Ann Goodnight is not happy. In a letter-to-the-editor in the News and Observer, she goes after the state budget and the leaders who wrote and passed it:
We are knowingly under-investing in our pre-K-12, community college and university students; in our teachers; and in innovative new approaches to learning. This budget is an embarrassment in its lack of investment in the skills and competitiveness of its people. This is a grievous mistake.
Before writing this off as another partisan attack, it should be noted that Ann Goodnight - the wife of Jim Goodnight, the founder and CEO of SAS – is a connected, important, and influential supporter of Republicans.
She’s held fundraisers in her home for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (to the tune of $300,000) and is a member of the UNC Board of Governors. According to OpenSecrets.org, she has given to Republicans Orrin Hatch and Mitt Romney, as well as Republican Congressional candidates in North Carolina
All that is to say, it’s likely that when she calls and leaves a message for Republican leaders in state government, they call her back. Quickly. For her to take the unusual and public effort to call a cornerstone of their budget a “grievous mistake” should not be taken lightly.