End of the Session, End of an Era?

The 2006 legislative session ended on Friday and with it so did the career of Richard Morgan. Now I would not normally bemoan the loss of Republican member of the NC House, but this one seems to the harbinger of a bad tide in North Carolina politics.

First, it should be recognized that the position of legislator in North Carolina is not a coveted job. Being a member of North Carolina's General Assembly is not a well paid position and is still considered to be a part-time job, even though the members spend many hours fundraising and attending events to even be able to run for this part-time job and must uproot themselves for many months and head to Raleigh each year. The legislators then work late into the night and get heaped little praise, usually being overshadowed by national events or state-wide elected officials. But the legislators are ones with their hands in the fire crafting policy for the state that affects the lives of many on any given day.

These factors usually result both in many slots to run for the legislature open each election because people do not want to deal with the hassle and that those that do run are typically very statesman like. Sure that are a few Jim Black's who seem interested in personal gain and others dedicated to a philosophy, but it is obvious (as compared to national politics) that the vast majority of legislators are there to help the people and the state, whether or not we agree with them.

That is where Richard Morgan comes in. Morgan is a long time house member who was highly thought of in the Republican party and elected speaker pro temp of the house and other leadership positions in the Republican party. He was also know as someone who was willing to work in a bipartisan manner. Now it was this that riled the Puppetmaster, Art Pope. Pope spent hundreds of thousands of his and his corporation's and his 527's money ousting Morgan and selecting a radical replacement.

The point of this post is not the legality of Pope's actions but the tone that is left by the ouster. The Republican party is being molded by Pope into a more distinctly partisan and radical group, one legislator at a time. This new partisanship is horrible turn from the days of North Carolina's legislators working together. It is all fine in theory to be set in your goals that you will not work on any compromise, but the General Assembly both must implement new policies to advance our state and also meet its needs to ensure that our schools are funded, that prisons run smoothly, that our legal system has ample resources, and that counties are provided support. As the tone in Raleigh slides to more partisan rancor, these essential functions of government are going to suffer since it will become increasing difficult to get even the essential legislation through.

Art Pope is trying to mold North Carolina's political landscape to be much more polarized. He succeeded with ousting Morgan. If he continues taking North Carolina down this path, we will all be worse off. Wondering, much like they in Washington these days, where the civility in debate and ability to come together has gone.


Up until now

the radical right has been able to 'go extreme' and the reasonable left has always managed to meet it half way ... which means we've been sliding inexorably to the right with every compromise we make.

That's why we fight - and why some of us (at least) need to push back hard and without compromise. Until we get the middle back in the middle.

Good summary of the long-term threat of PopeCo. He's a divider, not a uniter.

Moore County - Morgan's District

Is going to have a debate between the three candidates that are competing for Morgan's job in October. (Joe Boylan - Art Pope's hand-picked candidate / Gerald Galloway - running as independent but a life-long Dem / Manilla "Bud" Shaver - also running as indy, but a Republican)

I have called our local newspaper, The Pilot, who is hosting this debate to see if i can get a definite date. At this posting I have not heard back from them.

I am also trying to find out what the protocols will be for the debate, whether they will take questions from the audience or a pre-selected list.

As soon as I have more information on this brewing battle, I will post it here.

As an aside, I met Gerald Galloway at a Dem Reunion Saturday, July 29th. Didn't get much "talk time" with him, but did get his email address. He agreed to take some questions. Although he isn't really very computer savy (his words), he said he may be willing to come to bluenc, post and take questions.

Now, all I have to do is get permission from Lance (is this how to do this?) and get some questions from all of you to send to him.

Momo, no need for permission

To get the candidate to throw out his thoughts.

Lance can help with the formatting and graphics if need be. As far as questions, you want to ask open ended questions to give the candidate a chance to talk. Some fertile gorunds for questions are "what do you plan to do while in office?" Why are you running? How has this process affected you/your family? Then there are the race specific questions like "what do you think your chances are as an independent?" "What do you think the most important issue facing Moore County is?" And the clicher is always "How can those interested in your campaign help?"


Which district? You can use the same questions I sent or go back to the question list and add your own. You don't need to ask. Just lay claim to that interview.

My posts will start tomorrow. I still don't have any interviews completed, but I'm giving them some front page time even if it's only a few minutes. They are just getting back from session and getting geared up for campaigning. I'm sure we'll get more responses from challengers.

I'm getting the list for the 2nd district up today in a bit.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Another Question for Galloway

I am certainly glad to have a competitive race in Moore County! I know Gerald Galloway from my work in the non-profits here, and he's a good man. However, a question I'd like to see addressed is the switching of his party affiliation - how often has he done it, and why?

I don't know why - but this question bothers me like an anticipated sneeze that just never materializes. I'd really like to see him address that.

SD - it's the 52nd House District

Also, I just talked to David Sinclair, the managing editor at the Pilot Newspaper. He told me that the debate is tentatively scheduled for October 23rd. They are currently working out the agenda and are hoping to hold the debates at the Sunrise Theatre in Southern Pines. I will keep you posted as i learn more.

Lance, Thank you sir! I will be e-mailing Mr. Galloway this evening and will post his response as soon as he returns it. Thanks TarGator and Southern Dem for your suggestions.

Thank you to everyone for bearing with me. This citizen activism is relitively new to me....I have worked campaigns, calling and standing outside of voting places....but this forum makes me feel like I am making a difference more than anything else I have done.

I've sent you an email

I wanted to make sure you got the list of questions, etc.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Southern Dem - got it

and returned my reply. Thanks for your help.