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Hullabaloo


Thursday, December 22, 2016

 

Hey, watch this!

by Tom Sullivan

It is customary in the South to yell, "Hey, watch this!" before humiliating yourself in front of an audience. An international audience, in this case. But nothing is customary about what Republican lawmakers are doing in North Carolina.

In a 5th special session of the North Carolina legislature called yesterday specifically for addressing repeal of the state's anti-LGBT/anti-worker HB2 law, the Republican super-majority but failed to do so. From the L.A. Times:

On Monday, Gov.-elect Roy Cooper, a Democrat, announced that Republican House and Senate leaders had assured him that after the city of Charlotte repealed its anti-discrimination ordinance, a special session would be called to “repeal HB2 in full.”

Yet after hours of intense backroom maneuvering Wednesday, legislators in the Senate offered only a compromise bill that repealed HB2 while introducing a moratorium, or “cooling-off period,” that would prevent local governments across the state from crafting or changing anti-discrimination ordinances.
What Republicans wanted was a bipartisan "repeal" bill Democrats would vote for, you know, to spread the shame around, and one that repealed the bill with one hand while extending it with the other. The NCGOP measure would prevent cities from enacting any other nondiscrimination ordinances virtually indefinitely. Democrats yesterday were not playing along.

Democratic state Senator Jeff Jackson tweeted during a 9-hour session that was more recess than session:

A retiring Republican state senator wasn't going to go without one, last rant:

... Republican Sen. Buck Newton of Wilson argued that the moratorium would prevent measures the “lunatic left of the city of Charlotte and other places want to enact.”

“I have no faith in the city of Charlotte, no faith that anybody on the other side at this point … will act honorably and in good faith to find a way forward,” he said.
Translation: To help Republicans find a way to shed this albatross while not losing face.

On the upside, the NC Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state could not abscond with the water system in our fair city:

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's highest court says state legislators went too far in stripping Asheville of the municipal water system it built with taxes, borrowing and grants.

The NC Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the General Assembly violated the state Constitution by interfering in local government decisions involving health and sanitation.

The decision scraps the 2013 move by Republican-led legislators to take millions of dollars of assets from Asheville and place them in a newly created metropolitan water and sewer district. Lawmakers also tried to wrest Charlotte's airport from city control in 2013. Both cities are run by Democrats.
That fight only took 5 years and cost both city and state millions of dollars in legal costs. And all because the state, led by a former ALEC board member, wanted to punish Asheville's lunatic left, blow a hole in the city's budget, and (we firmly believe) eventually privatize the water system.

If you live in a blue city in a red state, watch your back.







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