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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., May 9, 1998. Interview C-0328-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The pros and cons of putting the first lady on the state payroll

Holshouser weighs the pros and cons of putting the first lady on the state payroll.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., May 9, 1998. Interview C-0328-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK FLEER:
What about the first lady, should she be a publicly paid official?
JAMES E. HOLSHOUSER, JR.:
Been a lot of talk about that particularly with Hilary Clinton.
JACK FLEER:
Yes. I am talking about of course the governor's first lady.
JAMES E. HOLSHOUSER, JR.:
Right. I am inclined to think not. You can make an awfully good argument about the fact that she is on duty full time too. She doesn't have to be. And I think Carolyn Hunt has spent a fair amount of time of the farm down at Rock Ridge particularly during the first Hunt administration. Don't really know that, I just have heard that. I think you can make a pretty strong argument for saying that if it is because her work is there and it has to be done as part of the Governor's office that she could be paid out of the governor's office. It may change how she is perceived and may change it for the worse. The strongest arguments you are making for doing that is that it treats her as an individual apart from the governor and says that her role is defensible. You can make that pretty legitimate now.
JACK FLEER:
Would it be politically difficult to make such a recommendation?
JAMES E. HOLSHOUSER, JR.:
Actually from a legal and political standpoint, the governor could put her on payroll from the governor's office. It would have to come out of his/her budget. And it wouldn't be anything illegal. You might get a few quips editorially when you first started but I think if the Governor just said this lady is working 56 hours on an average a week for the state and she is due to be paid. Now the political side of that is it looks like you are feathering your own nest as a couple. That would be the only down side.