Editorial: Don't be fooled, legislative move to confirm Cooper's cabinet is all about power politics

Posted February 3

A CBC Editorial: Friday, Feb. 3, 2017; Editorial# 8120
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Let’s just drop the phony pretenses here, OK?

The leadership of the Republican-controlled General Assembly didn’t recently rush through a law seizing confirmation power over gubernatorial cabinet appointments because of a sudden attack of good-government conscience.

No way!

This “extra session” bill was passed and signed into law in mere hours because Senate boss Phil Berger, R-Rockingham and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, wanted to make sure Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper knew just who’d be calling the shots in North Carolina government the next four years.

Berger and Moore are doing all they can to diminish Cooper’s clout.

It may be foolish, wasteful and wrong, but that’s politics.

But, at the very least, they should be up-front about their true motive -- with other legislators, with Cooper and the North Carolinians they serve.

Rather than raising the curtain on an unnecessary act of political theater, just drop these needless confirmation hearings. It’s in the courts and the lawyers are battling it out. Regardless of the outcome, they remain unnecessary.  The hearings and confirmation ordeal should just be eliminated.

The reality is that the GOP leadership is demanding something that no governor, at least in recent times, has had to endure.

The Democrats who ran the General Assembly in 1973 didn’t demand it of Republican Gov. James Holshouser. The Democrats who ran the General Assembly in 1985 and 1989 didn’t demand it of Republican Gov. Jim Martin. And, the Republicans who ran the General Assembly in 2013 – most of whom are running the show now – certainly didn’t demand it of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

In rolling out a nearly two-month schedule of confirmation meetings, Senate Nominations Committee co-chair Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, said the goal was to be sure that Cooper’s cabinet nominees were qualified, had no conflicts of interest and would obey the law.


And why in the world are these meetings dragging out until mid-March? The U.S. Senate is nearly done with President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees. Surely, they aren’t getting any less scrutiny than any member of Cooper’s cabinet might need.

Perhaps the model the state Senate’s using is the U.S. Senate’s handling of Merritt Garland’s nomination for Supreme Court justice?

Look, there are more than enough opportunities for the Republicans in the General Assembly to harangue and harass the Democrats in Cooper’s administration. There will be budget requests, program needs and plenty of other opportunities to call them before legislative committees and assert dominance and power.

Meanwhile, North Carolina’s public schools still need adequate funding and teachers need reasonable pay. The state’s crumbling infrastructure needs to be addressed. The coal ash mess along with other environmental issues need attention. Our public universities are suffering neglect and other states are beating North Carolina to the punch in economic development.  And, don’t forget, House Bill 2 still needs to be repealed, no strings attached.

That’s certainly enough to keep legislators busy without the needless wheel-spinning of confirming Cooper’s cabinet.


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  • Andy Holt Mar 2, 2017
    user avatar

    WRALiberal..... we absolutely couldn't care ANY less about your opinion. What is going on now, greatly resembles what the Dems are doing on a daily basis by holding up President Trump's Cabinet picks? But, CBC does NOT comment on that at all because the GOP is sitting back and watching the Dems make fools of themselves... just as we can do on a daily basis by reading CBC's "editorials". Where is the un-biased outcry from CBC about the Dems stall tactics in DC? Just keep printing this garbage, and try to stoke the fire to TRY to stay relevant, meanwhile we will get another good laugh reading this while waiting for your next proclamation of stupidity to come out. Berger and Moore are doing a wonderful job, they just need to stay strong and NEVER waver.

  • William Wall Feb 3, 2017
    user avatar

    WRAL and CBC don't fooled, we do not give a flying @#$% about your opinion. Why make this statement when you make no mention about the very same thing going on in DC. Go back to sipping on your Starbucks. No one care about your opinion. Especially the hard working middle class of the State and Country. Cooper is only in due to HB2 and he admits it.

  • William Wall Feb 3, 2017
    user avatar

    Dave why are you and the libatards whining. The Dumbacrats in the US Senate are doing the same thing. It is time for both groups to cut the obstructionist activity and do what they were elected and are being paid for. So quit being a snowflake and clean up your own group before complaining about the other.

  • Dave Elliott Feb 3, 2017
    user avatar

    Republican hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me. They want to make sure that Cooper's cabinet nominees are qualified and have no conflicts of interest?! Meanwhile, in Washington, Republicans are giving a free pass to Trump's nominees who are not qualified and have many conflicts of interest. I wish they would apply the same scrutiny to themselves that they apply to Democrats, but the Republicans would rather flagrantly rig everything to benefit themselves and their rich donors, and ethics and morals are not a concern.

  • Marianne Tioran Feb 3, 2017
    user avatar

    what do you think is going on against Trump? anarchy, sedition...all should be imprisoned

  • Jim Halbert Feb 3, 2017
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Yea, weird how when the new governor says he's going to repeal HB2 that all the protests and outcry asking for its repeal cool down.

  • Nathaniel Lincoln Feb 3, 2017
    user avatar

    I love the fact that Cooper just admitted that HB2 Is what got him elected. Giving more credence to The theory that Democrats needed to create an HB2 or something like it to bring down an otherwise great Governer. Something just seemed so fake about how overnight this great state was ridiculed at a national level by Hollyweird, Sports the media, the protesters etc etc and now with a Dem in place as well as HB2,suddenly it's all quiet again... hmmm. Thanks for being honest Roy but I'll bet this was a slip your going to regret..

  • Amber Perry Feb 3, 2017
    user avatar

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Did Chicken Little write this? All doom and gloom. By this article you would think NC is on the brink of financial collapse and everything is falling apart.