RALEIGH – House Bill 1029 was passed with bipartisan support. The bill reverts the State Board of Elections back to it’s ‘pre-reform’ structure, essentially handing Gov. Roy ‘sue-til-blue’ Cooper and Democrats a victory.
However, Cooper vetoed the bill, and is now lobbying the public call on lawmakers to let the veto stand.
Cooper obviously does not want this bill to become law, but, if there were such issue with certain provisions, why did it pass with such broad bipartisan support? You’d think Democrat lawmakers would have stood in unison against something if it was as bad as Cooper makes it out to be.
The truth is, though, that Cooper is only interested in making sure HE has complete control of the Board and influence in such campaign finance investigations. That’s why he is kicking and screaming about the bill becoming law; it reverts the structure back to the way it was, but it shields the investigatory functions from undue influence by the governor while limiting their scope.
If Cooper were serious about wanting complete transparency in investigations, why doesn’t he instruct the current Board to immediately release ALL records from the Board’s 9th District investigation? He has the power to do so.
While frustrating to the public, such investigations are confidential for a reason. If evidence and investigation records were released in real time it may corrupt and scatter additional targets the body needs to pursue. Cooper also wants H.B. 1029 killed for a reason; he wants full control of the Board’s powers for himself, so that he may wield them against his political enemies.
There is nothing unusual or sneaky about this bill. It is just an unwelcome sight for a Democrat in the governor’s mansion that wants to protect his arsenal of partisan weapons against a Republican legislative majority.
That majority is getting smaller come January, however. So this may be the last veto override opportunity Republicans have for a while. Future override attempts will require some help from Democrats. There are a few moderate Democrats that are apt to side with Republicans here and there, but it is not a sure bet.
Despite Cooper’s plea, lawmakers will override the veto of H.B. 1029 Thursday. You can listen in here.