RALEIGH – North Carolina Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown (R-Onslow) are out of town as the House looks ready to take up an expansion of government healthcare to appease the Democratic minority and obstinate governor. Actually, they’re out of the country, and that means different members of leadership are in charge while they are gone.
And I believe @RalphHise & @billrabon have been notified of the absence of @SenatorBerger & @SenHarryBrown from the country. Unlike some elected officials when certain constitutional officers keep their travel schedules secret from those in the line of succession. #NCPOL https://t.co/RPx4cNqlg9
— Brent Woodcox (@BrentWoodcox) July 9, 2019
‘Some elected officials’ here is Roy Cooper. Recently, Governor Cooper took a trip out of state, which is not unusual. What is unusual is that Cooper never notified the Office of Lieutenant Governor about the travel. When the governor leaves the state, the lieutenant governor is supposed be in charge, and so it’d be nice if they were actually notified of that temporary promotion.
Aside from the travel schedules and lines of succession, though, curiosity about where Berger and Brown are jetting off to is just as interesting. We are hearing the destination was Berlin, Germany. That raises questions about what state business they are pursuing over in the deutschland.
North Carolina officials have long pursued landing an auto-manufacturer in the Old North State, which would mean thousands of jobs and a lot of associated economic development. Unfortunately these pursuits usually involve granting misguided tax incentives, but that’s another story. There are a handful of big name car companies in Germany – BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche – as well as some globally recognized industrial conglomerates like Siemens. If the senate leaders’ trip was indeed to Berlin, might they be courting one of these manufacturers, luring them to make investments in North Carolina?