There is a battle of press releases going on in Raleigh this week between North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell.
Both Cooper, a Democrat, and Folwell, a Republican, are running for reelection to their respective offices this fall, and the press release battle may have more to do with the upcoming election that anything else.
At issue is the North Carolina Debt Affordability Advisory Committee’s report that was released this week by the Department of the State Treasurer.
Cooper took the opportunity of the report to put out a press release headlined, “Committee Report Shows North Carolina in Strong Financial Position to Vote on a School and Infrastructure Bond.”
The press release notes that Cooper had included a $3.9 billion school and infrastructure bond in his proposed budget, but it was not included in the legislature’s budget. And according to Cooper this report showed that it was a good time for the state to issue such a bond.
But Folwell took exception to Cooper using the Debt Report to promote his own political agenda. Folwell’s press release states, “The Debt Affordability Advisory Committee’s report is an annual, nonpolitical, informational report from a bipartisan committee. …
“Additionally, the report does not endorse or speak to any proposal to issue debt. The change in debt capacity is analogous to a credit card company raising your credit limit. Higher borrowing ability does not mean it is wise for you to spend up to that limit, particularly if you have sufficient assets to pay for needs without borrowing.”
And, at the end, Folwell gets more political with this paragraph, “We regret that the Governor has chosen to politicize a nonpolitical, nonpartisan, data-driven report based on math not opinions. Perhaps his energy should be more appropriately focused on correcting the multi-billion dollar mismanagement at his own Department of Transportation, which, according to this report, has maxed out its credit card and has no remaining debt capacity for a decade.”