Archives

Uncategorized

Picture of Becky  CarneyAs I wrote earlier this morning, Rep. Becky Carney deserves a big raspberry for her inexplicable and accidental vote to pass the fracking veto override last night. Progressivees are slapping their foreheads all over the state at the gaffe.

But here’s the thing, it should never have been an issue. Votes in the General Assembly are changed literally dozens of times per day after the fact by lawmakers who were not paying attention during votes and/ or, truth be told, by people who change their minds after the fact.

That Speaker Thom Tillis employed a kind of “gotcha” tactic to seize upon Carney’s error and deny her the chance to change her vote because it would “change the outcome of the vote” — even when she called his attention to it almost immediately — is but the latest example of his ongoing effort to bring the mean-spirited, cutthroat politics of Congress to North Carolina.  He simply did not have to do it and could have allowed her to make the change.

The bottom line: The victory for fracking  proponents occurred even though the proposal did not and does not actually enjoy the support of the constitutionally-required majority of the General Assembly.  Like an athlete who knows he failed to comply with the rules of a sport (or their spirit) and “wins” on an official’s incorrect call, Speaker Tillis took North Carolina yet another step away from cordiality and common decency in governing.

Uncategorized

 For immediate release July 3, 2012

Contact: Dan Crawford, Director of Governmental Relations, NC League of Conservation Voters, dan@nclcv.org, 919-839-0020 or (c)919-539-1422.

RALEIGH – The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) announced today it is rescinding its “Rising Star” award given to Rep. Susi Hamilton on June 20th. The award was given to Hamilton for her pro-environmental record in her first term as a legislator at NCLCV’s annual Green Tie Award dinner in Raleigh. Representative Hamilton voted to override Governor Beverly Perdue’s courageous veto of SB 820, an ill-conceived, controversial bill which would allow fracking in North Carolina without insuring the proper safeguards to protect public health, drinking water, and property rights. Read More

Uncategorized

Here are some preliminary thoughts about last night’s circus at the State Legislative Building and the online post mortem that’s been continuing right along in the hours since:

#1 – There’s compromise and then there’s plain old selling out. I’m currently plowing my way through Robert Caro’s latest tome on the life and times of Lyndon Johnson and I’ve spent many, many years lobbying the General Assemblies of two different states so I know all about political realities and the frequent necessity of compromise to get things done. That is not what happened last night at the General Assembly with the supposedly progressive lawmakers who voted with the conservatives in power. Compromise happens when smart people make strategic decisions in an effort to advance (or at least preserve) a coherent  agenda. Selling out is when ambitious, unprincipled and/or delusional individuals make deals that benefit themselves personally at the expense of the greater good. 

#2 – Most biting (and accurate) online commentary – Multiple online commenters have referred to Rep. Susi Hamilton’s late night skedaddle from the House floor on the budget vote and her vote for the fracking override in exchange for the extension of a tax giveaway to the movie industry (Rep. Hamilton is from the Wilmington area and has reportedly rented her home to movie industry employees) as the equivalent of selling out her party and principles for “30 pieces of silver.” The critique is not quite accurate; actually it was 60 million pieces.

#3- Wake up!! Rep. Becky Carney is a nice person who’s done some good things during her many years in Raleigh Read More

Uncategorized

If you’re anywhere near Raleigh tomorrow, please consider taking just a few minutes out of your day to participate in a brief but important protest being organized by and on behalf of people excluded from the state lawmaking process during the last 16 months.  

A coalition of progressive groups is calling on protesters to gather across from the Legislative Building at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday for a “Pots and Spoons protest” modeled on the “cacerolazo” protests that frequently occur in Spanish-speaking countries. It should be a lot of fun.

Also, in an ironic and not surprising development for a group that wouldn’t recognize irony if it was standing right in front of them, the troubled souls at Americans for the Prosperous have announced that they will be on hand to tout their big dollar, Art Pope financed ad campaign in defense of the conservative General Assembly and to distribute earplugs. What better symbol for the the closed-minded people running the General Assembly?

Click here for more information.

Uncategorized

As reported previously in this space, one of the myriad screw-ups of the disconnected and tone deaf General Assembly leadership in recent months was its absurd decision to evict a group of silent demonstrators from the second floor of the Legislative Building back in February — a place in which the Speaker of the House was only too happy to receive a group of Tea Party protesters a few months before.

Now comes word that House and Senate Democrats are calling on the embattled House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger to clarify the rules regarding access to the public space. Here’s a letter from the House and Senate Minority Leaders (Rep. Joe Hackney and Sen. Martin Nesbitt) that was delivered yesterday: Read More