Outside the Box


'I am Spartacus' moment for N.C. House Democrats

Posted December 14, 2016

After days of non-denials, denials; double speak and verbal slight-of-hand, Republican leaders of the General Assembly called their own special session to deal with topics they still refused to detail – but speculation continued to center on efforts to take powers and authority away from incoming Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper.

For Democrats in the House of Representatives, it was an "I am Spartacus" moment. Republican legislators’ signatures on the petition asking for the special session were all dated Dec. 12 – two days ago. Rep. Darrel Jackson, D-Wake, quoting the state Constitution, said the speaker was required to call the session when the petition was filed – not by sneak attack two days later.

Jackson asked to have his protest and objection to the constitutionality of the special session noted for the record. House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, honored the request.

House Minority Leader Larry Hall, D-Durham, spoke. "This ain't right. You can't make it right. The people of North Carolina aren't being treated right. We owe them more," said Hall, D-Durham. "We will be the authors of our own demise unless we start taking responsibility ... and respecting our voters."

He joined in Jackson’s protest.

Then, one-by-one, for about eight minutes, (about 26 minutes into the attached video) nearly all of the House’s 36 Democrats chimed in. “I rise to join in Rep. Jackson’s protest.”

They may not have been slaves on an ancient hillside, but it was the House Democrats’ Spartacus moment.


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