RALEIGH – When state lawmakers came back to Raleigh last week for a special session it appeared a one or two day effort to pass amendment caption rule changes was on hand. Now the special session is assured to creep into Thursday of a second week.
The Republican super-majorities passed two substantial bills early last week: one to relieve a Democrat dominated commission of caption writing duties for the amendment referenda on November’s ballot, and the other to adjust party affiliation rules for select elections.
Both were secondary reactions to a conniving cohort of Democrats that aimed to weasel their way into sinking Republican policies or candidates.
“Our caucus felt very strongly that something needed to be done to prevent these efforts to mislead voters and politicize a very basic administrative process of providing captions for constitutional amendments,” NC House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) told me, before adding, “These amendments have strong support among the public and it is unfortunate that some felt it was necessary to game the system and confuse voters to advance their personal liberal agenda and defeat these common sense proposals.”
Of course, Sec. of State Elaine Marshall and Attorney General Josh Stein, two uber-Liberal that make up a majority of the three-member commission originally assigned caption writing duties, turned up the faux indignation when accused of wanting to sink the amendment’s chances via negative language.
But their ‘Dear Leader’ Gov. Roy Cooper all but let the cat out of the bag when attacking the Republicans for outflanking the Democrats’ sneaky move. Cooper vetoed the caption writing bill Friday, lamenting that the bill prevents language to “more accurately describe” the amendments.
Accurate in the eyes of whom? Cooper, Stein, Marshall…..? Exactly.
That’s why it was most prudent for Republicans to remove that temptation from Democrats by legitimately leveraging their status as a super-majority. If the Democrats don’t like it, they can win elections sufficient to enact their own policies. That’s how representative government works.
The second bill, Senate Bill 3, was passed to combat an even more sinister plot to fool voters and screw over Republicans. Taking advantage of an inconsistency in filing requirements for the state supreme court race (likely due to the recent switch to partisan judicial races), Democrats apparently convinced one of their own to switch party registration days before the filing deadline and enter the race as a Republican inorder to siphon votes away from sitting Justice Barbara Jackson, the Republican, and hand the race to the social justice warrior challenger Anita Earls.
So, Republicans made the filing requirements like all other races – the party affiliation must have been the same for 90 days prior to filing in order to appear on the ballot. So the Democratic Plant will now have no party label next to his name, per SB3.
Cooper vetoed it on Friday as well.
“The governor’s outlandish claim that labeling proposed constitutional amendments as ‘Constitutional Amendments,’ and conforming the filing requirements for judicial candidates to every other public office in the state, is somehow “rigging the system” is a poor attempt to protect political gamesmanship by his party. We will override these vetoes to deliver clear and consistent voter information on ballots this November,” Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement responding to Cooper’s vetoes.
Bell reiterated, “It only makes sense that judicial filing rules are made the same as every other public office in our state. There should be zero tolerance for any effort to purposely mislead voters and I’m very pleased that we acted swiftly to address these abuses.”
So now Cooper and the Democrats, along with all of their media friends, are kicking and screaming like a petulant child that was caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
So, the overrides are coming, but it won’t be until later this week. The chambers checked in Monday afternoon, and promptly adjourned until Thursday. Apparently Cooper vetoed the bills earlier than expected and this “part-time” legislature is full of representatives that have other jobs to attend to during the week.
In the mean time, expect more whining from Cooper & Co. as they work hard to spin a narrative that helps them overcome their legislative leper status in November.