As detailed in this Carolina Journal article, Don Carrington reveals some highly questionable collaboration between Gov. Perdue’s office and the Division of Employment Security (formerly the Employment Security Commission) to try and put a positive spin on unemployment data.
Since as early as January 2011, and perhaps before then, Gov. Bev Perdue’s press office has received access to confidential employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics hours if not days before its scheduled release, quite likely in violation of federal law. The governor’s staff used its early access to massage the monthly employment press release that reported jobs data to the public.
Documents and correspondence obtained by Carolina Journal show that the Division of Employment Security, formerly known as the Employment Security Commission, sent a draft of the press release each month to Perdue’s press office. The governor’s spokesmen typically rewrote the text and added a positive spin, even if the data did not support Perdue’s talking points.
According to Carrington, by accessing the employment data early, the Governor’s office may be in violation of the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002. (Details of Carrington’s report are also being reported by the News & Observer.)
Carrington is quite knowledgeable about this topic, given his years experience in the Employment Security Commission, so these charges should not be taken lightly. To see copies of email communication between the Governor’s office and the DES, check out the full Carolina Journal article.
To see the Governor’s office attempting to pressure what is supposed to be an independent state office should come as no surprise. Just last week, I wrote about Perdue’s attempt to pressure major utility companies in the state to buy expensive wind energy from a green boondoggle on the coast (an attempt that fortunately ended up unsuccessful).
Time and again, Perdue shows herself to be more interested in exploiting the power of her office for her own benefit and the benefit of her corporate cronies than to benefit the citizens of her state.