May 18, 2020/Press

Editorial: Berger should support Cooper’s reopening plan or “get out of the way”

In a scathing new editorial, the Capitol Broadcast Company excoriated Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger for his partisan, self interested response to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“Since 2011 Berger has had a near singular focus on consolidating power for himself by any means available, enshrining a partisan political advantage,” wrote the Capitol Broadcast Company Editorial Board. As the state continues to grapple with the pandemic, “he espouses demands that place the lives of North Carolinians at risk.”

His reckless plans, assumedly carried out from the safety of his campaign contributor sponsored home, are putting North Carolinians at risk. And all for what, a few cheap political points? 

CBC: Editorial: Sen. Berger should back the governor’s plan

  • North Carolina needs just one person in charge. Voters made a clear choice with more than 2.3 million voting to put Cooper in charge. He is North Carolina’s CEO.
  • But [Berger’s] unyielding efforts to usurp and undermine the efforts of Cooper – particularly in the governor’s efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic – are more than an intramural bureaucratic distraction. They threaten to slow the state’s progress to emerge from the pandemic and revitalize the state’s economy. More significantly, he espouses demands that place the lives of North Carolinians at risk – including demands on religious observance that diverge with the guidance of some of the state’s largest denominations.
  • In recent days Berger has taken to issuing releases telling (demanding?) the governor to give counties the power to prematurely open restaurants, barbershops and grooming salons. 
  • Berger’s reasoning? Other states, including those neighboring North Carolina are doing it? What is so smart about following the examples of: Georgia where COVID-19 fatalities are 15 per 100,000; Virginia where deaths are 10 per 100,000; South Carolina where it’s 7 per 100,000 — compared to North Carolina’s 6 per 100,000?
  • Cooper has developed and articulated a plan for confronting the COVID-19 pandemic in North Carolina. He has set out clear steps and goals to be met, so various sectors of our economy and society can, when appropriate, reopen in a measured way. At least three recent statewide polls show North Carolina voters overwhelmingly back Cooper’s approach – including a very substantial portion of Republicans.
  • Meanwhile Berger, in an effort motivated for partisan political advantage by agitating his political base, looks to erect impediments and foment dissension to Cooper’s plans.
  • Now, it’s not just about winning political advantage. It is life and death. Real leaders have plans not merely slogans, disruptions and defiance.It is past time for Berger to support the governor’s plan and help make it successful. If not, just get out of the way.