Thursday, June 18, 2015

Revenge Politics Targets UNC Law School

Gene Nichol
Remember Gene Nichol? He's the University of North Carolina law professor who led the UNC Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity, at least until the center was eliminated by Republican tools as political payback. Nichol had been an outspoken critic of the governor and of the NC General Assembly. He has published op-eds in the Raleigh News & Observer which pointed out that laws passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. McCrory are hurting the citizens of this state.

Republicans killed Mr. Nichol's center, but Nichol remained on the law faculty. So what did the Republican bullies in the NC Senate do yesterday? Chief bully Tom Apodaca from Hendersonville, in the sixth hour of debate over a new Republican budget for the state, suddenly introduced an amendment to jerk $3 million away from the UNC School of Law and give it to the Mountain Area Health Education Center.

Sen. Jeff Jackson, D-Mecklenburg, called Apodaca's amendment "piñata politics." Sen. Terry Van Duyn, D-Buncombe, said that Apodaca's revenge politics "breaks my heart because it seems totally undeliberative and quite, in fact, punitive and just not worthy of this body, and it pains me to say that. This is not the way we should be making laws."

"This feels like the Gene Nichol transfer amendment," said Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham.

Tom Apodaca
For his part, Apodaca didn't even bother to deny the charges of political revenge. As Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules, he was unembarrassed. He is the very essence of the governing spirit which has seized control of this state.

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