September 12, 2019/Press

What They’re Saying: Republican “Political Ambush” a “Shameless Theft of Democracy”

Raleigh – N.C. Republicans lied to their colleagues in a “political ambush” yesterday, voting to override the Governor’s budget veto in a morning session despite telling lawmakers and reporters “no votes at 8:30.”

Text from Rep. David Lewis to WRAL Reporter Laura Leslie:

With barely half of House lawmakers present and “more legislators off the floor for a vote since 2010,” Republicans held a deceptive vote while ignoring Democrats’ objections and turning off their microphones. GOP lawmakers have sunk to a new low – even for the legislature that “wrote the playbook on power grabs.”

See what folks in North Carolina and across the country are saying about Republicans’ “shameless theft of democracy”:

  • Deb Butler on MSNBC: I have asked people to forego cancer treatments. I have asked them to come after surgery. I have asked them to miss anniversaries and birthday parties and first days of kindergarten, so when I saw the speaker about to rob my colleagues of their hard work, it was more than I could bear and I think you saw that.”
  • @NC_Governor: “Legislative Republicans used a corrupt process to push a budget that pays teachers less than state employees and gives corporations yet another whopping tax break.”
  • @NowThisNews:

  • Charlotte Observer Editorial Board: “Not only was the House vote dishonest, it was carried out by a Republican majority that courts have repeatedly found to have gained seats through illegal gerrymandering. It was an illegitimate majority acting in an unethical way. These Republicans may be incapable of shame, but North Carolinians should be outraged.”
  • AP: “Moore “kept talking over us. He turned off our mics,” Rep. Mary Belk, a Mecklenburg County Democrat, said at a news conference. She and others went to other desks to use the microphones. As Butler and others continued to blast Moore’s actions from the floor, the speaker threatened that he could order Butler removed. Several Capitol police officers entered the chamber, and Democratic lawmakers surrounded Butler, who refused to yield.”
  • WRAL: “Lewis did acknowledge telling a WRAL News reporter via text Tuesday night that there would be no votes at the 8:30 a.m. session. But he said that’s because he didn’t think there would be any. He wasn’t on the floor during the override vote.”
  • HuffPost: “North Carolina state Rep. Deb Butler (D) inspired a new battle cry against the GOP after hitting out at what she described as Republican “trickery” during a legislative session on Wednesday. Video going viral shows Butler resisting GOP lawmakers’ vote to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget during a session without the attendance of dozens of Democratic representatives.”
  • Daily Reflector: “Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover started protesting. Moore eventually said he could order her removed from the House chamber. When a sergeant-at-arms moved toward Butler, Smith stood between them. Several overs joined her and the officers eventually moved to the edge of the chamber.”
  • WRAL: “For some, Wednesday morning’s House vote to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s $24 billion state budget veto set a new bar. Cooper called it the Republican majority’s “most deceptive stunt yet” and said they “waged an assault on our democracy.”… This wasn’t a couple of absent senators. This was more representatives off the floor for a vote than any time since at least 2010.”
  • Vox: “September 11 was supposed to be an uneventful day in North Carolina’s state capitol. Instead, it became a case study in the lengths Republican lawmakers in the state are willing to go to push through their agenda.”
  • Slate: “Such brazen contempt for democracy has become a hallmark for the North Carolina GOP, which has long fought to entrench its own power through underhanded and illegitimate means.”
  • VICE: “Turns out 9/11 is no reason to take a holiday from political dirty tricks, at least among North Carolina Republican legislators.”
  • Washington Post: “While most North Carolinians were remembering the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, the Republican leaders in the General Assembly took advantage of a half-empty House and voted to override the governor’s budget veto Wednesday morning.”
  • NBC News: “If we can’t trust each other, this place will fall apart, it’s just too big an entity to run, too many processes to require for everything to be in writing,” Jackson said.
  • PoliticsNC: “To [Republicans], it’s better to have a corrupt government than to hold any standards that might thwart their political agenda. The casualty is the trust necessary to make our government function.”
  • @CraigJ_tweets: “It surpasses anything I’ve ever seen. Somebody needs to answer for this.”
  • @EricHolder: “Gerrymandered Republicans in North Carolina call for a budget vote after saying there would be none. And they do this on 9/11 anniversary. Shameful. No raises for teachers. No Medicaid expansion. Heartless. NC deserves better than this. Vote them out.”
  • @EricBoehlert: “btw, this is all because GOP doesn’t want NC to expand Medicaid, the way 37 other states already have”
  • @jbouie: “one major stress on American democracy is the fact that Republicans would rather undermine and destroy representative institutions than occasionally take a political L”
  • @NCGA_FUBAR: “#NCPOL where democracy dies in broad daylight. Officially FUBAR reading is 9.66.”
  • @RepDavidEPrice: “Today’s disgraceful and deceitful behavior proves, once again, that Republicans in the #NCGA will stop at nothing to underfund our public schools and deny North Carolinians health care.”