In December, Tim Moore had to promise his caucus that NO HB2 repeal legislation would make it to the House floor without majority approval within the House Republican Caucus. In February, Moore had to convince his caucus that he was not working on a back-door sellout on HB2 with the Democrats.
Well, some closed-door shenanigans at the legislature today have quite a few people calling B.S. on Speaker Timmy.
Word began circulating early today that a House Republican caucus meeting had been called. My sources tell me that, when members began showing up at the meeting room, they found folks with lists guarding the door to the meeting room.
“They were checking the lists, and if your name was not on the list, you were not getting in the room,” one source on the scene told me. “I saw at least one member of House leadership blocked from entering the meeting room. That got me wondering: ‘What kind of caucus meeting is this that bars a member of leadership from attending?’ ”
A little bit of investigation by THAT source, and three others, uncovered that Rules Committee chairman David Lewis was running the closed-door meeting. Sources who had been in the room told ME and my on-site sources that Lewis was in the room twisting arms and trying to line up enough Republican votes to team up with the Democrats and overturn HB2.
Word of this development began spreading across Jones Street like wildfire. One of my sources fumed:
“This is Tiny Tim at his sneakiest. He’s told us time and again he’s not going to pull the rug out from under us on HB2. Yet, here David Lewis is twisting arms to overturn HB2. Anybody who knows how this place works knows that Lewis doesn’t do anything without the speaker’s knowledge and blessing, and vice-versa.”
An awful lot of people expended a lot of political capital getting this bill passed. Some people lost races. How do you reconcile rhetoric from last year proclaiming the importance of this legislation with 2017 efforts to kill it?
Dan Forest just got back from Texas extolling his and the NCGOP’s leadership in passing HB2. And here we have his very own troops trying to kill it.
“Lewis and Moore are primarily motivated by cash,” said one of my on-site sources. “They view being up here as a money-making venture. I don’t believe this is motivated by someone threatening to cut off the cash. I think there’s someone behind the scenes offering to dump even more cash on them if they kill this law.”