Editorial: Last-minute GenX ambush, standard operating procedure for legislature

Posted September 1

This is the N.C. Legislative Building as seen on Feb. 2, 2015 at 6 p.m.

CBC Editorial: Friday, Sept. 1, 2017; Editorial # 8206
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Whether your like, or don’t like, repeal of the Dare County ban on plastic grocery bags, North Carolina voters can easily identify who is responsible.

During an open meeting of the Senate Environment Committee last April Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, led the effort to include it in a bill dealing with a variety of environmental regulations.

We do wish Sen. Cook would leave our counties and cities alone. Dare County voters can and should make their own decisions.

But if voters want to know who was responsible for the funding plan to monitor how the chemical GenX flows into the Cape Fear River that ended up in bill that included the repeal of the Dare County plastic bag ban, they’d be better off hiring a private investigator.

The answer’s simple. Like too many actions by the General Assembly these days, the provision appeared without warning in a conference committee report on the bill. None of these conference committee members even represent the Wilmington area, where concern over GenX has arisen yet they chose to insert this measure into the legislation. No open committee hearing, no public discussion, no citizen input and no accountability.

Legislating by last-minute ambush has become a way of life for the current crop of leaders in the General Assembly.

The conference committee on the state budget includes dozens of items that were not discussed in the open. Come to think of it, who came up with the bright idea to REDUCE Legal Aid funding? When we find out, we will let you know.

The legislature is doing the public’s business without including the public. This group of zealots continues to be an opaque den of conniving inside dealers. What is really happening? Who is really responsible? All that’s hidden from taxpayers. Debates over major legislation are held in secret caucuses. Major shifts in policy and spending seem to appear out of the blue, with little time for citizen input or open debate.

The bizarre scheme to look into the GenX issue is the latest example in a long trail of snap solutions. If the current crop of legislative leaders truly had confidence in the ideologically driven legislation they’ve imposed, they’d willingly subject them to the sunlight of public hearings, open debate and accountability.

Clearly they don’t – and they don't care about results. They are happy if it fits with the anti-tax, anti-public education, anti environment, anti-immigrant, anti-health care, anti-gay, anti-transgender, anti-abortion, anti-gun control anti-voting rights and anti- you-name-it, base of support they have nourished.

Simply summed up: Government is terrible except when we say it isn’t and we’re willing to starve it to prove it to you.

The reactionary ideology, cloaked in the halo of the religious right and imposed by the General Assembly these days, is an economic and moral failure.


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  • Tim Orr Sep 3, 5:44 p.m.
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    Thank you for warning us. It's nice to see that sometimes WRAL admits to posting it's own opinion. Perhaps more of your articles should be noted as such.

  • Tim Orr Sep 3, 5:42 p.m.
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    [quot+e=16920935]Post by Teddy Fowler[/quote] Um, no. You apparently don't understand what an opinion is. Opinions are just like....hm, well let's just say some smell worse than others...including yours.

  • William Sherman Sep 1, 10:06 a.m.
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    As I understand it, this chemical has been dumped into the river for the past 35 years. Where was the outrage, sanctimous cries over this chemical back then-- under how many different DEMOCRATIC governors and legislatures. As usual, the CBC tries to lay all responsibility on the current GA. What a twisted, slanted crock of carp.

  • Teddy Fowler Sep 1, 8:51 a.m.
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    Opinion pieces are fine.... UNLESS.... they only give one side of the political spectrum ALL the time... which is what happens in these hit pieces by the CBC opinion.... and btw the votes have been counted... that is why the Republicans have a very large and clear majority ....

  • Brent Hall Sep 1, 8:18 a.m.
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    Mr. Mozingo:

    Sounds like you are just a little perturbed by the fact that this editorial states the actual facts of the situation and many other for which they write opinions. This editorial is exactly what NC taxpayers need to hear and read, as it simply reveals the truth behind most of the poor legislation that is thrust upon us.