#ncga: Tiny Tim roars back

SPEAKERMOOREPORTRAITIt appears that state Rep. Justin Burr’s public broadside struck a nerve with House speaker Tim Moore:

Moore said in a phone interview he plans to seek the speakership for the 2017-18 session if he’s re-elected to his House seat. He deemed Burr “disgruntled” and said he was disappointed in his comments.

“They’re not reflective of the reality,” Moore said. “Rep. Burr has chosen to make himself ineffective and irrelevant this entire session.”

Asked to elaborate, Moore added: “He’s simply not been engaged in the process. I think the folks in his district deserve better than that.”

Ouch.  MORE: 

Burr said he and other House Republicans “attempted in good faith” to work with House leadership at the start of session, but weren’t successful.

“We weren’t listened to,” he said. “When we disagreed with him, it only made things worse. And many members are afraid to speak out.”

Burr voted with the House Republican majority more than 92 percent of the time this year – a figure that mirrors the voting statistics for House Majority Leader Mike Hager. But while Burr was a co-chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee under Tillis, Moore appointed him to co-chair the less desirable Capital Appropriations Committee this session.

Moore said a handful of House Republicans “complain a lot.” “That’s their right to complain,” he said. “But for the most part, most members are engaged in trying to solve problems.”

It’s not the first time Burr has criticized a House speaker. Tillis, who Burr seemed to praise in his press release on Tuesday, was the target of complaints in a letter from Burr to House colleagues as Burr ran for speaker against Moore and other House Republicans before the 2015 session.MOOREHOUSE04-NE-080515-TEL

Burr wrote at that time that “any top-down approach in the House must end,” and instead the power should be spread among members. “Even a tethered dog thinks he has ‘freedom’ until he reaches the end of his chain, and I want to remove the five-foot chain that has been put on our committee chairs and our caucus,” he wrote.

Moore said Burr’s comments are “inconsistent.” He said he’s worked hard to make sure all members are empowered and given committee chairmen flexibility.

“I think things are actually running quite well,” Moore said. “I’m sorry he feels the way he does. I’m not hearing that from other members.”

Um, WE are.   (Of course, we also heard a lot of chest-thumping and bold talk about a coup against then-Speaker Tillis — which NEVER materialized.)