RALEIGH – Gov. Roy Cooper is suing the legislature over a couple of amendments slated to appear on the November ballot, essentially because they would limit his authority. He is opposed to voters themselves having a chance to decide how to limit different government branch roles, and it looks like he is getting reinforcements from former North Carolina governors. All of them.
“All five of North Carolina’s living former governors will gather Monday to campaign against a pair of proposed constitutional amendments that would shift power from the governor to the legislature.
Former Gov. Jim Martin, the only North Carolina Republican to serve two terms in the office, is organizing the event. The group will gather for a press conference in the old House chambers at the State Capitol Building, then huddle for a private strategy session, Martin said Friday.
Former Govs. Pat McCrory, Bev Perdue, Mike Easley and Jim Hunt will join Martin at the event. Current Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has sued to keep the two targeted amendments off the ballot this November, uniting the current and former governors on the matter. Martin and McCrory are Republicans, the rest are Democrats.”
The Leftist media will naturally gravitate toward the ‘bipartisan’ group of governors standing up to oppose a ‘power hungry’ Republican legislature, because that is supportive of their narrative.
But political labels here are not nearly as relevant as the fact that all of these individuals share the title, ‘former governor.’ It is no surprise, then, that these ‘former governors’ are united in opposing amendments that would further weaken an already fragile gubernatorial post in the Old North State.
As such, their opposition does not speak to the merit of the issues, but to their partial perspective as former chief executives that wish they had more power, and bristle at the notion of voters limiting those powers even further.
“Republican leadership in the General Assembly has repeatedly noted that North Carolina has always vested most of the government’s power in the state legislature, and they describe the boards and commissions amendment as a clarifying one. Cooper’s lawsuit and a separate suit targeting these amendments argues that the ballot language voters are slated to see in November is misleading on this point and on others.
A spokesman for House Speaker Tim Moore said voters deserve a chance to vote on a new way to fill judicial vacancies, and GOP leaders have promised a more transparent process than the behind-closed-doors way governors have filled these jobs. A commission would be set up under the proposal to vet candidates, though decisions would be left up to the legislature.
“These governors enjoyed unfettered discretion to make judicial vacancy appointments for decades, so it’s no surprise they oppose returning this power to the people with a democratic process,” Moore spokesman Joseph Kyzer said in an email.”
As much as we like to decry the power of governments, even Republican legislatures, to fuel Big Government and fund special interest programs with taxpayer money, our constitution and common sense regarding representative government clearly tell us that the legislative branch deserves more authority than the executive and judicial branches.
It is, by definition, the most representative branch, with the most accountability. Hundreds of district representatives elected every two years, or one statewide executive that can squeak in to office on a 50 percent + 1 victory – which is the more appropriate branch to hold broader authorities?
Cooper, and the Left, and these former Democrat and Republican former governors, are inclined to say the ‘separation of powers’ issue is under attack here. But is it really?
The McCrory v. Berger case dealt with a struggle over commission appointment authorities between the governor and the legislature, but the judicial opinions stated the constitution needed more clarity to reinforce the authority of the legislature. That’s what these amendments will do.
While Cooper is suing to prevent the amendments from ever reaching the ballot, it is unclear if the five former governors are asking them to be removed from the ballot referenda or if they are simply campaigning against them.
The latter would be a great deal more democratic that Cooper’s approach that denies voters a voice on their own government, and insults their intelligence at the same time.
We’ll see just how brazen the governors are in defending their titles. McCrory’s performance will be especially interesting because he could be gearing up for another run for governor in 2020. How will opposing the Republican super-majority, and possibly a majority of voters, play for him in a Republican primary?