Well, I’d like to say I’m surprised, but I’m not. Government is broken in this state and no one is much interested in fixing it. The details from the News & Observer:

The cost to feed and entertain state and local officials and their family members aboard a state-sponsored party cruise this month was more than $27,000, new invoices from the outing show.

The costs include coconut-flavored lip balm, suntan lotion and twill caps given to guests who cruised on a state ferry, the Floyd Lupton, to take in the tall ships festival and waterfront views of Beaufort this month.

The luncheon menu featured shrimp, lime-smoked scallops and mussels, chopped smoked salmon spread and smoked bluefish pate.

The wine and beer tab for the July 1 lunchtime outing was about $2,700 — and a state-funded economic development organization is picking it up.

All totaled, the cost of the two-hour cruise for about 270 people is now at more than $30,000, according to the new documents and interviews with state officials.

Notice that you can justify any damn thing you want as “economic development.” Booze, cruise. Even taxing rental cars and hiking local property taxes to pay for a $158 million playpen for one the world’s largest banks, for example.

The kleptocrat cruise even sucked away police protection from the rest of the state, confirming that pols really do think they are a special class. The police cost adds another, unknown, layer to the event’s total cost. Besides, al Qaida has a target list that reads Statute of Liberty, Sears Tower, and the good ship Floyd Lupton off of Beaufort. What asses.

Here’s the test for Gov. Mike Whatshisname: Fire people. Fire any and all responsible for this travesty. And if you do not have the power to terminate them, publicly call for them to resign. Call for audits of all the state’s economic development arms to uncover similar schemes.

Legislators involved should consider resigning as well. There is just no way they did not know they were on a state-paid junket. Paying back the cost of the junket is not enough, and few are even stepping up to do that. Thieves are like that.