Tillis, McCrory: House, Senate not so far apart on budget agreement. (Really? OK, then. Where’s Mr. Berger?)

pattomHouse Speaker Thom Tillis and Gov. Pat McCrory had a big media event yesterday.  They were touting the idea of separating education from the rest of the budget and passing the education part FIRST.  They invited Democrat state superintendent of public instruction June Atkinson to their press conference, and she seemed to be on board with it all. But this deal has to pass the legislature.  And last time we checked — Miss June has NO VOTE on the floor of either chamber on Jones Street.  The most glaring absence from Wednesday’s media event was that of state senate president pro tem Phil Berger — who has a HUGE say in what happens in one of Jones Street’s two chambers.  According to media reports, Berger and his leadership team were not consulted on the McCrory-Tillis proposal, and were not invited to the press conference. 

What is the back story on all this?  Well, it appears McCrory and Tillis were calling the Senate’s bluff.  The Senate KNOWS that Tillis really really really needs to adjourn so he can hit the US Senate fundraising trail.  The upper chamber has serious differences with Tillis’ crew over the budget.  So, Senate leaders have taken comfort in knowing they can sit back and wait out Tillis — until he comes running back over to their side of the debate.  An agreement can then be reached, and Thom can get back to trolling for cash.

McCrory and Tillis appear to be countering by going public with an offer that (1) makes Tillis look proactive and (2) forces the Senate to come off their waiting game and take action.

From a political standpoint, how much sense — over the long run — does this strategy make?  We say NOT MUCH.  Speaker Thom is officially out of powebergervetor in a matter of days or weeks. Insiders tell me that Tillis is one of the biggest reasons that McCrory gets ANYTHING out of the General Assembly.  Once Tillis has moved on — to DC or back to Huntersville — Phil Berger is officially the BMOC.  The Rockingham County Republican will be the 800-lbs gorilla staring down Gov. Pat for at least the next two years.  How smart is it to walk up to an 800 lbs gorilla and slap his face? 

Any kind of deal on the budget will have to pass both chambers on Jones Street.  It will need Mr. Berger’s blessing to see the light of day in the upper chamber. Why do an end-run around him?

It may be a noble idea for Gov. Pat to try and help his friend’s Senate bid.  But it doesn’t seem all that smart to isolate someone you will NEED for ANY KIND of legislative success over the next two years.  These kind of tactics may have worked wonders in waging combat with the Charlotte City Council.  But Jones Street is a whole new world from that one.  What worked for you in playing for The Durham Bulls won’t always work so well for you when you move up to The Tampa Bay Rays.

13 thoughts on “Tillis, McCrory: House, Senate not so far apart on budget agreement. (Really? OK, then. Where’s Mr. Berger?)

  1. Maybe McCrory and Tillis will adopt the Republican Establishment tactic of passing out flyers calling Berger and the Senators racists and klansmen. Hey, it worked in Mississippi.

    1. Well, no. If they were using the NRSC/ McConnell/ Barbour playbook from Mississippi, they would have invited Rev. Barber to their press conference, and they did not do that.

  2. Oh, didn’t you know? The Charlotte Mafia led by McCrory and Tillis do whatever they want. Thanks for the votes suckers they would say. We are part of the Charlotte crowd and we know better than you! Go back to Charlotte McCrory / Tillis Booooo!!!!! North Carolina deserves better than these two.

  3. It was a nice photo of Thom standing beside Pat. I thought Thom looked particularly Senatorial.

    Thom is proving that he is a fighter for North Carolina.

    1. Not on this one. He is showing he is a fighter for a powerful special interest, the education establishment, which is usually who he fights for,like other special interests.

      To his credit, Tillis at least does seem to be giving the green light to let others fight for parents and children against Common Core. Ending Common Core is far and away the most important education issue this session, and Thom does seem to be on the right side of it, even if his role is more behind the scenes.

  4. What the heck any of this has to do with the MISS Senate primary, I have no idea.

    Senator Berger is the most effective conservative legislative leader this state has had in my 52 years of life! BAR NONE!

    Regarding the Tea Party, some of them are awesome committed conservatives but many of them are whiny brats like McDaniel in MISS. Here on the ground in the Triad, I have been SICKENED by some of the Tea party activists who have ATTACKED Senator Berger because he is supporting son in the congressional primary against the pro-amnesty Walker who refused to pledge to vote to repeal Obamacare and refuses to pledge to vote against any tax increases.

