State Sen. Phil Berger, the N.C. Senate Republican leader, is a genial fellow who enjoys a good relationship with the press. He and House Republican leader Skip Stam, R-Wake, often hold well-attended press conferences to comment on legislation and twit Democrats.
So it was that Berger, R-Rockingham, made a grand entrance the other day at the Legislative Building news conference room with a wheelbarrow full of thousands of political surveys. His plan was to push the wheelbarrow up the hill to the governor's office and leave its pro-conservative findings for Gov. Bev Perdue.
When reporters asked about the survey they learned it was part of a fundraising appeal Berger had sent to likely conservative contributors to the party. It asked for money and — under a cover marked "Conservative Voter Survey" — asked leading questions designed to clue the respondent in an expected answer. Such as: "Do you oppose Bev Perdue and the Democrats' plan to pass a job-killing $1.6 billion dollar tax increase in the middle of a recession?" Or the cleverly phrased, "Do you think death panels made up of government bureaucrats should decide if your loved ones live or die?" A scientific survey it was not.
Berger had a little difficulty explaining why taking these surveys to the governor's office would be a help in knowing what people think of her. After all, the world's worst-kept secret is that Perdue's popularity numbers are lowest of any governor.
But our guess is the governor's staff enjoyed reading the replies anyway. One said, "I am embarrassed to be associated with this organization. Your tactics are disgusting and you're going to lose a generation of voters." Another contained a $50 campaign contribution check.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Charlotte Observer.