Under the Dome

Joe Hackney, cover boy

Hackney CoverSpeaker Joe Hackney is an unusual pick for cover boy.

The Chapel Hill Democrat, a mustachioed cattle farmer and divorce lawyer, is not as good-looking as Brad Pitt, as charismatic as Will Smith or as omnipresent as Barack Obama.

But Governing magazine is not GQ, Entertainment Weekly or, um, every magazine currently in publication.

It's cover story, "Legislatures in 2009" (see what we mean?), highlights Hackney as a "squeaky clean" reformer who came to power as disgraced former Speaker Jim Black fell from grace.

Still, it says he was not the "consensus choice."

He attributes that to his cleaner-than-thou image. "When you're running for speaker," he says, "that's a help with some people and a hindrance with others." But most members recognized the chance Hackney's reputation offered them to begin rebuilding public trust. He was elected speaker after four caucus ballots.

The article notes that Hackney has grown more business-friendly as his district has shifted away from Chapel Hill and into rural Chatham County, though he remains "perhaps the leading environmentalist" in the House.

It also says he's opened up the legislative process, allowing more time for debate and study and avoiding running roughshod over the Republican minority.


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Re: Joe Hackney, cover boy

MattM, if you are unaware that Joe Hackney opened up the process, you're probably unaware of anything else in state government. That Hackney represents a positive difference isn't just one magazine writer's theory. It's a well known fact of life at the General Assembly.

MeckDeck, get a grip. Hackney makes the John Locke Foundation cringe precisely because he represents something all North Carolinians, whether Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Independent, can be proud of.

Re: Joe Hackney, cover boy

How does he look in the centerfold? Airbrushed or more natural?

Seriously, Governing IS porn to govco flunkies, a cover and feature story a sure sign that you've arrived and guaranteed to raise your profile at out-of-town conventions.


Re: Joe Hackney, cover boy

Hackney's opened up the process? I couldn't tell from the last budget. He and Basnight are as dictatorial as anyone else was.

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