RALEIGH – State lawmakers did pretty well in keeping the short legislative session short, adjourning before the Independence Day holiday, having passed a budget adjustments bill, and added half a dozen constitutional amendments to the November ballot. However, it became apparent over the weekend that there may be some unfinished business on Jones Street to attend to this week. Monday that rumor was confirmed.
Those constitutional amendments involve crafting language for each one, not only that which goes on the ballot, but also short summaries of the amendments for distribution to the voting public. Turns out the latter responsibility is statutorily assigned to a three-person commission made up of Democrats Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Attorney General Josh Stein, and Republican Legislative Services Officer Paul Coble.
Do you think it’s a good idea for two big time Leftists to be responsible for describing the amendments proposed by Republican super-majorities? One that likes to confer state powers to illegal aliens and an other that violated ethics rules in order to sink the State’s voter ID appeal to the supreme court? Yeah, no.
Neither did Republican leadership, apparently. House Rules Chairman David Lewis (R-Harnett) reportedly wrote the Speaker of the House over the weekend with concerns about this commission and the danger that the forces of the Left will seek to distort the descriptive language of the amendments in an effort to weigh down their chances of passage. Ya think?
Democrats and their friends in the press have been railing against the proposed amendments since day one, arguing that the ballot language itself will be unfairly favorable, and suggesting the three-person commission do its part to balance that out with more ‘realistic’ descriptions to inform the public. Also read as, ‘do your best to sink these amendments.’
Particularly on the issues of voter ID, and appointment processes for judicial vacancies, the Left is terrified that voters will see the common sense proposals for what they are, and so they must do anything available to paint them as naked power grabs or racist Republican ploys.
The commission has been maintaining appearances, announcing a public comment period and public meeting schedule to write the language for the amendments. The first meeting is set for July 31, next Tuesday.
That is, if the commission is still the one writing the amendment captions for public dissemination by then. Because this Tuesday, lawmakers will be back on Jones Street to tackle this issue, and possibly others that have popped up in recent weeks.