Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Gov. Cooper Attacks the NC Chamber of Commerce for Racial Bias

Gary Salamido

Last Friday, November 17, Gov. Roy Cooper wrote a letter to Gary Salamido, president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Reporter Billy Corriher got his hands on a PDF of that letter and linked to it on Twitter. 

In the letter the Governor acknowledges the role the Chamber has in influencing both the General Assembly and the Governor's office about acceptable candidates for certain judicial and quasi-judicial jobs, like Business Court judges, industrial commissioners, and members of the Board of Review. 

The letter reveals more about the influence the Chamber has on the Republican bosses in the G.A. The bosses have already passed laws giving themselves the power of confirmation over the jobs listed above. It's simple dominoes. The bosses have power, but the Chamber has power over the bosses, because the Chamber represents money, and money wins elections.

The Governor details one example of the Chamber's veto, the case of the failed appointment of a Black woman to Business Court who's an ex-JAG officer in the Air Force and an Unaffiliated voter. "She is a partner at one of the largest law firms in the United States, where she represents corporate clients in product liability claims, complex civil litigation and environmental litigation." This is the sort of talent Cooper is saying the Chamber vetoes because she's Black.

It's kind of a bombshell letter.

Naturally, Mr. Salamido did not like the letter, mainly, he says, because Cooper released it to the media before he himself received it. Salamido called the letter “malevolent and libelous.”

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