Some legislators are complaining that life on Jones Street is making them feel like debtors late on payments to a loan shark. I’m hearing reports that senate president Phil Berger and his troops are leaning on legislators in a harsher-than-usual manner.
What’s at the root of these tactics? Provisions to allow legalization of marijuana and the expansion of casinos across the state. Both of those topics come with a lot of lobbyist$ bearing gift$. We all know that Bo$$ Phil looooooooves$ him some gift$. He has few if any guiding principle$. As with Thom Tilli$, gift$ guide the way for him.
Boss Phil finds himself to be the only one of the GOP Power 3 still in the game. Speaker Timmy is distracted with tales of ‘group sex’, trespassing, secret surveillance, shakedowns, and a divorce case where he’s not married to either party. (He’s even sending around copies of WRAL’s reporting to try and save himself and his political career. It speaks volumes that marxist-leaning WRAL is being sympathetic to an elected Republican. )
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is being hit with questions by — right now — just US about serious financial questions regarding his family business.
Boss Phil is pretty good at covering his tracks, as well as recognizing an opportunity when he sees it. With those two out of the way, he’s free to bully his own troops and even to wander over to the House side and bully Speaker Timmy’s gang. Who’s around to try and stop him?
One of the biggest tricks the ‘honorables’ like to perpetrate is sneaking policy into the budget bill. Quite often, budgets don’t get approved. On one hand, you can hide uncomfortable provisions in a budget bill that the governor vetoes. When that happens, you’ll hear: “We tried, but Roy screwed us. Better luck next year. Thanks for paying – um, playing.”
Another angle is to sneak something into a budget that you don’t want the slobbering drive-bys or those annoying constituents to know about. Right now, there is an effort to turn Sweet Home Carolina into Reno. Casinos from Murphy to Manteo. It’s a lot more than betting at the Panthers or Hurricanes games, as we were once told.
If Boss Phil has his way, you might be able to smoke a joint while working the one-armed bandits at the casinos. Establishment operatives Dee Stewart and Paul Shumaker have been working since at least 2015 to pave the way for the eventual legalization of pot. Senator Bill Rabon has been out front on marijuana legalization, citing his use of marijuana as a pain killer during recent cancer treatments.
I don’t buy into that particular argument about needing weed as a pain killer. I’ve dealt with significant medical issues over the last several years that resulted in some serious pain. My doctors helped me with numerous medications that required a prescription and not one bit of smoking. Several of the drugs did a great job.
If you really really really think we need casinos and blunts from Murphy to Manteo, get the blessing of the voters FIRST. Don’t hide it. Sell it to the voters. Do some of that “representing” that’s in your job description.