Senate leader: Efforts to help military communities avoid federal cuts just a “publicity stunt”

Phil BergerNorth Carolina Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger was once a semi-reasonable guy. Conservative? Certainly. But during the first several years of his tenure in Raleigh, Berger mostly came across in a way you might expect from a middle-aged, small town, Republican lawyer: Traditional and pro-business, but pleasant, intelligent and friendly enough. Though progressives seldom found themselves agreeing with Berger, he was someone who with whom a person could have a discussion (and maybe even find some common ground).

Something happened in recent years, however, to the old Phil Berger. Especially since he became Senate leader and developed ambitions for higher office (either for himself or his kid), the old, semi-friendly small town lawyer has been replaced by a meaner, edgier, much more reactionary Phil Berger. Sometimes you almost feel as if you’re watching someone trying to play a role. His policies and policy statements are uniformly reactionary and harsh while those of his staff members are frequently even more extreme.

For a case in point, check out this story in today’s Fayetteville Observer. It’s about an effort that advocates at the NC Justice Center have launched to call attention to the disastrous consequences that would befall North Carolina if the federal budget “sequester” goes into effect. Mind you, the damage that would be caused by sequestration would be simply enormous — especially to military dependent communities like Fayetteville. This fact explains in large measure why so many conservative, pro-military politicians of both parties have spoken against the idea (people like John McCain and Lindsay Graham).

Yesterday, the Justice Center arranged a conference call in which some state legislators pleaded for the federal colleagues to avoid sequester. Unfortunately, the wisdom of the idea of state lawmakers standing up for their state doesn’t seem to have occurred to the 2.0 version of Senator Berger or his staff. This is from the Observer article:

It appears unlikely that the letter will get much support in the Republican-controlled legislature.

“We are not engaging in the left-wing N.C. Justice Center’s daily publicity stunts,” said Amy Auth, spokeswoman for state Senate leader Phil Berger, in an email. “They should voice their concerns with federal legislation to our federal legislators.”

You got that? Calling on Congress to do something that would save thousands of jobs in already struggling communities and that’s favored by John McCain and Lindsay Graham is a “left-wing publicity stunt.”  

Good grief. Have things really gotten this posionous on Jones Street?

Of course, in fairness, an honest person has to admit that Berger does know at least something about such matters; his performance as Senate leader over the last few years does appear to amount to one big publicity stunt.   



  1. Jeff S

    February 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Wait… are you arguing against military cuts, simply because they might happen to be local?

    It’s hard to tell lately, as the “point” of most pieces is just to point fingers and call names.

  2. Doug

    February 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    I am not sure why you are against this…your president was the main author of the sequester. The progressive view has also traditionally been that military cuts are good with no cuts to welfare entitlements. You get what you want but are against it once it is going to happen. I guess nothing should surprise me when it comes to progressive hypocracy.

  3. Frances Jenkins

    February 21, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Is this part of the Blueprint Plan? I think you boys are in trouble.

  4. BitterEXdemocrackkk

    February 22, 2013 at 7:00 am

    NC has been enduring ‘MEAN’ , corrupt, evil, and criminal democrackkks for 140+ years, so Mr. Berger
    is simply following NC ‘tradition’ !!!

    Get over it, the ‘crackkks LOST and we intend to KEEP them OUT forever!!!

  5. Frances Jenkins

    February 22, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Did Chris, Rob, Sarah, Greg write the memo for Blueprint or are they following the memo just printed in in the N/O and C/O? I know a nonprofit cannot get involved in a partisan matter like providing the speech for Larry Hall as the Democrat response to the Governor. English teachers/ college professors have the ability to identify cheating in the written word through various programs. If every speech or newspaper article that opposed SB4, SB10 was processed through this filter, I think a lot of people would have a red face and their character would be on the line. I am very disappointed when people are dishonest. After demonizing Art Pope for months for his use of money to control politics, it appears the pot is calling out the kettle practices and they are doing the same thing with Z Smith Reynolds money. As least Pope was legal and no IRS laws were broken. Now who is going to step out and call out this practice as illegal and dishonest as you pursue truth, justice and the removal of poverty?

  6. Rob Schofield

    February 22, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Frances: You are, as usual, delusional on multiple levels.

  7. […] These comments — particularly the first one — contrast sharply with yesterday’s statement from Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s office that efforts by advocates to call attention to the threat of sequestration were “a publicity […]

  8. Frances Jenkins

    February 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    That is exactly what Senator Edwards said to the NE about the child.

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