The hypocrisy and the arrogance of Republican legislative leaders is on full display in the N&O story about last night’s public hearing about the possible closure of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh.
The Republican budget ordered the Department of Public Instruction to decide which of the state’s three residential schools for deaf and blind students to close, prompting an understandably emotional response in Raleigh, Wilson, and Morganton, the cities where the schools are located.
House Appropriations Chair Harold Brubaker said that lawmakers would rather have expanded the schools but “didn’t have the dollars” and had to close one. What he really means of course is that they were determined to cut taxes, even if it meant closing the schools and leaving the students with a disability out in the cold.
Brubaker also told the N&O he didn’t like the decision by DPI officials to hold public hearings. He would rather not let the people affected by his decision have any say in the matter.
Then there’s Rep. Mitch Gillespie from western North Carolina, another powerful member of the House leadership. The N&O points out that Gillespie recently spoke at a public hearing against the closure of the N.C. School for the Deaf in Morganton.
But Gillespie voted for the budget that may force it to be closed. Republican Senator Buck Newton has spoken out against closing the Eastern N.C. School for the Deaf in his hometown of Wilson. Newton too voted for the budget that may close that school.
Gillespie and Newton are now complaining about the impact of the decisions that they themselves made. It is beyond absurd.