#ncga: Look who’s back in town!

They’re already making a mess in DC.  And just as we’re coming down from the trauma of THEIR return, the Raleigh crowd is deciding to put in an appearance at our expense.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the honorables — and, in some cases, we are using that term veeeeeeeerrrrrry loosely — are back in town ready to run your life and spend your money.  Things will be a little different this time.  Yes, Mr. Apodaca is still prowling the Senate chamber in search of fresh meat.  On the House side, Thom Tillis has moved on to bigger shakedown and influence peddling…

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#ncga#ncpol: Courts chief, Berger knock heads over gay marriage

We reported earlier about a pretty harsh memo from the Administrative Office of The Courts explaining that court officials have two choices regarding gay marriages: perform them, or quit.  On October 10, an Obama-appointed federal judge in the People’s Republic of Buncombe got creative in tossing out the marriage amendment to the North Carolina constitution. On October 24, Republican leaders in The General Assembly fired off a note to AOC director John Smith expressing their displeasure with his office’s mandate regarding gay marriage.  On November 5, Smith fired back: […] I am concerned that reliance by our magistrates upon Title…

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#ncpol: A Berger-Tillis split on gay marriage?

The past legislative session was marked by the GOP-dominated House and the GOP-dominated Senate often taking different paths.  It appears that trend is continuing here out-of-session as the leaders of the two chambers appear to have different approaches to the newly-discovered “right” to gay “marriage” in North Carolina. State House speaker Thom Tillis — the GOP’s standard bearer in the US Senate race — filled out a candidate questionnaire from the NC Family Policy Council.  He reportedly did not answer a question about whether he thought homosexuals should become a protected class (like blacks and women)  under federal anti-discrimination laws….

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Coal Ash combat

In DC, Barry Obama is preparing to go to war against the Islamic State.  In Raleigh, Pat McCrory is barricaded inside his Blount Street residence preparing for battle against his fellow Republicans in the General Assembly. The subject of this Oak City discord?  Coal Ash: Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday announced he will let the coal ash bill become law without his signature, saying it contains important protections that need to go into effect immediately but also illegally undermines the authority of the executive branch. The governor’s decision sets up a potential constitutional showdown with a state legislature controlled by…

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Gov. Pat takes a page from Thad Cochran’s political playbook

In Mississippi, when incumbent US senator Thad Cochran appeared to be going down in flames to Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel, GOP establishment types sold their souls and threw in with Democrats to fend off the conservative hordes.  It looks like Pat McCrory — apparently unable to get his fellow GOPers in the General Assembly to listen to him — is taking a page out of that Mississippi playbook: Trying to drum up support for Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget veto threat, his education adviser Eric Guckian sent an email to lobbyists for education-related groups, about a half dozen school superintendents,…

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Gov. Pat takes to state-owned media to bash his own party

The ”I-told-you-so’s” from my conservative Charlotte amigos are reaching a crescendo.  They warned me — and anyone else who would listen prior to the election — that Pat McCrory would not hesitate to throw his fellow Republicans under the bus. Over the last week, we’ve seen the Republican governor go after the GOP-run state Senate in a manner that would make Jim Hunt, Mike Easley, and Bev Perdue proud.  Gov. Pat went on UNC Public Radio today — a venue where a state government official is NOT likely to get hostile questions — to continue his assault:  Republican Gov. Pat…

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#NCGA: If Gov. Pat wants a fight, Mr. Berger is glad to give him one.

The media, Democrats, and Bill Barber’s rabble have tried to pitch us a narrative about some unified Republican front in Raleigh.  Unfortunately, all we’ve been able to see lately  is the Charlotte mafia — led by Speaker Thom and Gov. Pat — taking swing after swing at senate president pro tem (and fellow Republican) Phil Berger and his team in the General Assembly’s upper chamber. I’ve been watching the political silliness up-close at the state and national level for more than a quarter century.  I really don’t understand the logic here.  Speaker Thom wants to move up to the US…

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#NCGA: McCrory, Tillis, media gang up on Senate Republicans in budget fight

In budget reconciliation talks, the Senate has backed away from their insistence on dropping teacher tenure in exchange for pay raises. Smelling blood, Gov. Pat, Speaker Thom, and the drive-by media are pushing for even more: […] School superintendents from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district as well as Cumberland and Dare counties said the cut to teacher assistants would cost hundreds of jobs in the bigger districts and hurt the schools’ ability to meet the requirement that most children read at grade level before being promoted to fourth grade. House negotiators asked them to speak Wednesday during the hour of morning…

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#NCPOL: Gov Pat forced to lay in the bed he made

It’s pretty clear — from the background conversations I am having —  that things are a bit frosty between the governor’s office and many of the Republican honorables on Jones Street. A lot of the problem seems to be rooted in a lack of communication.   Legislators are being told one thing by McCrory’s staff about the governor’s policy positions, and then are hearing something totally different from the governor in media coverage.  For a long time, it’s been a professional courtesy for legislators to be consulted when appointments are made within their districts.  Some legislators are telling me that they are…

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#NCGA: McCrory blasts Senate for respecting state constitution & concept of balanced budgets

The North Carolina constitution requires a balanced budget.  Gov. Pat and Speaker Thom got together and submitted a revised budget plan that does not balance. Speaker Thom whipped his troops into shape and passed his deal with the governor through the House. The Senate sent it back – without voting on it — because it did not comply with the law.  And that has ol’ Pat miffed:   Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday demanded the state Senate take a vote on a education spending plan he supports a day after the chamber’s GOP leaders dismissed the legislation outright. “I’m very disappointed…

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