Last week, the legislature met to determine whether to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of a bill that would change the board of elections and severely hamper the ongoing investigation of the Harris election fraud scandal in NC-09. Republicans needed 60% of the House members present to vote “Aye” to sustain the veto. It passed with little fanfare, but the GOP only had a one vote margin.
However, six Democratic House members did not show up. Had they come to Raleigh, even if they didn’t vote, Cooper’s veto would have been sustained. Republicans overrode the veto with 68 votes. Had the other six Democrats been in the room, they would have needed 70 votes. They weren’t there.
Democrats can make all kinds of excuses for not showing up. They can argue that if they had come to Raleigh, then the absent Republicans would have been there or the two non-voting Republicans would have voted. None of that speculation really matters.
From a political standpoint, Republicans just voted for a bill that attempts to impede an investigation into election fraud. That’s a bad vote. That’s why two Republicans didn’t vote and three more didn’t show up. Forcing those members to vote to override the veto would have given Democratic opponents ammunition in 2020. That’s worth the effort to go to work.
On purely a work ethics point of few, Democrats were lacking. While 13% of Democrats were absent, only 4% of Republican were. That’s not a good look, especially when we’re in a fight for the future of our state.
If legislators don’t want to be inconvenienced around holidays and other times, they shouldn’t run. There are plenty of people who would gladly take on the responsibility to push back against Republican overreach at any cost. The voters and the people who just put their hard earned time and money into electing Democrats deserve better.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >