|Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate|
1. So Gov. Bev Perdue takes the gutsy action of calling on the NC General Assembly to raise sales taxes three-quarters of a penny to restore some of the teaching jobs lost under the budget rammed through by the new Republican majority, a budget which included letting a temporary 1-cent sales tax increase expire.
2. Republican Senate Pooh-bah Phil Berger has a conniption, partly, we suspect, over the fact that The Guv was gutsy. Who saw that coming? He challenges Perdue to a debate. Which she declined.
Asked how much of this is about election-year politics, Berger said he’d been told by consultants that “The governor’s path to re-election is most likely going to be successful if she can pick a fight with the legislature. In my opinion, I think what you’re seeing, particularly over the last week or so, is her picking that fight."
Let that sink in. Republican consultants have been telling Berger (and Thom Tillis, we would guess) that their long-awaited assumption of power in the state has made them very unpopular. More than just telling Berger, they were apparently warning him that The Guv could put herself on a track to reelection if she "picks a fight" with the unpopular Republican-dominated General Assembly.
She does it, and Berger spills the beans. There are some Republican consultants experiencing face-palm time right now in Raleigh.