#ncga: OVERRIDE !!!!

We saw something today we’re not likely to see much of over the next two years:  an overridden veto.  

The House and Senate overrode Roy Cooper’s veto of HB 1029 legislation to reform the state board of elections and ethics commissions.  The bill basically rolled back the clock and undid the legislature’s previous efforts to merge the ethics and elections boards. It also changed the rules so that election allegations get first investigated by the ethics commission, then referred to the board of elections, and then get passed on to local prosecutors if need be. 

But the bill contained a controversial provision that caught many legislators off guard.  The provision allows for re-running the primary AND general election in the case of a congressional race where violations are found and confirmed.  Many saw the provision as specifically targeting the Ninth Congressional District race — currently in limbo at the state board of elections.

The primary race for that district has already been certified.  The legislation would set a precedent of allowing certified elections to be re-done.

The hubbub over the Ninth District centers mainly around absentee ballots, which contained more races than just the congressional contest.  The bill doesn’t address whether ALL races on ballots found to be “tainted” would be eligible for a mulligan or “do-over.”

(If I was a candidate in a county located in — let’s say — The Ninth District, and I lost by two points or less in November, I’d have my lawyers out there demanding a do-over.)

Multiple sources on Jones Street confirm that GOP leadership laid down hard-sell tactics in promoting the election do-over provision.  A YES vote was promoted as a blow to Governor Cooper, and a win for Republican leadership and the state Republican Party.

Leadership informed members that the do-over provision was inserted into the bill as a result of “a request from the state party” — meaning Dallas Woodhouse.

Members were told that the state party had polling showing Robert Pittenger defeating Mark Harris AND Dan McCready and wanted to do everything possible to “save the seat.”  (I am doubting the existence and veracity of said poll.  I wonder if it is the same pollster that had Pittenger up by 37% over Harris a month before the primary vote?)

Members were reportedly told by leadership that a NO vote on overriding meant “going against your leadership and your state party.”

11 thoughts on “#ncga: OVERRIDE !!!!

  1. tiesWell, these hard cases don’t seem to recognize the bone they have thrown to the Constitution Party, which now gets to get statewide attention in a high profile race if there is a do-over. They have the freedom to run anyone from anywhere in North Carolina. One of their leaders has run for Congress before from that neck of the woods, so I guess he is one possibility and their one elected official, a county commissioner from Greene County could be another. Not being a member of that party or close to anyone in its leadership, I am only guessing at possibilities.

    But I can imagine how they would posture this race. Their candidate would announce he would not divide the conservative vote if Harris were the nominee, but if the major parties both went with liberals, he would carry the conservative torch. This would give a graceful exist and get some political green stamps if Harris won the primary, but more importantly set the stage to pick up Harris voters in the event Pittenger won the primary.

    On issues, the polling tells us that immigration is at the top of issues for GOP voters, and Pittenger is on the wrong side of that one. I would imagine a Constitution Party hammering Pittenger hard on immigration, with ads placed on Fox News cable and on talk radio.

    With a special election, I suspect they could call on the Constitution Party nationally to raise money. That party does have some heavy hitters like the wealthy coal man who was their nominee for US Senate in West Virginia before he was thrown off the ballot under the Sore Loser law.

    Harris would have a united conservative front as nominee, but Pittenger is poison to many conservatives, and the back room slime to get a new primary just hardens attitudes.

    Who did those polls? I am sure it was someone connected to Pittenger, and likely the same one who produced polls showing Pittenger had a wide lead in the primary earlier this year just before he lost said primary.

    The state party is not supposed to take sides in a primary, and they have done so this time by creating a primary. They have created yet another precedent that any local officials or party organizations that want to take part in primaries should be able to do the same things the state party has done here as well as former chairman Fetzer’s congressional primary runoff endorsement.

  2. Con’t you love it when a plan comes together? FIrst all the subtle undermining of Mark Harris, and knuckling under to the Democrats.. Now we get to plant the knife firmly in Harris’ back. Guess who Pittenger’s new Chief of Staff is going to be?

  3. What policy making body within the state party made this policy decision? It certainly wasn’t the Executive Committee. Did the Central Committee vote on it? Did they give Harris an opportunity to be heard? Where is the tally of which members voted which way?

  4. Neither the party grassroots, Central Committee or Executive Committee have been asked to weigh in on the District 9 mess. I am a member of all 3 groups and my phone and email still work. Staff and/or Chairman position update comments on a CC conference call don’t count as participation.

    1. This is a flagrant abuse of power in a factional power play to hurt our voter=chosen nominee. Resignations of those responsible need to be demanded, and if they refuse to resign, they need to be removed from office. Our state party has become a narrow little dictatorship and the only question is whether Hayes or Woodhouse is the dictator. I suspect that Woodhouse is the dictator and Hayes only the figurehead.

  5. Apparently this whole thing is a bigger screw up than we realized. The bill that they passed over the governor’s veto included in it the arbitrary date of January 31st for the new Board of Elections to be constituted…..apparently David Lewis, the guy pushing this bill the hardest, didn’t foresee the possibility that 30 minutes after passing this bill the courts would order that the current board be dissolved by noon the next day. So now we won’t have a Board of Elections for a month and if there ever will be a hearing on the 9th district race it most likely wont happen until February.

    1. You know, it’s just a privilege to watch David Lewis’ mind at work. Fresh off infuriating the base with the cowardly HB2 repeal, pushing the NC Supreme Court further leftward due to lack of judicial primaries, and now this. The next scheme Lewis pushes, his colleagues should automatically think “what could possibly go wrong?”

  6. Something about all of this reminds me of the time in the tobacco field when ,Kate, my grandaddy’s mule ran away. The further she ran the damneder she got!!!!!!!!!

    Browny Douglas

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