Opinion

Opinion

Editorial: Solution to legislative overreach? Repeal and replace

Posted December 16, 2016

A CBC Editorial: Friday, Dec.16, 2016; Editorial# 8097
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Repeal and replace. No, we are not talking about Obama care. We’re all for that.

We mean:

  • REPEAL all actions taken by the General Assembly during this fourth “special session.”
  • REPLACE all of the legislators who voted for the deplorable bills passed during this special legislative session.

The actions by legislators are so reprehensible that even citizens observing in the state Senate and House chambers couldn’t restrain themselves Thursday from outbursts of protest. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest in the Senate and Speaker Tim Moore in the House, ordered the boisterous audiences -- chanting “All political power comes from the people” -- cleared.

While the disruption, loud protests and arrests continued outside the chambers, the Senate and House were forced to recess.

We understand the frustration of those in the gallery – shared by tens of thousands of North Carolinians -- over the arrogant and unwarranted power grab they were witnessing.

Republicans, like state Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, were clear the legislative action was not about making North Carolina or its government better; it was about settling long-festering political scores. How long? Brown cited the 1976 so-called “Christmas Massacre” when soon-to-be Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt let it be known that the Republicans installed in state government would lose their jobs.  Brown was a 21-year-old college student at the time.

For every perceived Democratic tit, Brown had a Republican tat. “Everybody knows the history and we’ll just leave it at that,” he concluded.

Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, responded appropriately and succinctly. “Whatever it was that somebody did to you, that gives you justification to do it to somebody else? I don’t believe that.”

The message the GOP vendetta sends to the North Carolinians they represent, Blue said, is clear and unfortunate. “We’re putting our own interests above their interest.”

Amid the sorry spectacle, we see a fundamental question North Carolinians must ask: What kind of person puts partisan politics above the orderly functioning of state government?

This special session is giving us a clear answer to that question – every GOP legislator who votes for these “get even” bills is guilty of that sorry charge.

They are motivated, not by seeking to do good for the state, but by imposing their personal partisan and ideological views, regardless of the popular will. They maintain power by unconstitutionally manipulating election laws and gerrymandering representative districts.

Now, when a majority of the state’s voters picked a new governor not of their liking, they are rushing to make ill-conceived changes in essential functions of state government, strip the governor of long-standing authority and duties while dishing out plum state jobs and judicial appointments to their political pals.

It is not a picture of political prowess and finesse. Rather it is a portrait of the arrogant ham-handedness of grown-up school yard bullies.

Gov.-elect Roy Cooper, during a news conference, made it clear that while he’ll seek to work and compromise with the GOP majority in the legislature, he won’t be a patsy or pushover if their actions aren’t in the interest of the state.

“This has got to stop. I will use every tool in the governor’s office, to fight for everyday North Carolinians, including the courts if necessary,” Cooper said. “If I believe that laws passed by the legislature hurt working families and are unconstitutional, they will see me in court.  And they don’t have a very good track record there.”

Even former Gov. Jim Martin, a Republican who served eight years with a General Assembly controlled by Democrats and fought mightily and not always successfully against efforts to curtail his authority, said this GOP majority was going too far.

It was a sorry display Thursday. It unfortunately will continue today, in a building that is meant to be a shrine to our representative government, but has been transformed to a caldron of vindictiveness and spite.

A court order has mandated that legislative districts be drawn in a fair and legal manner and that elections be conducted in about 10 months. Fairly drawn representative districts and strong competitive candidates in each district will bring fair-minded North Carolinians the opportunity to end the current legislature’s reign of disrespect and disregard. Vote the arrogant bullies out.

13 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Becky Owens Dec 17, 2016
    user avatar

    The person who suggests the anonymous editorial writer might cause WRAL a licensing problem: publishing entities' editorials were always published anonymously. And I applaud the addition of clearly identified "editorial" comment on the .com media. But back to Mr. Young: In this case the voice is that of the CBC, owners of WRAL, and mention of editorials on WRAL reminds me of when the nightly news -- nationally and locally -- concluded with an editorial read on camera. The famous reader, I'll not mention.

  • Teddy Fowler Dec 16, 2016
    user avatar

    I am under the impression that the Democrats pretty much did the same thing to Governor Hunt back in the 70's.... it seems like it's always the Democrats who did these kind of things first....

  • Pete Muller Dec 16, 2016
    user avatar

    Mr. Clinton. It didn't happen in the last 50 years. Please update me for the 50 years before that.

  • Raymond Mclemore Dec 16, 2016
    user avatar

    There is no shame in these politicians. They act like spoiled children. The people deserve justice. One term Pat is the reason for this attack on the voters of North Carolina. The people will be heard.

  • Sheila Moore Dec 16, 2016
    user avatar

    I hope every voter makes a note of every legislator who is participating in this mockery, and makes it their pet project to contact them - via phone, email, text, snail mail, FedEx, Clown-ogram, whatever - at their home or at their work - and let them know how they disapprove of such backroom, petty, nasty, revenge-seeking activity. Then, when it's time for re-elections, I hope every one of them gets voted out. They have proven now, above all else, they value petty retribution over proper government for the people of NC.

  • Matt Clinton Dec 16, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    When does that NOT happen would be the better question.

  • Jacob Young Dec 16, 2016
    user avatar

    Repeal and Replace?

    WRAL anonymous opinion author is coming closer and closer to instigating riots. Having your broadcast license revoked by the FCC is not good for business when you are a TV station.

    What's that old saying, "Cooler heads prevail"?

  • Jim Bob Johnson Dec 16, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    It seems to me that Cooper succeeded while he was AG by doing his job correctly & by upholding the oath to which he was sworn instead of defending the indefensible. It's just unfortunate the GA couldn't do the same, instead choosing to create unconstitutional laws. Their track record at winning in court isn't exactly admirable. But, do feel free to continue to incorrectly place blame if that makes you feel more justified in your world view...

  • David Hartman Dec 16, 2016
    user avatar

    The poor snowflakes, must be gnashing their teeth dreading 4+ years of Trump as POTUS, and their boy Cooper being stripped of all his power.

    Better get those safe zones ready!

  • Paul Donovan Dec 16, 2016
    user avatar

    Maybe Cooper will succeed in the courts now that he has an AG that will do his job.

More...