In a deceitful display of raw power, Republican leaders of the NC General Assembly changed from smiling helpers of hurricane victims to greedy manipulators determined to expand their power, even as the federal courts said their legislative districts (and election) were illegitimate.
Bills introduced on December 14 use a combination sledge hammer and surgical knife to dramatically change the court system, board of elections, public education, and a host of other institutions for only one purpose – to give Elephants more turf to control in the face of a few Donkeys winning key elections. We must fight for the good of the whole and hope that at least a few Elephants realize this is not a high school game but a shameful betrayal of their promise of public service.
Senate Bill 4 is one glaring example of the legislation aimed at rigging the system to undercut the election of Roy Cooper as Governor and Michael Morgan as Supreme Court justice. Among its many provisions, the bill:
** Combines the underfinanced, overworked State Board of Elections with the lobbyist regulation office and Ethics Commission into one agency that will collapse under the burden of its workload, with oversight falling even further behind and an expanded opportunity for partisan gridlock in lobbying, ethics and campaign finance regulation. The bill provides no new money to support the new agency, which compounds existing problems.
** Expands the county boards of elections to four bipartisan members and mandates that a Republican must be the chair of all 100 county boards of elections in every even-numbered year, when legislative, Congressional and statewide elections are held.
** Subverts the power of the NC Supreme Court by expanding jurisdiction of the Republican-majority NC Court of Appeals and adding enormous delays in any appeal involving, for example, a state constitutional challenge or redistricting lawsuit.
Bullying far-reaching legislation quickly through the General Assembly is a mistake. These are the actions of desperate losers, power mad white men, willing to destroy any institution and the public’s hope for rational government just to keep a political advantage. So sad, so deplorable.
Democracy North Carolina
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