David Miner was one of the "moderate" Republicans purged in last month's Republican primary. He had represented Wake County in the N.C. House for six years and co-chaired the powerful finance committee. His sin? Being an ally of co-speaker of the N.C. House Richard Morgan, who is persona-non-grata these days in the state Republican Party.
This morning's News & Observer contains a profile article on Miner, and it sounds like he might drift on over to the Democratic Party, where he would be welcomed. The N&O characterizes the primary assault on him this way: "A series of vicious radio ads and direct mailings, funded by well-heeled Republicans such as Art Pope, painted Miner as a tax-raising, homosexual-protecting, criminal-loving liberal. Nelson Dollar, a perennial candidate, won more than two-thirds of the vote [in the primary]."
Miner himself admits that he's not, in fact, a conservative any more, that he has "grown as a person and as a leader."
"It's so easy to spew this stuff about cutting the fat from the state budget," he said. "What I learned in six terms is that there's some waste in state government, but there's not a lot."
"If that sounds a lot like something you'd hear from a Democrat, listen to this: Miner not only co-sponsored the bill imposing a two-year moratorium on the death penalty, he opposes the death penalty outright. He also opposes a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. And yes, he was one of two Republicans to vote in favor of a bill that added sexual orientation to the state's hate crimes law; he was one of the few Republicans who voted to allow Orange County to ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation."
This is the sort of governmental philosophy that drives Republicans completely nuts. They don't need no stinking "personal growth"! And they'll not stand for it in their elected representatives either. So much (again!) for the Big Tent.