Blust to GOP: 'Be more careful' with power

Posted February 28, 2013
Updated March 1, 2013

— Republican legislative leaders have faced no shortage of criticism from Democrats over their use of power this session. On Thursday, they heard one of their own members voice some of the same concerns. 

In an unusual turn during floor debate on Senate Bill 10, which calls for sweeping changes to state boards and commissions, Rep. John Blust, R-Guilford, warned his own party's leaders to "be more careful" in their use of power.

Under the Democrats, Blust was always an outspoken critic about the importance of process, public notice and respect for the institution of the legislature. He expressed some of the same concerns Thursday, using the biblical story of Uzzah, who touched the Ark of the Covenant in an effort to protect it but was struck down for the offense despite his good intentions.

Republicans hold super-majorities in both chambers, so they can generally do as they like. But Blust said GOP leaders had rushed the boards and commissions bill to the floor in disregard of the requirement for public notice. 

Blust Blust speech on GOP power

The bill was added to the House calendar during session with little warning Thursday. That's after the first committee appearance Wednesday of the House version of the bill was omitted from the calendar handed out to the public that morning. 

"Why do we all think that's such a small, slight thing?" Blust asked. "Whether you like it or not, due process means notice to be heard and at least have your point of view considered."

Blust said he could see no reason why the bill couldn't have waited till next week for a vote.  

"I don’t like this idea, 'Well, we have the power. Let’s go ahead and do it,'" he said. "Just because we have power, we need to be judicious with it. I wish we would be more careful with it."

"The people have the right to yank us in two years and put someone else in," he added.


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  • jamielowe2009 Mar 4, 2013

    Do you remember all the times in the last 90+ years when the democrats were in charge in Raleigh and they gave speeches to each other stating "I don’t like this idea, 'Well, we have the power. Let’s go ahead and do it,'" he said. "Just because we have power, we need to be judicious with it. I wish we would be more careful with it."? ME EITHER!!!!

  • AlbertEinstein Mar 1, 2013

    There are reasons for the supermajority - use the opportunity and keep up the good work, but.... do not get bogged down with unnecessary and untimely debate.

  • stormtrooper76 Mar 1, 2013

    Rep. Blust was well spoken and right on point. He has an understanding of the meaning of government and it's processes to ensure that quality legislation is crafted and eventually signed into law. Obviously, it would be very wise for our GOP supermajority in the general assembly to listen and act accordingly or their reign in Raleigh might be very brief.

  • wral mods blow close my account Mar 1, 2013

    GOP do not listen to Blust.

    Keep on digging. Be surre to give yourself and staff a raise while you are at it.

  • Deep Thought Mar 1, 2013

    Why is anybody surprised that the republicans are drunk with power? They will be surprised when they are voted out but it will be their own fault.

  • baldchip Mar 1, 2013

    Friends, do you remember when Jim Black rammed thru the Lottery Bill while 2 NA votes were unavailable to return to Raleigh for the vote??? Republicans have used this example as an abuse of power ever since. Do we want to give the left ammunition for the next election?? Of course we don't.

    Due process is there for a reason-to protect the general public-we-the voters- from an abusive Legislature. We need to follow due process-even if we have a 100% of the Legislative votes for a specific bill.

    Well spoken Rep Blust!!

  • cooldela1966 Mar 1, 2013

    Good point by Rep. Blust. Slow down a bit.

  • prodigalrn Mar 1, 2013

    Why waste time - get things fixed. Debate and design by committee are a waste of the taxpayers hard earned money.
    NC Red Shirt
    February 28, 2013 7:59 p.m.

    So you're saying if the Democrats were doing this same thing, you'd be ok with it? (Careful, your hypocrisy-slip is showing) It's called respect of the process and doing things in a transparent way. Either party that is in charge should respect the process where laws are debated and discussed and the public is given an opportunity to actually hear what is going on. So far, the Republicans are hurrying several bills, not giving the public a chance to study the bill or voice any concerns. Both parties should always respect the process, not just the actual bill being passed.

  • dwbenfield Mar 1, 2013

    NC Red Shirt, Debate and design are part of the democratic process. Anything else is totalitarianism.

  • uBnice Feb 28, 2013

    A voice of reason. Thank you, Mr. Blust.