More misinformation about GOP power grab
The Right continues its push for a post fact world in Raleigh. Example number one this week would be Senator Andrew Brock.
Brock makes the list for his defense of the decision the General Assembly made in its unannounced power-grabbing special session in December to reduce the number of jobs in state government that serve at the pleasure of the governor from 1,500 to 425.
Brock was part of the Republican legislature that increased the number of political jobs from 500 to 1,500 after Republican Governor Pat McCrory was elected. Now that Democrat Roy Cooper is governor apparently 1,500 is just too many.
Brock told the Carolina Journal that “although the legislature voted to grant McCrory up to 1,500 political appointments, he only replaced about 300 employees, similar to what past governors did. So giving Cooper 425 political appointments is actually an increase, and Cooper “just wishes he was elected king.”
Putting aside the fact that Cooper appears to have no desire to be king but probably does want at least the same respect and authority to set up his administration as McCrory had, Brock is simply not telling the truth.
Rep. David Lewis made a similar claim during the special session, saying that McCrory had not filled many of the political positions available to him.
But as multiple media outlets reported at the time, McCrory filled roughly 1,400 of the political jobs, not 300 as Brock claimed or not a small number as Lewis maintained.
But then those are just the facts—nothing to worry yourself about if you’re a right-wing politician these days.
Lewis flip flops on redistricting reform he sponsored
Speaking of Lewis, he was back in the news this week as a coalition of progressive and conservative groups renewed its call for an independent redistricting process in North Carolina.
The group that includes NC Policy Watch and the John Locke Foundation has been pushing for redistricting reform since before the Republicans took over control of the General Assembly in 2011.
Democrats never thought it was a priority when they were in charge despite the push for it by leading Republicans at the time, including current Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.
The enthusiasm of many Republicans for changes in the way districts are drawn faded away once they were in power, though to its credit the House did pass an independent redistricting reform bill in the 2011 session with a large bipartisan vote.
The Senate never took up the bill that Berger himself sponsored just a few years earlier.
That brings us back to Lewis. He not only voted for the 2011 independent redistricting legislation, he was a primary sponsor of the bill and helped get it through the House.
This week Lewis appears to have changed his mind, telling reporters that it is disingenuous to say the redistricting process can be nonpartisan, which of course is what he claimed he supported just a few years ago.
Lewis is the point person on the House’s gerrymandering efforts that he now continues to defend even as both the legislative and congressional districts have been thrown out by a federal court and are now both, in different stages, before the U.S. Supreme Court for consideration.
The public overwhelmingly believes it is time to stop allowing politicians to gerrymander districts to protect themselves and their political parties. Lewis used to believe it too. Too bad he’s changed his mind.
One final note about the redistricting reform push. One far-right news aggregation site linked to the coverage of the redistricting reform news conference with the headline “Lefties try to steal NC Legislature.”
The picture in the story is of a staff member of the John Locke Foundation, where folks will probably be surprised to learn they are part of a left-wing organization.
Is not telling the truth a N.C value?
And now example number two of the post fact world on the Right, this time from the misnamed N.C. Values Coalition.
The group continues its vigorous effort to make sure the General Assembly does not repeal the sweeping anti-LGBT law HB2 that has cost North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs and demonized thousands of people in our communities.
The coalition is now urging supporters to send a letter to lawmakers urging them to resist calls to repeal HB2 and it includes the claim that lawmakers almost repealed it in a special session after they were tricked into believing that the City of Charlotte had repealed its nondiscrimination ordinance.
But there’s no trick there. The Charlotte City Council, unfortunately, did fully repeal its ordinance that protects the rights of LGBT people. It was part of a deal with legislative leaders to prompt the repeal of HB2, a deal the leaders did not keep.
The council first repealed parts of the ordinance affect by HB2 and then to remove any confusion, met again to repeal the entire ordinance the morning of the day the special HB2 session began last month.
The local ordinance is off the books but the coalition is circulating a letter saying it’s not.
Not telling the truth is an interesting approach for a group that claims to represent North Carolina values.