Editorial: Senators Alexander, Burgin, Horner & Jackson -- Time to step up!

Posted September 12, 2019 5:00 a.m. EDT

CBC Editorial: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019; Editorial #8463
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company.

Really, “All’s fair in love and politics.”

No. It is not.

Honesty and integrity matter. Always.

Is there anything worse that can be said of someone – that they cannot be trusted?

Ask House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland. On Wednesday, Sept. 11, he demonstrated he cannot be trusted after abruptly calling votes to override two of Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes – including the budget -- with just 9 of 55 Democrats present and voting. Republicans had 55 of their 65 members present and voting.

Ask House Rules and Redistricting Committee Chair David Lewis, R-Harnett. He can’t be trusted. It appears he was the source of deceptive information that led Democrats to understand there were to be NO VOTES during the Wednesday morning session of the House.

Why Wednesday morning? Was it payback following a contentious exchange the day before at a House Redistricting Committee meeting?

Rep. Zack Hawkins, D-Durham, pointedly asked Lewis, chairman of the committee, if he and others directly involved in the gerrymandering litigation, given the court order not to use political voting data in developing the new maps, should recuse themselves from the current process. A demonstrably irritated Lewis said he didn’t see any conflict. A few minutes later Lewis loudly gaveled the meeting to a close.

All this shows it is time for the legislature to simply end its futile efforts to draw new districts. There is no trust left. Let the court appoint a special master who will do the job as the judges’ direct.

Now, consideration of the vetoes moves to the state Senate.

There is the opportunity for the senators – regardless of political party or position on the budget – to restore the honesty and trust in the legislative process destroyed by the House.

Senators must stand up for integrity in the General Assembly. Republican John Alexander who represents Wake County, along with Jim Burgin, Rick Horner and Brent Jackson who represent portions of Johnston County – need to vote to send the two bills back to the House. Tell the House it will take up the bills ONLY AFTER there has been an open and honest debate and vote involving all the representatives.

If the Senate overrides the veto, it accepts the tactics of the House and partners in the deception. It is legislators’ obligation to act fairly, openly and honestly. That is not too much to expect from the legislature.

Alexander, Burgin, Horner and Jackson -- Time to step up!

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