    I really tried to take tea party people seriously since I agree with them about 95% of the time on the issues. But after actually seeing them in action here locally, a good many of them are nothing but disgusting brats who hurt conservative causes more than they help!

    1. Brat was the guy who shellacked Cantor in Virginia. He did not run in Mississippi.

      You obviously support senile big spending dinosaur Thad Cochran, who, like Wilbur Mills, has his mistress on his Capital Hill payroll, and in addition has taken his mistress on numerous taxpayer paid junkets all around the world, and in addition to that even made a comment at a campaign event about his numerous indecent relationships in his youth with farm animals. That guy is an embarrassment to the Republican brand.

      What the establishment did to steal that nomination was to run robocalls, advertising and flyers to get liberal black Democrat voters to improperly vote in the GOP primary telling them they would help Obama by voting for Cochran in the GOP primary. That is way over the line, and completely blows up any notion of party unity or party loyalty for the 2014 election. You may think that is great, but I see our chance to take the Senate slipping through our fingers from this arrogant stupidity of McConnell, Barbour and the NRSC. Here is how conservatives around the country are reacting to this travesty:


  5. You don’t know me to make assumptions about who I support or don’t support. Cant tell you I would have supported in either VA or MISS elections as I don’t base my vote on what the national press, radio talk show hosts or any the vast number of idiots who think having a blog with an audience of +10 makes them political kingmakers or knowledgeable political consultants (not throwing this blog into this mix…love this place and don’t see the idiocy here that others have).

    My complaint is about so-called tea partiers in the Triad who choose to support an amnesty-backing, weak-on-taxes-and repealing-Obamacare snake oil salesman just because “they are friends”. Fine, well and good. Just don’t attack others for doing the same thing. Anyone who supports Walker owes Cochran, Cantor, Boehner and McConnell apologies.

    1. OK, I don’t know you either, but I seriously would like to know the basis of some of the things you’re putting out as settled facts.

      For example, “My complaint is about so-called tea partiers in the Triad who choose to support an amnesty-backing, weak-on-taxes-and repealing-Obamacare snake oil salesman just because “they are friends””

      I don’t know exactly what you mean by this but the only way I’ve heard Mark Walker is an Amnestycrat is through Berger attack ads. And I say that having expressed some past concerns of my own about Walker’s immigration positions on this board. But other than the fact that he’s affiliated with a soft-on-illegal aliens denomination, I don’t have any hard evidence to suggest that Walker would pursue such policies. If you do, let’s hear them.

      Then there’s the fact that Walker isn’t funded by the Jones Street Crowd while a number of media sources indicate that his opponent likely has reported plenty of backing from these lobbyists on his SBOE paperwork. (see link below) That strikes me as a question about Berger’s ultimate loyalties where his constituents are concerned.


      Finally, there’s the old “out of touch” cliche which seems to apply more to Berger. So far as I can tell, Mark Walker has at least traveled to the furthest, least influential corners of the 6th district seeking support from one and all. But apparently Berger can’t be bothered to connect with his more rural constituents.

  6. Mark Walker on his campaign website said he supported a pathway to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented people in the US. This was posted when he was running against Congressman Coble.

    Then when Coble announced he was retiring and others got into the race, he started feeling the hear for his support of amnesty.

    Now he says he only support a pathway to legalization for the 12 million undocumented persons in the US. Blames his initial support of providing a pathway to citizenship on his “initial humanitarian impulse”.

    Add to that he refusal to pledge to vote to repeal Obamacare and his refusal to take the pledge not to raises taxes, can someone explain to me WHY any conservative, much less a tea party activist, should support him?

    Don’t take my word for it..look to his own website. Or check out the RhinoTimes story on this from 6/5.

    1. “Add to that he refusal to pledge to vote to repeal Obamacare and his refusal to take the pledge not to raises taxes, can someone explain to me WHY any conservative, much less a tea party activist, should support him?”

      Hmmm. Good question. I guess it comes down to a choice between a guy whose positions are POSSIBLY suspect but makes himself available to folks (a la Coble, who isnt all that conservative either) or a candidate who is full of conservatalk but may or may not be all that conservative given the lobbyist backing he gets and doesnt even take time to get to know Party regulars.

      But back to the amnesty issue, if Walker really swings that way, I find it hard to believe he’s got the endorsement of people like immigration hardliner Don Webb or the Alamance County Sheriff who is always in trouble with the Obama Justice Department over illegal aliens.

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