A new sheriff in town

Governor Cooper has come into the new year ready and willing to do the people’s work. I’m encouraged.

On Medicaid, the governor is taking a sensible approach to make sure families don't go bankrupt from medical expenses. His proposal for Medicaid expansion if the right thing to do. On HB2, he’s telling businesses around the nation and the world that we are not a state that discriminates against people who travel to the beat of a different drum. This is a good thing. And on teacher pay and school funding, he’s thrown down the gauntlet to state legislators, reminding everyone that our state has a lot of work to do to dig out of the hole they’ve dug. Teacher's and parents should be cheering.

But that’s not all. Mr. Cooper is also defending the office of the governor against legislative overreach – and his record of challenging unconstitutional laws is impressive. Hopefully, Attorney General Stein will be at his side, representing the people's interests and the state constitution in what promises to be a long list of court challenges.

We should support Mr. Cooper’s aggressive approach to cleaning up the mess that the GOP has made in Raleigh, and we should encourage him to expand his vision. What's on your list of things the Governor should be pursuing?

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Comments

The first thing that popped into my mind

was the need for Cooper to put a halt to Duke Energy's plan to make ratepayers absorb the costs of coal ash cleanup. Unless my tea leaves are getting stale, that's going to come before the Utilities Commission very soon. Roy needs to put several bugs in their ears about that.

No illusions

The governor is North Carolina is, by law, one of the weakest of all governors in the US. Our state constitution puts the office at a distinct disadvantage vis-a-vis the legislature. And we all saw what happens when that weak office is occupied by a spineless hack like Pat McCrory.

But constitutional restrictions can be trumped by the bully pulpit, by going directly to the people to get them activated and engaged. Plus, we're already seen the cracks in Berger's thin armor ... he can't even hold his caucus together on important legislation like repealing HB2.

Equally important, the likelihood of special elections in 2017 means the GOP will be playing defense on many fronts. All the more reason to challenge their every move, both in court and in the public arena.

The GOP leadership, and most of the followership, is a collection of ugly, hateful, greedy people who have no interest in the common good. They make a mockery of public service, like bullies on the playground. I can't think of one decent thing they have done in the past four years. And yet, they are "proud" of their record? I see no alternative but to assume they are an unscrupulous enemy. We must be prepared to fight them in every way.

$88,000,000 +

Let's round up to a smooth $1 billion. That's the potential revenue that would come from legalization of marijuana in North Carolina ... and it's a number that doesn't include any savings from our continuing and failed war on drugs.

I'd like to see Governor Cooper start by proposing a study of legalization by a non-partisan commission of economists and public policy professionals.

After all, we live in a world of state-sponsored gambling with the NC Education Lottery. What's the big deal?

Cooper could also use Executive Clemency Orders

to get low level marijuana users and other non-violent offenders out of state prisons. $30,000 per year per inmate could pay for lots of other more important things.

I totally agree but I doubt our new federal

Attorney General, whether it be Sessions or some other Trump nominee, will continue to turn a blind eye to legalizing pot. Not sure. That horse may be too far from the barn, toothpaste out of the tube etc. for the feds to do anything about. Would be nice if they just left it to the states so common sense could prevail.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Shoot out

If there's a shootout coming between California and the rest of the United States, I put my money on California.