#ncga: Cooper VETOES Jimmy Dixon. (Will Speaker Timmy move to override?)

Our BIGGEST FAN — state Rep. Jimmy Dixon (R-Duplin) — got his feelings hurt by the governor of our fair state this week.  Dixon conspired not too long ago with Speaker Tim Moore to ram through legislation protecting huge corporate hog farms from litigation by those pesky surrounding landowners.

Roy Cooper’s veto this week gave the Democrat governor the chance to outflank the GOP legislator on the right.  In his veto statement, Cooper waxed philosophically about protecting property rights while also protecting the environment.

Here are the folks over at WRAL’s political operation:

Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed House Bill 467, which would sharply curb the rights of private property owners to sue hog farmers in so-called nuisance lawsuits.The bill had passed the House 68-47, and the Senate 74-42.

The measure would restrict the amount of compensatory damages people could recover if they win nuisance lawsuits. The amount is limited to the value of their property, which is already reduced because of its proximity to a swine farm.

Bill proponents, including Rep. Jimmy Dixon, a farmer from Duplin County, complain that the lawsuits are financially hurting the industrialized swine industry. That claim has not been substantiated, since nearly all large hog operations are owned by Murphy-Brown, the world’s largest pork producer, or Prestage, another multi-million company.

Opponents of the bill pointed out it infringes on private property rights.[…] Several House members also questioned the constitutionality of the bill. “There is a great danger this bill treads on very thin constitutional ice. We cannot set rules  for court,” said Rep. Joe John, during the House floor debate last month.

You remember Joe John?  He’s the guy that botched the crime lab under Attorney General Roy Cooper. MORE: 

The NC Pork Council, which supported the measure, issued this statement:

The North Carolina Pork Council is disappointed in Gov. Cooper’s veto of a bill that passed the legislature with bipartisan support. The ratified bill strikes a balance in providing clarity and certainty to farmers while ensuring that property owners remain protected.

Our laws offer special protections for a wide range of industries – and farmers are among them. North Carolina’s pork producers follow stringent environmental regulations.

We encourage the legislature to override the veto in support of a vital sector of North Carolina’s economy.

[…] Also today, court documents filed in federal court contain an expert report by a scientist whose sampling detected fecal bacteria from industrialized hog farms on the exterior of neighbors’ homes and in the air of their yards. Many residents have complained that when hog waste is sprayed on fields, it drifts onto their property. The health effects, loss of quality of life and devaluation of property are behind several nuisance lawsuits.

The documents were filed by Wallace & Graham, a law firm in Salisbury, that is representing neighbors of the farms in a nuisance lawsuit.

Wow.  The law firm of NCGOP mega-donor Bill Graham.  Big party donors on both sides of this one. 

[…] According to Dr. Shane Roger’s expert report, 14 of 17 homes sampled tested positive, “indicating a recent history of  impaction of hog feces onto their homes,” the documents read. All six dust samples collected from the air using vacuum filtration devices at the yards of four clients — as far as nearly a half-mile from hog farms — “contained tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of hog feces DNA particles.”

This indicates, according to Rogers that residents are exposed to hog feces particles even in their homes.The bacteria, Pig2Bac, was identified and traced to hog feces through DNA fingerprinting. The sampling was conducted from October to December 2016.

These scientific findings contradict Rep. Dixon’s claims during the April 10 House debate that “I want to testify to every single one of you in this chamber, these allegations are at best, exaggerations, and at worst, outright lies. When you talk about spraying a fluid in people’s houses and on their cars, that does not exist.”[…]


*That science stuff sure is something, isn’t it, Jimmy?* 

We’ve got Roy Cooper singing the praises of property rights.  And we have the GOP majority in the NC House clamoring to protect bigcampaign donors.

I, for one, would like to see more effort toward things like, oh, protecting property rights by the GOP majority on Jones Street and a lot less ‘servicing’ of campaign donors.

6 thoughts on “#ncga: Cooper VETOES Jimmy Dixon. (Will Speaker Timmy move to override?)

