Pat McCrory isn’t the first North Carolina governor to strike back at efforts to make cigarette packaging less appealing.
In 1959, Luther Hodges wired Gov. Ralph Herseth of South Dakota to protest a bill that would require tobacco to carry a skull and crossbones label and the statement “Not recommended by state of South Dakota”:
“I know that you would not want the General Assembly of North Carolina to pass a law requiring that any farm products originating from South Dakota and offered for sale in North Carolina must carry labels warning that, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, South Dakota soil has the highest content in the nation of selenium, a well known poison.”
In response, South Dakota took only three days to kill the proposed anti-tobacco measure. Gov. McCrory can only wish Ireland and France were as accommodating.
Pat McCrory isn’t the first North Carolina governor to find life in the Executive Mansion less than ideal.
In 1969, after Gov. Bob Scott complained about deteriorating conditions in the 1891 behemoth, WBTV in Charlotte issued a call to raze and replace it:
“Though Victorian architecture leaned toward the frilly, there are many such buildings that have a graceful and airy charm. By contrast, the Executive Mansion is a hodgepodge of turrets, balconies, gables and architectural gingerbread assembled into one tasteless mass. At its best, it’s pompous; at its worst, it’s ludicrous. . . . The governor’s mansion was a mistake when it was built, continues to be a mistake and has little value beyond the furnishings it holds and the price that could be gotten out of the sale of its salvage.”
At the instruction of the legislature, plans were drawn for a “French country” residence for the governor; reaction was overwhelmingly negative, however, and the tide turned in favor of renovation, which was completed in 1975.