Weekend at Rob’s

Can you believeThe N&O’s Rob Christensen is still alive and breathing and pounding out his nonsense? (I am convinced that Colon Campbell and Joe Murasak are running around holding him up “Weekend-at Bernie’s” – style.)

Here’s Rob — doing what he does best — pounding on Republicans: 

[…] No term limits: North Carolina legislators can stay in office as long as they are still breathing.

(*Breathing is apparently NOT a requirement to continue receiving a paycheck from The N&O.*)  MORE:

[…] For decades, the tradition in North Carolina was that House speakers served one two-year term and the lieutenant governor – then the leader of the Senate – could serve one four-year term. But that tradition went by the wayside when the state Constitution was changed allowing Tar Heel governors to serve two consecutive four-year terms, setting off a domino effect on legislative leaders. Fourteen states have legislative term limits, but not North Carolina. Senate leader Phil Berger has been in office since 2001 – or during the terms of four governors.

Funny.  I didn’t hear this whining when Marc Basnight and Tony Rand had the Senate in a stranglehold for all of those years.  And, by the way, Berger has only been in charge since 2011 — the first year of the Republican majority.  (So, it is a wee bit dishonest to be quoting 2001 here.)  MORE: 

[…] It is Berger who has largely driven policy in the state during the Perdue and McCrory administrations, and that will likely continue under Cooper.

It is hardly a secret in Raleigh that if you are a big corporation, trade association or any other special interest group and you want to get something done, the person you go to see is Berger – not the governor.

Hmmm.  And THAT was not the case under Basnight, Rand, or Black?  .   (Sounds like there is an awful lot of butt-hurt in a certain newsroom about Mr. Berger’s effectiveness.) 

Our constitution puts all the power in state government on Jones Street.  The governor’s office is, overall, pretty weak

The accretion of legislative power didn’t start under the Republicans. Democratic House Speakers Liston Ramsey and Jim Black and Senate leader Marc Basnight also amassed power. But it has continued apace under the Republicans.

Translation:  Now that the GOP is doing it, IT SUCKS. 

[…] Little competition: Because lawmakers draw their own safe districts, most face little competition. During last year’s elections when all 170 seats were up, 54 members had no competition in either the primary or general elections, and an additional 18 who faced primaries had no competition in the general election, according to Common Cause. Overall, 92 percent of lawmakers won by double digits. Or to put it another way, only 10 percent of the House seats and 8 percent of the Senate seats were competitive.

Perhaps, one could argue, it shows that the public is satisfied with the job the legislature is doing. But a statewide High Point University Poll released this week found that 27 percent approve of the job the legislature is doing, 41 percent disapprove, while 32 percent don’t know or wouldn’t say. That is in keeping with similar polls.

The ”don’t know or won’t say” segment of the poll is an indictment of the crappy, shameful, lazy, biased job the money-bleeding remnants of the driveby media in Raleigh do in covering our legislature.  MORE: 

North Carolina was rated as one of the most gerrymandered states in the country in a 2014 analysis by The Washington Post. A federal court has ordered North Carolina to redraw 28 state House and Senate districts on the grounds they were racially gerrymandered.

*And this neeeeeeeever happened when the Democrats were in charge.*  Um, Right, Rob? 

With such unchecked power, an already mighty legislature has not hesitated to erode the governor’s powers, to interfere with local governments, and to seek to alter decisions by voters in local elections.

Alter decisions by voters in local elections?  What is he talking about?  (That fake news piece that circulated on Twitter alleging the NCGOP was going to disband the Charlotte city council?)  

And the state constitution says local government actions need to be blessed by the legislature.  If you don’t like that, Rob, amend the constitution.  But, as long as it says  that, THAT is how things will be run from Raleigh.  (Elections have consequences, you old coot.  You can only produce 90,000 votes out of thin air in the middle night every so often.) 

[…] The legislature’s power accumulated over decades and was the work of both political parties. But political polarization, divided government and gerrymandering has cast a new, more negative light on the trend.[…] 

Says the guy who aided and abetted the slander campaign by Democrats against duly-elected Republican governor Jim Martin — effectively chasing a pretty decent governor out of politics forever.  What a loser.  What a disgrace.  (*Aren’t there still laws on the books about desecrating a corpse?*)