Will the Red Shift also bring ‘transparency?’
In a blog on WRAL.com, the head of the Capitol Press Corps, Laura Leslie, called the vote for Speaker of the NC House of Representatives Wednesday a “Red Shift.”
I was at the legislature watching the historic show like many others, but I could not get access to the Speaker. Maybe because I can’t get press credentials from Leslie’s crew. I only got to hang out with another writer at a table in a courtyard watching a large TV screen
As soon as the vote for speaker was over and the new Speaker was through addressing the House, I asked for a list of the votes. The vote was a “roll call” vote and the NC House members voted by speaking the name of either the Republican nominee, Thom Tills of Mecklenburg, or Joe Hackney, the outgoing Speaker, of Orange County.
The problem was that many members had turned off their mikes so no one could hear their votes. Tillis won by a vote of 74 to 46. All the GOP members voted for Tillis, joined by six Democrats who crossed the aisle to vote for Tillis over Hackney according to WRAL.
As a lowly Examiner.com writer, I am still waiting a day later for the list of votes. The House Principal Clerk’s Office said the vote was not available to the public until after the session ended, when I requested it in person yesterday. Then today after a couple of phone calls and emails I gave up asking and called the Speaker’s office.
As I said to the Speaker and his cohorts later in an email so much for the much ballyhooed "transparency" the GOP promised voters during the 2010 campaign.
I heard Rep. Beverly Earle of Charlotte clearly announce her vote for her fellow county delegation member, and I was not too surprised--although one might wonder how her constituents back home will react to her vote. She is one of the very few black females in the Legislature, yet she cast her vote as a Democrat for a Republican white male in a white male dominated General Assembly.
According to WRAL’s report, there were six Democrats who voted across party lines for the newly elected Republican Speaker of the House, Rep. Tillis. One of them is a former foe of Joe Hackney, who has run for Speaker in the past himself, Jim Crawford of Granville County.
I am told Crawford was letting it be known in advance that he would vote for Tillis. Can’t say his Legislative Assistant knew, however. When asked about who had just voted for Tillis, she claimed she had no knowledge of the vote.
The vote could have significance for the way business will be conducted in the House this session. The NC Senate voted in Sen. Phil Berger as President Pro Tem by acclamation, Republicans and Democrats unanimously voting together.
The vote for Speaker was largely symbolic and an opportunity for speeches by each party’s leaders broadcast on Public Television.
Nonetheless, the rails will be greased for fast track GOP legislation, if the House can get folks like Crawford and other” Business Conservative” Democrats to cross over and vote for Republicans bills. It will give Speaker Tillis the same “veto proof” majority in the House Senator Berger has in the Senate this session.
From Examiner.com: Will the GOP deliver on campaign promise of 'transparency' in the legislature? - Raleigh Statehouse | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/statehouse-in-raleigh/will-the-gop-deliver-on-ca...
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