December 16, 2016
By Kit O’Connell
Inside the North Carolina House, protesters chanted as police arrested them one by one.
For the second day in a row, the chambers were cleared and the public was banned from viewing a legislative coup in progress.
The North Carolina GOP, facing the defeat of incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory on November 8, are doing everything they can to hold onto power, even if it means literally rewriting state law. Such is the decaying state of American democracy in 2016. You may remember that the North Carolina GOP are the same state party that some Democrats raised money for after a fire during the election, out of a sense of fairness. In return, the NC GOP is rewarding their generosity by setting fire to the very fabric of democracy.
House kicking all members of the public out of gallery for second day in a row. #ncga #ncpol pic.twitter.com/yvoeFKIQJG
— Colin Campbell (@RaleighReporter) December 16, 2016
Even after his defeat, McCrory refused for weeks to concede the election to current state Attorney General Roy Cooper. It was a brazen attempt to force an electoral crisis that, if it had lasted long enough, would have allowed the legislature to overturn the results and reinstall McCrory.
Now, with McCrory officially on the way out, the Republicans are determined to change the laws to take away as much of Cooper’s power as they can. Using the suffering of Hurricane Matthew victims as a pretext to call a special session of the legislature, the North Carolina GOP instead introduced a host of hastily written bills that would require Cooper get approval from the (Republican-controlled) State Senate for all his cabinet appointments, slash the number of employees that report to the Governor by one-fifth, and even strip power from the progressive state Supreme Court.
Activists, progressives, and just plain decent people celebrated McCrory’s defeat, after he championed an agenda of austerity and repression. The final straw appeared to be the so-called “bathroom bill,” which infamously banned transgender and gender-nonconforming people from public restrooms while simultaneously blocking minimum wage increases and blocking lawsuits for discrimination in the state.
At least one member of the media, and even a historian, were among those arrested last night as the special session began. The people are back today, expressing their displeasure at this ongoing GOP attack on their fundamental rights.
The courts may end up having the last word: Governor-elect Roy Cooper has promised to sue over the Republican “power grab” and organizations from the ACLU to the NAACP are expressing their extreme displeasure at the move.
In the meantime, as the oligarchs fight over their power, it is the average people who suffer. This makes the Tarheel State a disquieting omen of what’s to come nationally in the next four years.
Update: The Associated Press reported on Friday afternoon that outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law the first bill stripping the incoming governor of power. More similar bills are likely to follow.
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That is just what is happening in the US. The democrats shamelessly and Obama vindictively pushing for prevention of duly elected Trump from taking office on 20 January through CIA raising the bogey of Russian intervention etc. which is far greater threat to democracy and a sort of Obama engineered CIA coup. So concentrate on that first and condemn it and gracefully give way. Then anyone will appreciate your stand on the instant governor’s excessive and unjust conduct.
Hopefully what goes around comes around and they will pay for this insult to democracy. The people of North Carolina elected these officials to do their jobs, not play politics. This is why I became a liberal, because the right seems obsessed with winning at all cost., no matter if the public suffers or not. NC citizens need to get off their asses and call their legislators and let them know this is not ok.
To clarify, currently the governor can just appoint whomever he wants to his cabinet positions, but under the proposed new law the Gov. would have to go through legislative approval.
Correct. Pat McCrory and the GOP are stripping the power from the governor, so that incoming gov. Cooper has less power to act and oppose the GOP-controlled legislature.
Say goodness got Gracie North Carolina is better off seersting from the goby
“the North Carolina GOP instead introduced a host of hastily written bills that would require the (Republican-controlled) State Senate to approve all of Cooper’s cabinet appointments, slash the number of employees that report to the Governor by one-fifth, and even strip power from the progressive state Supreme Court.”
Was this written correctly? Cooper is the incoming Gov…