Despite protests, widespread criticism and a threat by the governor-elect to challenge in court any moves that he believes would unconstitutionally limit his power, the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature is pushing through reforms that would severely limit the incoming Democratic governor’s power.
It’s insane. One such measure, which passed the House, was that the GOP and the Democratic Party would alternate the years in which they serve as the head of the Board of Electors in each county. The catch? The GOP will chair all 100 county boards of elections in high-turnout even-numbered years (2018, 2020, 2022, etc.).
And get this…
— Democracy NC (@democracync) December 16, 2016
How indeed? Do they think we don’t see the inherent disadvantage that one party chairs the board of elections during even-numbered years?
Fortunately, there is pushback from the Dems about the LACK of bi-partisanship.
As I write this, there are citizen protest in the gallery. They are trying to close the gallery now.
Other measures include the partisan election of NC Supreme Court judges. The trend in America is to move AWAY from partisan elected judges (i.e., where judges indicate their political party). But North Carolina is to become the first state since Pennsylvania in 1921 to move back to partisan Supreme Court judge elections.
LATE UPDATE: SB4 passes and is signed by Gov. McCrory
SB4 would create a bipartisan commission merging the current State Board of Elections, State Ethics Commission and the lobbying functions of the Secretary of State’s office, although Democrats correctly say that there is nothing “bi-partisan” about it.
Democrats said it couldn’t be called bipartisan because they weren’t involved in creating the proposal. Republicans call it bipartisan because it would create a state board and county election boards comprised of members equally split between the parties. It would also deprive the incoming Democratic administration of control of those boards; currently, the administration can appoint three of the five state members and two of the three members on each county board.
Democrats also argued that the bill is far-reaching and should be discussed in more detail in the long session next year. Republican sponsors said the ideas in the bill have been discussed in the legislature for years, and that this is a good time to make the changes because there is no impending election.
The bill would also give Gov. Pat McCrory the authority to make a one-time appointment to fill a vacancy on the state Industrial Commission for a six-year term plus the unexpired portion of the commissioner’s term. Normally, a vacancy replacement only fills out the remainder of a term.
It would also identify state Supreme Court candidates by party in primary elections.
BREAKING: In extraordinary move, Republican governor in North Carolina signs law stripping incoming Democrat of some power.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 16, 2016
Good way to phrase it.
Another bill nearing final legislative approval would force Cooper’s Cabinet choices to be subject to Senate confirmation.