Commentary

State House member to constituents: Spare members from voting on controversial measures

Chuck McGrady

Rep. Chuck McGrady

You have to wonder what was going through Rep. Chuck McGrady’s head the other day when he was composing his latest newsletter for his constituents in House District 117.

McGrady, who has a reputation as a relative moderate in the House GOP caucus, devoted the newsletter to a survey of the conservative social agenda bills making their way through the General Assembly. (As an aside, it’s probably worth noting that, after trying to explain the competing views of each issue in rather sober terms, McGrady ends up noting how he supports the right-wing position on virtually every issue).

The most interesting passage in the newsletter, however, comes toward the very end when, in giving his take on a controversial immigration-related bill, the Henderson County lawmaker concludes this way:

“My guess is this bill has sufficient support to pass the House, but wouldn’t move until it is clear that the Senate will take it up. There is no reason to force Members to vote on a controversial matter if there is no chance that the other chamber will take up the bill.” (Emphasis supplied).

To which all most constituent would probably say in reply is: “Say what? Is this a constituent newsletter or a strategy document for other politicians?”

Why in the world would an elected official tell his constituents that he shouldn’t have to vote on a controversial matter because members of another house in the legislature may not follow suit? Sure, such a conclusion is common, inside-the-beltline, political consultant’s wisdom, but it seems an exceedingly odd public admission to make to those who one represents. After all, one would presume that most voters send their legislators to Raleigh precisely for the purpose of voting on controversial measures, not to look for reasons to avoid such votes — much less to cop excuses based on insider political advice in one’s weekly newsletter.

One Comment


  1. Rob Schofield

    June 9, 2015 at 11:04 am

    A friend suggests that at least McGrady is being refreshingly candid. Maybe. Will be interesting to see if anyone in his district is paying attention.

Check Also

Burr and Tillis stick to their irresponsible, NRA-funded lines in aftermath of Florida high school massacre

Raleigh’s News & Observer reports this morning that ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

On a sultry day last September, Megan Stilley arrived at Lanier Farms, a large swine operation in ru [...]

When North Carolina lawmakers approved what one Republican described as a “historic” investment in r [...]

Lawmakers late last week released two new versions of a judicial redistricting bill, making these th [...]

An omnibus bill alleviating some of the headaches associated with North Carolina’s class size crisis [...]

The General Assembly’s latest mashup legislation is an example of government at its worst In the com [...]

The post Tied up in knots appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Every day brings new reports that Congress is interested in further whittling away at the programs c [...]

When Congress finally passed a continuing resolution last month allowing the government to re-open, [...]

Upcoming Events

Friday, Feb. 16

12:00 PM

Crucial Conversation – Prof. Peter Edelman discusses his new book, Not a Crime to be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

Prof. Edelman is coming to the Triangle to mark the 50th anniversary of Durham-based nonprofit MDC. His visit is the first of a series of MDC-sponsored events focused on ways that Southern leaders can work together to create an Infrastructure of Opportunity that shapes a South where all people thrive.”