I have an idea for a fantastic super villain for the Batman franchise… North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis who would be known as “The Trickster.” The antics and shenanigans that he could foment would put the Joker and the Riddler, combined, to shame. Mr. Tillis has been caught with his hand in the hypocritical cookie jar in the past by his shameful bonuses and pay raises to some of the cronies and sycophants on his staff while preaching from the Bible of Conservative Financial ideology. So the reasonable person with at least a scintilla of intelligence has some idea of what to expect from this wily politician. However, last night, he actually outdid himself with his late-night vote… and even though I denounce his vindictively inspired actions against the North Carolina Association of Educators in his early morning overriding veto to weaken the teachers’ labor union, I can’t help but hold a bit of admiration for his “in-your-face villainy.” One thing about Thom Tillis, the man has no shame, as he has proven in the past with his raises to his staff favorites in a time of austerity when state jobs are being eliminated, workloads increased, and salaries slashed.
Mr. Tillis doesn’t pretend to be fair… he doesn’t pretend to believe in the principle of transparent government… he doesn’t pretend to have an ounce of compassion for those in need or tolerance for those of different beliefs and/or opinions. He has shown the ability to boldly act, without any apparent concern for the consequences of his actions which have generated a slew of lawsuits and indignant outrage. That Speaker Tillis makes waves would be an understatement, as he is a veritable one-man tsunami.
A consummate Tea Party conservative, Tillis orchestrated the late-night override of the Perdue veto under a shroud of secrecy. Even his fellow Republicans were unaware of his nefarious plans until the eleventh hour. Then, after stirring up things with his questionable clandestine activities, Tillis has the audacity to proclaim his actions to be legal… and dares the Democrats to challenge them.
I have yet another villain for Batman to confront… Governor Bev Perdue as “Lady Two Face.” She puts on airs to the public that she’s a paragon when it comes to governing under transparency and stakes a claim on being a champion of racial equality and justice. Governor Perdue prides herself, with a big pat on the back, for vetoing the ethically challenged Republicans’ attempt to gut the provisions of the recently enacted Racial Justice Act. However, when it comes to her actions closer scrutiny shows they do not even come close to reflecting her lofty rhetoric about equal justice.
One need look no further than her treatment of petitions for pardons submitted by Erick Daniels and Shawn Massey, two African American men who were unjustly convicted for crimes they did not commit and who served, respectively, more than seven and twelve years of wrongful incarceration. They need a pardon from the governor in order to be eligible for compensation for their years of wrongful imprisonment. But… KAPOW!! No pardon. Both of their petitions were denied by Lady Two Face and her hench-people. And why were they denied, need you ask? For one reason, and one reason only… because of the color of their skin. Make no mistake about it.
If there is a legitimate reason other than racial prejudice for Governor Perdue denying a pardon to Erick Daniels and Shawn Massey, then she and her staff are keeping it top secret… as opaque as a lead-lined vault. When I specifically requested to know from the governor why Daniels’ request for a pardon was denied, her general counsel lied by telling me that the Governor’s office conducted its own investigation which did not clear Daniels of the crime for which he was convicted and served time… but due to “confidentiality concerns” they could not tell me what they were or divulge any information about their investigation. The governor’s office provided me with nothing more than a pathetic excuse which was really intended to keep its racist bias confidential.
Late in 2011, Wake County Democratic Party President Mack Paul authorized a three member panel to find out why the Governor denied a pardon to Erick Daniels. I spoke to two of the three, and they both told me that their efforts to obtain information were rebuffed by the governor’s office… there were no justifications given as to why his pardon request was turned down. In other words, the governor who proclaims to be a proponent of transparent government will even keep results of a criminal investigation hidden from members of the Wake County Democratic Party.
If DC Comics does not take me up on my generous suggestions for these two diabolical additions to their varied stable of villains, then take heart, readers. I can always find a place for them in my strip, “The MisAdventures of Super-Duper Cooper.”