Carney: 'I feel rotten' about accidental fracking vote

Posted July 3, 2012

State House lawmakers have apparently accidentally legalized fracking in North Carolina, due to a deciding vote one Democrat says was a mistake.

Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg, says she did not intend to cast the key vote that overrode the governor's veto of the bill.  

The vote was 72-47, exactly the number needed for an override. Without Carney's vote, the veto would have been sustained. 

Carney characterized her vote as "very accidental."

"It is late. Here we are rushing to make these kind of decisions this time of night," she said.

Carney pointed out that she has voted against fracking in the past, and said she spent the day lobbying other Democrats to uphold the veto of Senate Bill 820.

"And then I push the green button," she said.

Just after the vote, Carney's voice could be heard on her microphone, saying "Oh my gosh. I pushed green."

Carney said she turned her light on, but Speaker Thom Tillis would not recognize her, so she went to the front to speak to him.

"I made a mistake, and I tried to get recognized to change it, as people have been doing all night on other bills, and it was too late," Carney said. "Because it would have changed the outcome of the vote."

Under House rules, members can change their vote if they've made a mistake - unless the change would affect the bill's passage. 

"I feel rotten, and I feel tired," Carney said. "And I feel that mistakes are made constantly when people are tired. And I feel rotten about it, but I take responsibility for my vote."

As soon as the vote was cast, House Minority Leader Paul Stam used a procedural move called a "clincher" to ensure the veto override could not be reconsidered.

Other House Democrats who voted for the override were Reps. Kelly Alexander and Rodney Moore, Mecklenburg; Rep. Bill Brisson, Bladen; Rep. Dewey Hill, Columbus; and Rep. Suzi Hamilton, New Hanover. 

The Senate had overridden the veto on the fracking bill earlier Monday. The measure is now law. 


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  • Come On_Seriously Jul 9, 2012

    Hmmm... Lots of Mecklenburg County votes for fracking to join the expected Brisson and Hill who might as well be Rs- Carney along with Reps. Kelly Alexander and Rodney Moore. 3 of the 6 from Meck? I wonder what Charlotte's getting out of this deal?

  • catgirl Jul 9, 2012

    Word has it the vote WASN'T a mistake. Carney made a deal with the Speaker...bet she's a committee chair next session...hmmmm? Another self righteous Dem sells a vote!

  • pedsrndad Jul 3, 2012

    This "mistaken" vote is probably by a politician who knew what was best for the people of NC and voted the way she intended but is now doing a little CYA to cover her position within the failing Democratic Party.

  • Spock Jul 3, 2012

    "I feel rotten, and I feel tired," Carney said. -- go with it.

  • penguin Jul 3, 2012

    Red, green - so similar that it's hard to tell the difference. Just like at stoplights.

  • North Raleigh Dad Jul 3, 2012

    Ummmm..... Is that like "I was for the veto before I was against it?"

    Gotta love them Dems

  • praygibson Jul 3, 2012

    This was no accident. If it was, she is extremely incompetent. This would be the second time she "accidentally" voted. Either way, she needs to go. Additionally, the peasants of NC need to REVOLT!

  • iwannareply Jul 3, 2012

    I am trying to work up some sympathy for her....so far it has failed. Maybe if legislators were paid more, they could pay attention.......legislators need a raise anyway, but Jack and Jill Sixpack in NC do not need a raise.

  • GoBlue Jul 3, 2012

    Lol, I am sure it was an "accident".

  • Pirate01 Jul 3, 2012

    However it happened it was a great move for North Carolina and yet another defeat for Bev and the dems. Bev also vetoed the first raise for teachers in YEARS!!! We see what side the dems are on!