Looks like all is not peachy on the Democratic side as House and Senate leaders seemingly are taking a bit of an issue with new Gov. Perdue's exertion of power. After 8 years of doing whatever the heck they wanted under an absentee governor, it appears Senate President Marc Basnight (D-Dare) and House Speaker Joe Hackney (D-Orange) are learning the hard way that the new sheriff in town won't give them carte blanche to run the state.
First, look at Perdue's executive order taking decision making away from the politically influenced DOT board and giving it to engineers and professionals who will, get this, build roads based on need and the number of cars it will carry, not on political patronage.
Well obviously Senator Basnight wasn't too pleased by this, and I would assume neither is Senator Rand. The DOT has been their private slush fund for the last 8 years when Gov. Easley basically handed the keys over to the department to Rand's business partner and accountant Lindo Tippett. (Who, by the way, is in SERIOUS denial about just how screwed up DOT really is, just read this.)
Now, Perdue's new Secretary of DOT, Gene Conti (more on him here and here), is seemingly getting under the skin of House Speaker Joe Hackney who told him to "quit griping" about the amount of money included in the Federal stimulus package for NC road projects.
Looks like Perdue is ruffling the feathers of the good ole' boy power structure. Good for her, let's hope she keeps it up.