Embarrassing politics as usual continues in Raleigh

The News & Observer’s lede rightly calls the General Assembly out this morning: “Just after 1 a.m. today, in a secreted session critics called unconstitutional, Republican legislative leaders passed a bill aimed at weakening the state’s largest teachers association.”

With shenanigans like this, it’s no wonder that the approval rating for elected officials is right down there with Casey Anthony’s, who has a new video diary, by the way. (Hey, maybe that’s an idea for the state legislature!)

I don’t know that the issue — concerning the automatic deduction of dues from teacher paychecks to the N.C. Association of Educators — is one that most of the state’s citizens care much about. But the idea of legislators meeting in secret throughout the day and then calling surprise vote well past bedtime is abhorrent to good government. Unfortunately, it seems to be good politics, and there’s the rub. From Laura Leslie’s report:

“These bills were debated extensively during session. They’ve had full vetting,” responded House Rules chairman Tim Moore, R-Cleveland. “Whenever the will of the majority is to pass legislation without further delay, we should move forward.”

“Do you think 1:05 AM is a good time for the public to participate in this debate?” asked Paul Luebke, D-Durham.

“No time is better than the present,” Moore replied.

Best I can tell, the early morning action didn’t make any of the state’s newspapers’ print editions. That’s too bad, but hardly surprising, given that the action occurred a few minutes after 1 a.m., then the governor issued her comments at 1:16 a.m., followed by a news conference by Democrats. The front pages of the News & Observer and the News & Record bannered stories about the day’s actions up until about midnight with foreshadowing of the hijinks to come. And both the N&R and N&O websites have strong reports. (Not so much on the state’s other major newspaper sites.)

Do people still get angry over this kind of political behavior or are they resigned to it as more bad politics as usual?

7 thoughts on “Embarrassing politics as usual continues in Raleigh

  1. Thanks John.

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog so far.

    I hope the rest of the NC media follows your lead. I hate it when news coverage devolves into “he said, she said” especially when one side is so clearly in the wrong.

    You ask, “Do people still get angry over this kind of political behavior or are they resigned to it as more bad politics as usual?” Well, part of that depends on news coverage. People are much more likely to get angry if the news media doesn’t treat malfeasance as “politics as usual.”

    • Thanks, Justin.

      I’m a little disappointed that the morning papers didn’t play this up much, other than in Greensboro and Raleigh, but it did happen after deadline, which is convenient for lawmakers.

      We’ll see how papers play it tomorrow.

      I’m not sure how television news handled it, other than WRAL. I suspect that it wasn’t one of their lead stories, though.

  2. Its corrupt and immoral to conduct the States legislative business at 1:00a.m.; The republican parties contempt for the citizens of this state must be ended.

  3. You are talking about the same Honorable Body that slashed education spending at every level, which is even more immoral than plotting paybacks to teachers at midnight. Legislators who can leave four-year olds ‘in line’ indefinitely for preschool classrooms are probably completely numb to our outrage. They’re used to being reviled for their arrogance. But it is what they have done to our colleges, community colleges and public school classrooms that North Carolina should be the most outraged about.

  4. Pingback: Thom Tillis: “Cancel my subscription!” | Media, disrupted

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *