October 18, 2017/Press

Editorial Boards: GOP Leadership Willing to Harm NC Residents to “Score Political Points”

RALEIGH – Republican leadership is intent on solidifying their unconstitutional majority through any hyper-partisan means imaginable – even if it attacks our independent judiciary, threatens access to clean drinking water, and flies in the face of democratic norms. With each passing special session and unconstitutional power grab, the need to break the Republican supermajority becomes clearer. North Carolina deserves better than the “perfect storm of incompetence, disrespect, and petty spite” spurred on by GOP leadership, and Governor Cooper deserves to be able to do the job he was elected to do.

Fayetteville Observer: Our View: Bullying in the Year of the Veto

“The leadership of the General Assembly has decided that Job No. 1 is slapping the governor down at every opportunity, even when he wants to do something that will protect the health and safety of North Carolina’s residents — Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and independent alike.”

WRAL: Editorial: Let Cooper do the job voters elected him to do

“It is past time for the secret, hyper-partisan machinations from Berger’s junta to end. With these delays, ambushes and subterfuge, Berger, Moore and those who follow their dictates have produced a perfect storm of incompetence, disrespect and petty spite.”

Fayetteville Observer: Our View: Bullying in the Year of the Veto
By the Editorial Board
October 17, 2017

“We could call it the Year of the Veto. But it’s probably more accurate to use the longer form: the year when good government was sacrificed on the altar of power politics.

Even though Roy Cooper is still a couple of months short of his first full year in office, it’s clear what’s going on. The leadership of the General Assembly has decided that Job No. 1 is slapping the governor down at every opportunity, even when he wants to do something that will protect the health and safety of North Carolina’s residents — Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and independent alike.

The best example is right in our backyard, flowing in the Cape Fear River. It’s been clear for months that we have a problem with the chemicals that the Chemours (formerly DuPont) plant here has been dumping chemicals into the river for as long as 30 years now…

But when Cooper asked the General Assembly for $2.6 million to hire more professional staff to monitor dumping into our rivers and streams and to oversee the permitting process, legislative leaders ignored him. They chose instead to give less than a fifth of that to Wilmington-area university researchers and to the city’s water utility. Not an extra penny to the state Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Health and Human Services, the two state offices whose job it is to monitor our state’s water for safety and for violations of pollution regulations.

Why would they do that? Because that’s what Cooper wants, and the political orthodoxy of legislative leadership is to kick the governor, no matter how urgent his request. So when Cooper vetoed the weak and inadequate legislative response to Cape Fear pollution, lawmakers swiftly returned to Raleigh for an override vote.

They made the trip again this week because Cooper vetoed a measure that would cancel next year’s primary election for local and Court of Appeals judges. This will result in overcrowded November ballots that will confuse voters and allow lawmakers to strengthen the Republican grip on the court system. They also are intent on gerrymandering the state’s court seats to achieve the same goal…

Yet despite all their extra trips to Raleigh for veto overrides, the General Assembly’s leaders have chosen to ignore some of Cooper’s key appointments that require legislative approval. That includes positions on the N.C. Utilities Commission, the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees and the State Board of Education. In an angry letter to Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore Monday, Cooper said it was “an obvious effort by the General Assembly to undermine my administration’s ability to ensure faithful execution of the laws.” It was, in other words, just another plank in the Make Cooper Fail platform.

We understand the nature of political struggles and the way they are conducted in Raleigh. But we don’t understand why Berger, Moore and their lieutenants are so willing to harm the state’s residents so they can score political points. And don’t tell us the Democrats did it too. You’re right, they did. But the Republicans are in charge now and they’re responsible for the messes we’re in. They took office with a pledge to run a better government than the Democrats did. And they’re failing.”

Read the full article here.

WRAL: Editorial: Let Cooper do the job voters elected him to do
By the Editorial Board
October 18, 2017

“Did Senate Leader Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore and others at the North Carolina General Assembly miss the election for governor a while back? While a very select sample of voters in their gerrymandered districts elected them to run the legislature, the voters across North Carolina elected Roy Cooper to be their governor.

That may not be a result the legislative leaders preferred, but it is time for them to stop working so hard at preventing the governor from doing his job.

The latest in their secretive plot to thwart the governor’s constitutional leadership has been months-long stonewalling critical gubernatorial appointees, most significantly to the State Utilities Commission, State Board of Education and trustees for the Teacher’s and State Employees’ Retirement System . It is just another chapter in the legislature’s growing collection of case studies in bad management.

Those case studies in malfeasance and mismanagement already include:

  • Draconian budget cuts that hobble the state Justice Department, all without consulting the attorney general or public hearings.
  • Creating chaos in the management of public education with secretly concocted changes to the roles of the state Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • Weakening Cooper’s ability to run his administration by slashing, without any public discussion, the number of exempt state. workers after allowing a massive increase for former Gov. Pat McCrory.
  • Wreaking havoc on the state’s judicial system by gerrymandering judicial districts, eliminating judicial primary elections and less than a day ago preparing to ram a constitutional amendment through to shrink all judicial terms to two years, all concocted behind closed doors.

For months the nominations from the governor have gathered dust. At the same time, legislative appointees to some of the same boards have sailed through without a peep.

The governor was right to adopt a stern tone in his letter to legislators this week seeking action. Legislators are “disrespectful.” Their treatment of the appointees is “dilatory” and “unacceptable. … This is not the way to treat these appointees who have committed themselves to public service.”

Berger’s defense was more illustrative of a banana republic’s tin-horn dictator than the leader of a legislature in the greatest democracy on the planet.

It is past time for the secret, hyper-partisan machinations from Berger’s junta to end.

With these delays, ambushes and subterfuge, Berger, Moore and those who follow their dictates have produced a perfect storm of incompetence, disrespect and petty spite.

And closer to home, what justification do members of the Wake County legislative delegation – Senators John Alexander and Chad Barefoot along with Representatives Chris Malone, Nelson Dollar and Linda Williams – have for their continued votes to prevent the governor from doing his job?

Listen to the voters. Let the governor do his job.

North Carolinians deserve better.

Election Day 2018 can’t come soon enough.”

Read the full article here.

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