Gov. Bev Perdue has, at times during her tenure, exhibited a surprising lack of leadership, playing political games and working hard to ensure the buck never really stops on her desk.
A recent decision not to sign or veto an anti-forced annexation bill is a perfect example of this. By taking no action she is allowing the bill to become law but without her approval as governor. That way, she can always say she was on the right side of the issue, whichever side turns out to be right (or popular).
And she’s wanted so badly to be known as the education governor that she has seemingly made that her central issue — fund schools even if it puts the average taxpayer in the poor house.
However, we believe she has shown unusual wisdom in a recent proposal — that of regulating and taxing Internet cafes, which are, despite whatever they are called, video gambling establishments.
North Carolina has twice voted to outlaw them, only to have the court system overturn the legislation. Recently Perdue, who has long opposed their existence, reiterated that she believes North Carolina is better off without them. But, the governor said, until a law is crafted that will stand the test of the court system, legislators ought to “…tax the heck out of them and regulate them hard.”
Any revenue derived from this tax, she said, could be used for education spending in the state.
We’re not sure if the governor seriously looks upon this as a means of generating money for education efforts in the state, or as a means to effectively outlaw the parlors by making it too expensive to operate. Either way, we believe this is a strong idea, and one the General Assembly should seriously consider.