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Sunday, February 17, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (Reuters) – North Carolina’s Republican-dominated legislature is moving to strip powers from the state’s governor three weeks before Democrat Roy Cooper is set to succeed a member of their party in the executive mansion.

Lawmakers on Thursday began debating a bill to require Senate confirmation for cabinet appointments, reduce by 1,200 the number of state employees the governor could hire and fire at will, and eliminate the governor’s power to pick certain university trustees.

The legislation came as a surprise, filed late on Wednesday on the heels of a special “lame duck” session of the General Assembly called to consider relief for Hurricane Matthew victims.

Cooper, scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 7 after defeating incumbent Republican Pat McCrory by 10,000 votes last month, said the proposals were aimed at holding him back.

“Most people might think that this is a partisan power grab, but it is really more ominous,” Cooper said at a news conference in Raleigh on Thursday. “This is about thwarting the governor’s ability to move us forward on education and health care and clean air and water.”

Cooper, currently state attorney general, said his office was reviewing the proposals and would sue if lawmakers approved any measures he believed were unconstitutional.

Republicans called the changes justified by the state’s constitution. Senate confirmation hearings were held earlier in the state’s history, they said.

“Some of the stuff we’re doing, obviously if the election results were different, we might not be moving quite as fast on, but a lot of this stuff would have been done anyway,” Representative David Lewis, a Republican and a sponsor of the bill, told the News & Observer on Wednesday.

A House of Representatives committee voted on an unrecorded voice vote to advance the bill on Thursday, as about 100 people gathered at the legislature to demonstrate against the proposals.

North Carolina, the ninth most-populous U.S. state, has been roiled by sharp political divisions. The state voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and then turned to the right, electing McCrory in 2012 and Republican super-majorities in its state legislature.

The state became a target of boycotts by companies, musicians and sports leagues after it passed a law this year restricting bathroom access for transgender people in government buildings and public schools.

(Reporting by Marti Maguire; Writing by David Ingram; Editing by Dan Grebler)

IMAGE: North Carolina Governor-elect Roy Cooper speaks to supporters at a victory rally the day after his Republican opponent and incumbent Pat McCrory conceded in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

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9 responses to “North Carolina Republicans Try To Strip Powers From Democratic Governor-Elect”

  1. Team “REPUBLICAN” is never satisfied with a surfeit of power and influence—for them and their supporters, nothing short of complete and absolute control is sufficient. That’s inherent in partisan-politics, and the GOP has no sense of remorse whatsoever as they continue on a Ulysses Grant-like “cleansing” of the political landscape, just as Ulysses set out to cleanse the West of any “pesky” Native Americans back in the day.

  2. Thoughtopsy says:

    First it was voter ID… now it’s just naked power grabbing.
    Given how much they stroke their “Best Democracy in the World” johnsons, it’s amazing how much they are willing to corrupt it at the first sign they might lose control…

    Stay classy, GOP.

  3. I Am Helpy says:

    Putin’s GOP doesn’t like democracy? The hell you say!

  4. charleo1 says:

    Suffice to say, the new governor of NC. is going to have his hands full. And it seems to me he ought to be very vocal about all of it. Otherwise, Republicans with their super majorities in the State Legislature are going to write his political epitaph over the next 4 years. I can just hear the stump speeches now, can’t you? “Well, my opponent promised to expand health care, improve education, while reigning in the spiraling cost of higher education. And he also promised to end the bitter partisanship dividing us. But today, my fellow N. Carolinians, by any measure, he has failed!”
    Now I’m no political expert. But I believe Democrats are going to have to be more overt in informing the populous exactly what is transpiring. And how Republicans are blocking the various initiatives the voters themselves approved at he ballot box. How the normal and traditional ways of how we used to think about the politics of loyal opposition, have changed. And about how undemocratic, and fundamentally disrespectful to the will of the people this kind of no holds barred, obstruct at all costs politics is. And how it is the people themselves that must take the bull directly by the horns and demand it change. Otherwise, nothing gets done. And they and their families will fall further and further behind.

  5. Dan S says:

    As more and more people choose to vote for a Democrat or a Republican the GOP is looking at other ways to tie their hands. Look at Mitch McConnell refusing to even give a hearing to President Obamas nominee to replace the late Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court. He said let the voters decide when they vote for the next President. Well Clinton won the popular vote hands down & Russia helped swing the election to Trump who is clearly not qualified to be President. And now instead of trusting the good judgment of President Obama by nominating Merrick Garland we get to let Trump choose ? This is so wrong on so many levels that soon we’ll look no different than Russia & we the people are losing our voice & freedoms more and more

  6. patsy.wong says:

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  7. dpaano says:

    Isn’t this pretty much the same thing that the Republicans (McConnell) did when President Obama was elected? Cooper won the election fair and square and was voted in by the people of North Carolina…..they need to rise up against the State legislature for what they are doing in trying to limit Cooper’s job!

  8. Thomas Martin says:

    Sue the bastards.

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