Chris Fitzsimon and the rest of the portside gang are beside themselves — thinking that the free market terror is going to sweep across the four corners of the beltline and seep into the state’s hinterlands. From what I’m gathering — as a result of talking to behind-the-scenes politicos in Raleigh — things are looking less like harmonious free market reform and more like pitchforks, nooses, torches, tar and feathers.
Quite a few conservative feathers have been ruffled by
Mayor Gov. Pat, Speaker Thom Tillis and other NCGOP leaders backing away from longstanding party platform principles like tax cuts, limited government, voter ID, gun rights, and crime victims’ rights, among others. I spoke with one well-placed member of the state House who is — to put it diplomatically — incensed about recent comments by Mayor Gov. Pat and Thom Tillis:
“The voters gave us an incredible mandate to implement conservative change in Raleigh. We have the votes to really make a difference. Sadly, it appears our leaders are squandering that political capital to push slightly watered down versions of the Democrat agenda. You’ve got a significant number of upset folks in our chamber. If Tillis dares to water down voter ID — I can guarantee he’s going to have a rebellion on his hands.”
I also spoke with a handful of senators who are rather well-placed on Jones Street. One of them told me rather emphatically:
“Speaker Tillis and the rest of the Charlotte mafia need to be reminded that we are the conservative party. We’re not about growing government and raising taxes and mimicking the Democrats. If the governor, the speaker, and the rest of the crew in the lower chamber want to insist on backing a Democrat-lite agenda, the Senate is going to have to act like the true grownups, the conservative firewall. The Senate is not interested in going along with Barack Obama to screw up health care and infringe on people’s second amendment rights. We are about getting government off of people’s backs. We are about putting more money back in people’s pockets so they can make their own decisions about what’s best for themselves and their families.”
It sounds like the white-flag disease that has been afflicting John Boehner, Eric Cantor & co. in DC has spread to a lot of the NCGOP leadership in Raleigh. Lines are being drawn. It appears we may be seeing an awful lot of clashes pitting the state Senate vs. the governor and the state House.