Thwarting dirty politics

North Carolina Democrat legislators seem to forget they are the minority when the General Assembly is in session, and even express incredulity when Republicans use super-majority votes in representing the will of their constituents.

Of course, it never happened when the roles were reversed! But it was particularly amusing to watch Democrats try to protest when lawmakers returned to Raleigh July 24 to take up two timely bills — a House bill on wording Constitutional amendments on the November ballot, and a Senate bill essentially to stop a wholly inappropriate ploy by state Supreme Court candidate Chris Anglin.

The House bill was in response to a battle over semantics in presenting six amendments to voters this November. It revolved around a typical presumption among Democrats that their constituents are not very smart and need dumbed-down wording to understand the purpose of the amendments. These are the same Democrats who expect to sell higher taxes as a way to spur economic growth.

However, Senate Bill 3 represents a home run by Republicans lawmakers. Passage of the bill thwarts Anglin from appearing on the ballot as a RINO (Republican in name only).

Carolina Journal offered some key insights into how the Stop Anglin story played out, one of which was the factual point that Republicans created the scenario whereby Anglin suddenly became a Republican.

Republican legislators canceled this year’s judicial primaries. They permitted no other process for the major parties to identify the candidate of their choice on the ballot. … Acting roughly 105 days before the election, the General Assembly clearly rewrote election rules in the middle of the process.

Yet no leading Democrat has stepped forward to disparage the chicanery on his side of the political aisle. References to Anglin have feigned ignorance about partisan political factors motivating either the candidate or his backers. It would have been easy for a (Democrat) legislator to distance himself from the Anglin team’s questionable conduct.

On the last possible day in June, Anglin flipped his voter registration to Republican and filed for the Supreme Court race. The Senate bill eliminates political affiliation next to Anglin’s name on the ballot by specifying that any candidate (for any office) may not realign with a different political party if filing 90 days or less.

It’s clear,” writes Mitch Kokai for the Journal, “to any fair-minded observer that — regardless of Anglin’s original intent — elements within the Democratic Party have latched onto Anglin’s candidacy as a tool to help blunt Barbara Jackson’s vote among Republican voters. Their ultimate goal is to help ensure (Democrat Anita) Earls’ victory.”

Far better for NC Republicans to absorb baseless criticism for “changing the rules” in the middle of the game than to have allowed Anglin to masquerade as a Jackson alternative.

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