Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, the Democrat running for governor, has says GOP budget writers have gone overboard for the next governor's welcoming party and transition.
Democrats budgeted $420,000 for the inauguration and executive office transition in 2008 in preparation for former Gov. Mike Easley leaving office.
This year, the budget includes that amount plus a $330,000 reserve. Dalton, calling it "hidden 'party' money," said he will decline the reserve and challenged GOP candidate Pat McCrory to pledge to do the same.
The legislature still has time to reroute the $330,000 to education and economic development, Dalton said.
"While too many North Carolinians are still struggling through tough times, Pat McCrory's allies in the legislature slipped an extra $330,000 in unnecessary funding for the gubernatorial transition," Dalton said in a statement. "They said they were coming to Raleigh to cut ‘fraud and waste’- Well, I think we’ve found it. In the midst of teacher layoffs and cuts in financial aid, this hidden 'party' money sends the wrong message."
The McCrory campaign said they're not thinking about the transition. "Pat McCrory is focused on discussing his vision for fixing North Carolina's broken government and broken economy and wouldn't be so presumptive to discuss transition plans five months before an election," McCrory spokesman Ricky Diaz said in a statement. "If Mr. Dalton is busy measuring the drapes in Governor Perdue's office, we'll leave that to him."