#ncga: The brave new world of the House GOP (A rightward shift?)

legisA rightward shift.  That’s how two sources – who both had votes in today’s leadership vote — described the final results to me.  You can read and watch the accounts by drive-bys, but it’s always interesting to hear the inside story from people who know the players and took part in the wheeling anddownload (1) dealing.

Women: My sources tell me that there was a special interest in ensuring a respectable level of representation for women within the House leadership — since that demographic has grown so dramatically over the last couple of election cycles. Wake County’s Marilyn Avila was elected deputy majority leader, and Randolph County’s Pat Hurley was elected Joint Caucus Leader.  Mount Airy’s Sarah Stevens HAD been seen as a good bet to unseat Skip Stam in the race for speaker pro tem — the chamber’s second highest office. But, according to my sources, shenanigans got in the way.  Here’s how Source A explains it:

“It’s pretty clear Skip got Julia in the race to split the anti-Stam, pro-woman vote.  He had his vote, but Julia helped split the folks who were up for grabs or not interested in two more years of Skip Stam.  Folks who really wanted to see an outstanding woman like Sarah Stevens in the number two spot need to thank Julia Howard for throwing a monkey-wrench into the whole thing. There are a number of folks who are hoping that Representative Stevens will not forget what Representative Howard did to her today.”ncgop

Theam Tillis representin’ : The freshmen elected two leaders for their group who had ties to US senator-elect Thom Tillis.  John Fraley of Iredell County was elected freshman caucus leader.  (He was recruited by then-speaker Tillis to primary then-Rep. Robert Brawley, a well-known Tillis critic.)  John Bradford of Mecklenburg County, elected freshman whip, won the House seat vacated by Tillis in November.

Charles Jeter of Mecklenburg County, a Tillis protégé, was elected Republican Conference leader.  He will direct the fundraising and political activities of the House Republican Caucus.  Though, Tillis allies Brian Brown and Pat McElraft were unsuccessful in their efforts to get elected, respectively, deputy majority leader and majority whip.   Goldsboro’s John Bell — believed to have been recruited by Tillis to primary beleaguered former Rep. Stephen LaRoque — was elected majority whip.

A rightward shift :  Both of my sources told me — with straight faces — that this vote means a rightward shift for the House Republican Caucus.  Rules Committee chairman Tim Moore was selected for speaker, while Rep. Mike Hager was tapped for majority leader. Said Source B

moore“Tim is more conservative than Thom.  There is no question about it.  And Mike is someone who will be received enthusiastically by the more conservative members of the caucus. Also as significant —  he has a lot of respect over in the Senate. I think — as a result of the Hager selection — you will see a lot more teamwork and cooperation between the House and Senate. ”

You might remember Hager for spear-heading the effort to kill the state’s alternative energy mandatesthe prime suspect in jacking up residential utility rates.  His bill got bounced around five different committees — a practice almost unheard of — before dying.  All sorts of elected House Republican fingers pointed at Thom Tillis as the killer of that bill. 

The next fight:  The next serious discussions for House Republicans, according to my sources, will be about the key committee chairmanships.  Rep. Justin Burr is a leading contender to replace Moore as chairman of the Rules Committee.  Some drama is expected to take place over consideration of Wake’s Nelson Dollar  as Budget Committee chairman.  Says Source A:

“Nelson is very proud of himself, and that rubs a lot of people the wrong way.  He is of the opinion that his defecation does not stink.  There are quite a few folks in the House and over in the Senate who wholeheartedly disagree.  Over in the Senate, they don’t just hate him.  They hell hate him.  He’s going to be a problem if that committee is hoping to work with the other chamber.”

David Lewis of Harnett County is a sore subject for a lot of conservatives. I noticed that Lewis, and one of his aides, were listed as the primary contacts on a release announcing the election results disseminated to the drive-by media.  Said Source A:

“David didn’t have a prayer in any of the races today.  But, many of us get the sense that he’s on Tim’s team.  It will be interesting to see where he ends up after the new year.  Some of us get the sense that he might end up as the senior co-chair of the Finance Committee. In that particular group, he is honestly the lesser of a number of evils.”



10 thoughts on “#ncga: The brave new world of the House GOP (A rightward shift?)

  1. Mike Hager’s election is a real step forward for conservatives. Hopefully Tim Moore will be a significant improvement over Tillis, but time will tell on that one.

    Skip Stam, fits the descriptions some major national conservative groups have given to Mike Huckabee – ”pro-life statist” and ”Christian socialist”. He badly needs a primary next time, as does Julia Howard, who has been a real thorn in conservatives’ sides since her days as a Richard Morgan traitor.

    1. Every time we mention the fact that an elected office holder “badly needs a primary next time” we should qualify the statement by adding that the said primary challenger should be “electable.”

      Being attractive to the “whole” electorate is a must.

      1. Electable according to who? McCain was “electable”. I’ve been told Jeb is “electable. There will never be a candidate that is attractive to the “whole” electorate.

        1. ”Electable” is Big Media code for ”liberal”. Only the really gullible fall for it. Every four years, Big Media picks someone poorly positioned to win against the Democrat for president, and then beats the drums during the primary that their chosen patsy is ”electable” and ”inevitable”. They did it for McCain and they did it for Romney. Unfortunately they have twice now suckered Republicans into nominating their dud.

          1. Electability is not code for liberal.

            Reagan was electable.

            People like Gary Bauer, Michele Bachman, and Herman Cain are not.

            Electability is not just stands on issues…it is how a candidate carriers, himself, his temperament, the way he talks to people and about the issues.

            Cant we find a conservative candidate with both polish, charm and the ability to relate to others?

          2. Watcher – you are looking at the dictionary definition of the word, not at the Orwellian way it is batted around in politics these days, especially by the media and by the likes of Karl Rove.

  2. ” There are a number of folks who are hoping that Representative Stevens will not forget what Representative Howard did to her today.”

    Probably. She’s neither naive nor forgetful. A colleague of mine mentioned to me the fact that he sat with Rep. Stevens in the guest area during the 6th Congressional District GOP convention back in May 2012. He found her to be engaging, down-to-earth, and generally a pleasure to converse with. Unlike Tillis insider Howard, Stevens has been more out on the periphery of the GOP caucus.

    Not having Stevens in a leadership position hurts us in other ways, too. According to Civitas as of last year, Stevens was a lot more conservative than Howard. Whereas, Stevens was the 30th most conservative member of the House while Howard was far below at 57th most conservative.

  3. Burr for Rules Committee Chair??? Really?? I can think of many other names for that position. Blust tops that list.

  4. Regarding the issue of leadership the concern of most NC residents should be that the caucus can come together for the best of the state. What I read is put politely unhelpful. I guess we can be happy that these legislative “leakers” aren’t the elected leaders. Can you imagine the leaders of a caucus anonymously but publicly and unprofessionally belittling their team by name?

    1. Sometimes reality is what it is. Our leadership teams for the GOP in the federal House and Senate are just pathetic. They are weak and vacillating, with no backbone and very poor communications skills. At least, we have better teams at the state level, although still not perfect.

      As far as leaking, what I find outrageous is that when Stam was Minority Leader, he used to tell the Democrat Speaker what went on in the GOP caucus. It was his notion of being ”bi-partisan”. Why Stam is anything higher than dogcatcher in the GOP caucus baffles me.

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