  1. It is sickening that anyone in our party would put the interests of special interest industrial hog producers (”farms” is misused in describing their operations), which are mostly owned out of state and some out of country, over the rights of individual North Carolina property owners and taxpayers.

    This is a classic fight of the big special interests versus the average guy. It is similar to the fights between Big Wind, the wind power turbine operators, and the local people who suffer from those turbines.

    In the last round of legislative attention to industrial hog production about twenty years ago, the conservatives in the GOP stood strong for the little guy, although some more liberal Republicans even then were for the hog operators. There was at least one GOP primary in those days where a pro-hog legislator was defeated by a conservative pro-citizen challenger.

    Now, we have too many special interest Republicans populating our caucus. Republicans are supposed to be for individual rights, but we have too many legislators like Jimmy Dixon who prostitute themselves to the big special interests.

  2. Now, Comrade Chairman Robin Hayes has jumped on the bandwagon for Big Pork. Someone must have got Dallas’ ear so that he instructed Comrade Robin to do so.


    It is not surprising that Robin Hayes, who supports the environmental radicals against our commerical fishermen and who voted for NAFTA which destroyed many jobs in North Carolina, would support the special interest big corporate hog producers against the property rights of ordinary citizens. Hayes is an elitist and prostitute to the special interests.

    It is telling that Hayes is against our commercial fishermen, who are generally average joes and NC citizens, but supports the large scale corporate hog production operations which are often absentee owned. I guess Hayes will say to us seafood lovers ”Let them eat pork!”

  3. It is my understanding from my hay supplier who used to be the ?? nc pork growers association?? president, That at one time most of those farms down east were the “little guy” .
    Regulation and fear sold by tree huggers made offers from Big corps too good to pass up.
    We should (as in the media and citizenry) recall there is another device to add, and that it the Volunteer Ag Program which specifically establishes a layer of protection for Farms from nuance suits/claims.
    I grow trees, but love the VAP for the regulation deferments of “watershed laws” . Trees , horses, hogs…. that little sign says “Farms comes first” and its on all the GIS maps for anyone thinking to build a subdivision next to a VAP “district”.
    Strange in all the ink over this it has not been raised….

  4. This is a property rights issue. Right now the law of nuisance balances the property rights of all parties. People need to be able to use their land as they see fit but if it impairs their neighbors own property rights by imparing their reasonable use and enjoyment of it, then the courts step in. The law of nuisance has been around for centuries and came over with English Common Law. It is currently a balancing process, but the Dixon bill wants to throw everything out of balance by tilting the playing field heavily in favor of the big hog production operations and against the average citizens living nearby.

    This is very much like the eminent domain issue – a powerful special interest wanting to be able to trample on the property rights of average citizens.

  5. This issue is so dejavu from the mid 1990a when establishment Republicans were championing the mostly absentee corporate farm intensive hog operations and conservatives were standing up for the property rights to the North Carolinians who lived around them. It seems that little has changed.

    One of the reasons that the courts need to remain a viable option for North Carolinians whose property rights are being impaired by the intensive hog operations is that otherwise citizens may resort to other methods. An incident that was broadcast on eastern NC TV news from that era is instructive. In that situation, a group of citizens learned that a large intensive hog operation was going to be built in their area, so about 80 citizens showed up and occupied the road shoulder adjacent to the property to deny the contractor access. Some of the citizens brought their shotguns and hunting rifles to the demonstration. The contractor called the sheriff, who sent a couple of deputies to evaluate the situation and report back, then, largely due to the extreme political unpopularity of Big Pork among rural voters in the county, the sheriff said he did not see any reason to get involved. The demonstration continued until the contractor pulled out and the hog operation never got built.

    Robin Hayes ought to remember this issue well, as he was in the legislature then and one of his best friends there, Rep. Zeno Edwards (RINO-Beaufort) got defeated in his GOP primary by a pro-citizen young conservative largely over the hog issue. Edwards was attacked in that primary for being in the pocket of Big Pork.

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