In the Carolina Journal, John Hood wrote about the parallels he saw in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump and the pipeline investigation into Roy Cooper. Perhaps it was meant to impugn the governor by comparing him to President Trump and the rampant corruption of his presidency.
Unfortunately, that’s the extent of the case against Governor Cooper: innuendo and implication. It’s been clear from the moment Governor McCrory conceded that the conservative forces in this state were lined up against Governor Cooper, and they have proven it time and again through stripping gubernatorial powers and erecting barriers to his agenda.
Now, would-be Dauphin Dan Forest has lodged a complaint against Governor Cooper as well, suggesting the FBI might need to be involved. Apart from the obvious fact that it’s a political ploy and not a serious statement, I suspect that authorities are rather occupied combing through the walking scandal named Greg Lindberg, He has primarily occupied himself by throwing birthday parties for Lt. Gov. Forest and trying to bribe elected officials.
Who else is involved in this charade? None other than the legislative duo of Tim Moore and Phil Berger.
Start with Speaker Moore. Tim Moore has had his fair share of scandals, but surprisingly enough, Republicans don’t seem to care. There are compelling claims that he profits from his position as Speaker, which gives him the ability to hear and dismiss legislation that could be personally profitable to him, as was reported in the News & Observer. Or maybe it’s better to cite the time where he profited by strong-arming the City of Durham into allowing development. It’s convenient that one can be both a personal attorney of powerful interests and Speaker of the House at once.
Plenty of Republican feathers are ruffled by the idea that Governor Cooper might have been able to negotiate for a fund to ensure environmental fallout from a pipeline could be mitigated, which benefits everyday North Carolinians, but the same outrage is nowhere to be found when the most powerful Republicans collect paychecks from their station.
Senate Leader Berger does not escape from scrutiny, either. Just this month, a well-respected ethics watchdog filed complaints about the way Berger uses campaign money. Simply put, Berger is allowed to use campaign funds to pay off the cost of a home he uses in Raleigh. It’s legal, but it’s wrong.
And that gets us back to the idea that Hood produced in the Carolina Journal. Republicans and Democrats just have different standards for our public officials. Republican voters may have elected a president to drain the swamp, but they should take another look at the folks they send to Raleigh.
The Republican leaders in Raleigh may think they’ve baked up a scandal for once in the Cooper administration, but they are hardly the ideal messengers of moral outrage.
Kirk Kovach is a native North Carolinian interested in writing about politics, communication and culture.