North Carolina GOP, Outgoing Republican Governor Curtail Democratic Successor's Powers

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Dec 16, 2016 7:15 PM
North Carolina GOP, Outgoing Republican Governor Curtail Democratic Successor's Powers

North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory may have narrowly lost re-election to Democrat Roy Cooper, but he’s not leaving so quietly. McCrory along with the Republican legislature held a special session in which led to a bill that would curtail some of the governor’s powers prior to Cooper’s inauguration. Cooper, who serves as attorney general for North Carolina, has threatened a lawsuit. Protestors were so loud in the galleries of the legislature that the chambers had to be cleared, according to the Associated Press:

In a surprise special session in the dying days of the old administration, some say, the Republican-dominated legislature has thrown the government into total disarray, introducing bills aimed at emasculating incoming Gov. Roy Cooper's administration.

Cooper, the current attorney general, has threatened to sue. And many in the state are accusing Republicans of letting sour grapes over losing the governor's mansion turn into a legislative coup that flies in the face of voters.

"I believe fervently in democracy. I'm watching it be undermined ... by people who seem unwilling to consider or to listen," said Margaret Toman, who was among hundreds of protesters rallying inside the Legislative Building this week, demanding that Republicans leave Cooper's authority alone.

[…]

Republicans are considering scaling back the number of political appointees Cooper can make and require the Senate's approval for top administrators at state agencies. They also are talking about erasing the governor's ability to shape elections boards statewide.

Earlier this afternoon, that bill passed and was signed into law by outgoing Gov. McCrory (via The Hill):

The bill McCrory signed will limit the governor's power to make appointments to certain state boards including the Board of Elections.

It would create state and county boards of elections with equal numbers of Democratic and Republican members. Until now, the governor appointed three of the five members of the state Board of Elections, and county boards were made up of two members of the governor’s party and one member of the other party.

The measure will also identify candidates running for state Supreme Court seats by their party labels in primary elections. A Democratic candidate ousted a Republican incumbent in November’s elections, though both candidates ran without party labels, leaving a 4-3 Democratic majority on the high court.

Despite rumors, the Republican legislature did not bring up a bill to add more members to the high court.

[…]

McCrory has not said whether he will sign another bill that would require Senate confirmation of the governor’s Cabinet. That bill, which also removes the governor’s ability to appoint members to the University of North Carolina system’s board of trustees, awaits final action in the state House before it reaches McCrory’s desk.

McCrory conceded defeat earlier this month after Cooper’s lead grew to more than 10,300 votes, out of more than 2.6 million votes cast. McCrory and his allies had initially pushed for recounts and raised concerns about illegal voting.

I said it to the Left and now I’ll say it to the Right—some times the other guy wins. Deal with it. McCrory lost the election and instead of leaving with grace, he’s possibly dragging out his duel with Cooper in court over this bill and is coming off as a sore loser, much like Hillary Clinton who is blaming the FBI, Russia, and fake news for her loss. Everything and everyone, but herself, for her shocking defeat to President-elect Donald J. Trump. I would expect the Left to throw a temper tantrum like this after an election defeat, but we’re all human, I guess. Regardless, it’s a rather ugly end to one of the most contentious state elections of 2016.