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.

Judicial endorsement quandry

By Dan Barry

In a few weeks we will gather with Republicans from across our great state in Hickory as we unite our party for the coming election during our annual convention.  

Like so many of you, I am thrilled to have the primary behind us so we can focus on the task at hand — electing Republicans. Union County, like other counties across the state, has been hard at work getting organized, raising money, and walking a few neighborhoods. We are busy building the Red Wall to prevent the Pelosi Progressives from gaining an inch.

This year I had the privilege of serving on the North Carolina Republican Party Plan of Organization Committee. The committee is asking delegates to approve a change in the Plan of Organization to allow Executive Committees to endorse candidates in judicial races where there is no primary. From a fundamental perspective, this is not something that any of us are pleased with. It is, however, necessary given the NCGA’s elimination of primaries in this year’s judicial elections.

The problem is simple math. If we have multiple Republican candidates enter these contests, the vote will be diluted and the opposition candidate runs at a significant advantage. Additionally, there is nothing to prevent a Democrat from switching party affiliation, filing as a Republican, and immediately switching parties after the filing closes. The Executive Committee will have an opportunity to vet these issues and make recommendations on candidates worthy of support. In no case is the Executive Committee required to make an endorsement.  

Union County has firsthand experience with this challenge. Several years ago, Union County had a number of individuals file in a non-partisan School Board election for an at-large seat. Only one Democrat filed. Diluting the Republican vote among several candidates gave the Democrat candidate a significant advantage and the Democrat was elected. 

We have all seen and are too familiar with what happens when Democratic activist judges are on the bench. We must come together and do all in our power to prevent this from happening.

The Plan of Organization Committee report is available online at the Convention Tab of the NCGOP.org website. I also welcome email inquiries to chairman@uniongop.com.  

Dan Barry is Chairman of the Union County Republican Party