Thursday, January 05, 2012
Under Cover of Night
Approaching 1 a.m. this morning, the new Republican leadership in the NC House rammed through an override of a Bev Perdue veto in order to single out and punish the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE). Two House Democrats helped the Republicans in their project.
Associations of state workers routinely have their dues deducted from their state pay checks. The State Employees Association (SEANC) operates this way. So does the NCAE, at least they did until the dead-of-night vendetta against them played out in Raleigh early this morning.
The bad blood goes back to the passage last summer of the state budget which severely cut education funding. Teachers fought back, yes they did, by the means afforded them in their advocacy group, the NCAE, which mailed flyers blasting the five House Democrats who played traitor in voting for the Republican budget. At the time, the Republican Speaker Thom Tillis accidentally left a microphone on which broadcast to the entire legislative building that Republicans intended to punish the NCAE by eliminating their “check off” privileges: “The reason we’ve decided to do that is the NCAE has gone into all five districts [of the traitor Dems] with mailers hammering these Democrats,” Tillis said. “We just want to give them a little taste about what’s to come.”
Ah, the high-minded statesmanship of the morally superior!
Mark Binker today has written the best and most complete accounting of the midnight shenanigans in Raleigh.
The reason Gov. Perdue is calling the House’s action “unconstitutional” this morning is because the state’s founding document says that a veto-override session can only take up the veto in question, and Gov. Perdue called the Honorables back to Raleigh to consider only her veto of their repeal of the Racial Justice Act ... which, incidentally, they failed to achieve, throwing in the towel around 7 p.m. last night. The Republicans adjourned the session but called for a whole new session to convene at 12:45 a.m. this morning to take up new items. They clearly also intended to override the governor’s veto of the fracking bill and the voter photo ID law, but they couldn’t gather the votes. They had to settle for just crippling the teachers’ association. So ... it could have been worse, O my brethren.
Incidentally, the two Democrats who helped the Republicans out in attacking the teachers: Reps. William Brisson of Dublin and Jim Crawford of Oxford, both members in good standing of The Five Goobers.