Raleigh’s News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer call it “a shameless theft of democracy”:
Not only was the House vote dishonest, it was carried out by a Republican majority that courts have repeatedly found to have gained seats through illegal gerrymandering. It was an illegitimate majority acting in an unethical way. These Republicans may be incapable of shame, but North Carolinians should be outraged. First by gerrymandering and now by a high-handed vote, something new has been taken from them. It’s called democracy.
The Wilmington Star-News called it “a sad day for cherished principles of democracy”:
This is not about conservative principles. This is an unprincipled power grab and a slap in the face to the North Carolinians who have seen Republicans try to disenfranchise them in the voting booth, in the districts they are placed in, and now by essentially nullifying their elected representatives’ voice in Raleigh. Is that really what the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan has come to — absolute contempt for trying to follow the will of the people?
Meanwhile, a Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com called on Triangle-area Republican senators to do the honorable thing. Here’s the conclusion:
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!