Pope, public opinion could help McCrory with legislature

Posted January 12, 2013

— State Republican leaders call the administration of Gov. Pat McCrory a historic opportunity to move their agenda.

McCrory's inauguration marks the first time since Reconstruction that Republicans control North Carolina's General Assembly and the executive branch.

"Our philosophy of where to proceed I think is pretty consistent," the governor said recently.

"I think that there will be, in many respects, a philosophical meeting of the minds," Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said.

That doesn't necessarily mean smooth sailing, however. Single-party rule hasn't always been peaceful or cooperative through the years.

Still, House Speaker Thom Tillis said he thinks Republican lawmaker and McCrory will be able to work out any differences.

"I think, for the most part, it's like family arguments, you know. They end peacefully," Tillis said. "Will we have differences? Of course, we will."

McCrory will be at a disadvantage whenever those differences crop up, according to David McLennan, a political science professor at William Peace University in Raleigh.

Republican super-majorities in the House and Senate can easily override any potential veto.

"The House and the Senate, on the surface, appear to have all the numbers they need to have to get through all of their legislative agenda," McLennan said. "Then, the governor will be put in an awkward position if he doesn't like whatever bill hits his desk."

McCrory has positioned himself as more moderate than lawmakers, especially on controversial issues like requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Yet, McLennan said, the governor can choose other ways to influence lawmakers, he said, noting he has some powerful options, such as his budget chief, longtime Republican donor Art Pope.

"I think Art Pope is going to be the kind of power broker in the executive mansion to try to move the House and Senate for the governor. He is working for the governor, not House or the Senate," he said.

McCrory also has the advantage of public opinion because his poll numbers are much better than the legislature's, McLennan said.

"He's got some honeymoon time left," he said. "He's in his first few weeks, and the General Assembly doesn't convene again until (Jan. 30), so he's got some time to build up goodwill."


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  • jlp Jan 15, 2013

    "WE WON, GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!!!" - driverkid3

    Did you really win though? We will ask you again in 4 years. I suspect a lot of people are in for a bad case of buyers remorse here.

  • driverkid3 Jan 15, 2013

    Another four people stoming their little feet and throwing hissy fits because they aren't getting thier way again. Like your idol says, WE WON, GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!!!

  • kirkmanr Jan 15, 2013

    There's nothing controversial about Voter ID. It's a waste of money ($20 million or so) because it won't fix a non-existent problem that has already been solved. The argument for Voter ID is as thin as a JPEG of a shadow on a cloudy day. The voter has to sign their name to a piece of paper that the Elections Board keeps and which the Board has an electronic copy of which the voter signed in while he or she showed the Board their birth certificate. Using a signature for identification has been used for hundreds of years and has a ton of legal precedent.
    Twenty years ago conservatives were hyperventilating over the idea that there would be a National Identity Card, equating it to registration of firearms. Now they have switched 180 degrees. What happened? They realize they're losing?

  • SARCASTICLES Jan 14, 2013

    Art Pope is such a nice guy, he's doing his job as Budget Czar for free.......only because he and Statthalter McCrory are such pals.

    Don't worry a bit about any insider influence on NC state laws and policy.

  • jlp Jan 14, 2013

    What differences? All republicans think with the same broken brain. I am sure there will be many lockstep votes in the months to come. Basically Art Pope will give them their legislation and they will vote yes and Art Pope will tell 1st Assistant Puppet McCory to rubber stamp it. Corrupt Governemnt for Dummies, Chapter 1.

    Good choice on the picture for this story. Now the readers can confirm who is actually running this state now.

  • pbjbeach Jan 13, 2013

    I personal fail to see how thatthetstate of north carolina an it's states agencys could possibly benefit from the partnering with private firms can possibly benefit the states taxpaying citizen in any shap form or fashion. as that the currently existing of any parterning agreements with the state an or it's indivsual agencys can be nothing but a disaster for the states taxpying citizens jut look at the disasterious result of such programs that are currently existing within the NCDOT an it agencys thers has exisated an still exist nothing but fraud waste an total mis-mangament of taxpayers funding with in the NCDOT an the allowance of bad non-specefication work to occur without there being any form of accountablity an no one at the NCDOT IS UTLIMATELY HELD RESPONSIBLY no one at all. these current republican so called legistive leaders need to look deeply into these issues an stop the allowance of the totaly extractism of funding out tot he public coffers that are funding the NCDOT an l

  • davidgnews Jan 13, 2013

    Is Art working for the Governor, or is it the other way around? Let's hope not.