Wake Dems Weekly Update: A break from the madness


July 1, 2017

We hope you and your family have a restful weekend as we celebrate our nation’s independence!

We told you all about the Republican budget the last few weeks. As expected,Gov. Cooper vetoed it Monday, and also as expected, the General Assembly quickly overrode his veto, so the budget is now law. Luckily, nearly every Democrat who initially voted for the budget came around to sustain the governor’s veto. But that wasn’t enough against a united GOP supermajority which Democrats are still just short of piercing. November 2018 can’t get here soon enough.

Legislators adjourned in the wee hours of Friday morning (the Senate at 1:31 AM, and the House at 2:09). But they will be returning on August 3rd and again on September 6th to deal with redistricting, any vetoes from the governor, conference reports on bills the House and Senate couldn’t agree on before adjournment, constitutional amendments, and a few other matters.

Technically, when legislators come back to Raleigh, they will still be in this year’s regular “long” session. But unlike the last six months, the bills they can consider are limited by the adjournment resolution passed Friday morning. Despite those limits, we could be in for another doozy. Not only will legislative lines be redrawn (depending on timing and criteria set by the federal courts), but legislators specified that they will also redraw judicial and prosecutorial districts, and could gerrymander cities and counties as well.

But the top story this week will evidently remain one of the top stories for months—Republicans’ out-of-the-blue attempt to impeach our Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, the first time the state will have considered impeachment since 1870. So Republicans are working their way down the Democratic Council of State roster, after repeatedly targeting the governor, Attorney General, and even the former Secretary of Public Instruction who is no longer even in office.

On Thursday, it appeared Speaker Moore had brushed impeachment off the table, but the adjournment resolution specifically allows it to be considered when business resumes in August. It looks like legislators will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate claims without legal merit, just to score political points. So petty and baseless are the charges that in March, when Marshall’s staff delivered requested notary documents to impeachment ringleader Rep. Chris Millis (R-Pender), Marshall’s 2016 opponent was in Millis’ office, ready to receive the documents, according to testimony that staffer gave in the House Rules Committee this week. That opponent also appeared with Millis at a press conference laying the groundwork for the impeachment fiasco. Yet Millis claims this isn’t political.

Speaking of Millis, while all this was going down, the NC Conservative PAC he runs started tweeting homophobic attacks on Democratic legislators and even a Republican Senate staffer. Milis claims no knowledge of the since deleted tweets, that a nameless “volunteer” was responsible.

And that’s just the beginning of this long, crazy week. Next time, we will have more on these topics and other bills that were rushed through the General Assembly while many of us were sleeping.