New Highs And Lows In NC Legislative Follies

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry was in Raleigh, NC this week covering the largest Moral Monday protest to date against the GOP-led legislature’s radical rightward tilt. State NAACP president Reverend William Barber leads the protests that grew to well over 1,000 last week, with 150 arrests for civil disobedience. Meanwhile, the state legislature continues its Sherman-like march across North Carolina.

Perry: We have a series of bills including voter I.D. requirements and doing away with same-day voter registration and a bill that would penalize parents of college students who vote where they attend school. A bill whose numerical name, SB666, is not lost on Reverend Barber.

Barber adds that North Carolina has joined the 15 states that have rejected Medicaid expansion under Obamacare — a group Paul Krugman’s Friday column labeled “The Spite Club”:

Barber: In the first two weeks of the session, they denied 500,000 people Medicaid. Not 500,000 black people. Not 500,000 white people. 500,000 poor people and disabled children in a state that has 1.6 million poor people and 600,000 of them are children.

Republicans in the legislature are not in a mood to listen, but the protesters have been heard. Gov. Pat McCrory said the Moral Monday protests deserved no “credence.”

“Unlawful demonstrations should be unacceptable,” McCrory told reporters Tuesday morning following a meeting of the Council of State on Tuesday morning. “But lawful demonstrations we welcome. That is the great part of our democracy.”

“[E]xactly the wrong response,” wrote the Charlotte Observer’s Fannie Flono of McCrory’s statements and those by a legislator who dismissed protesters as “crazies.” Listening is part of a legislator’s job.

McCrory and N.C. legislators should remember that and start taking that part of their jobs seriously. If they won’t, their bosses – the “crazies” who are voting citizens – should give them a pink slip when the next election comes around.

When last we saw NC state Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, he was explaining how many North Carolina voters are just lazy. In an op-ed in Friday’s Chatham Journal, Goolsby explained that Moral Monday protests by the “Loony Left” should actually be called “Moron Monday.”

The circus came to the State Capitol this week, complete with clowns, a carnival barker and a sideshow. The “Reverend” Barber was decked out like a prelate of the Church of Rome (no insult is meant to Catholics), complete with stole and cassock. All he was missing was a miter and the ensemble would have been complete.

Get it? No offense, Catholics, Goolsby only meant to insult the “Reverend” Barber (M.Div., Duke Divinity School), 600,000 members of the Disciples of Christ, and Barber’s 120-year-old congregation in Goldsboro.

Finally, ALEC board member, Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, was back in the news. (NC Speaker Thom Tillis is also on the ALEC board.) A June 3 email surfaced that Moffitt sent to Asheville mayor, Democrat Terry Bellamy. The City of Asheville is the plaintiff in a pending lawsuit against the state over a law — drafted by Moffitt — authorizing a state seizure of the city’s billion-dollar water system. Moffitt demanded to know if City Council was prepared to drop its lawsuit. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported:

To get their way, Reps. Tim Moffitt and Nathan Ramsey have raised the possibility of passing legislation to institute a district system of electing council members and shifting the election date and letting a bill that would save the city $5 million or more die, councilmen say.

City Council members called it “legislative extortion.” But Moffitt wasn’t done with Bellamy:

“In regards to district elections and moving City elections to general election cycles — it would require all seats subject to this years’ election to be extended for an additional year. What are your thoughts, since it would apply to you?”

Bellamy announced plans in March that she would not run for reelection this year in order to run for Congress against Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10) in 2014. Extending Bellamy’s term another year would be, shall we say, inconvenient — both for her and for Esther Manheimer, the Vice Mayor (another Democrat) running to replace her.

Moral Mondays continue because screwing with people’s drinking water, lives, and elections is not out of bounds in the Great State of ALEC.


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