Republicans give glimpse into Wednesday actions
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RALEIGH -- By now, most people who follow politics know that, late Wednesday night, state lawmakers gavelled out of reconvened session and then came back into their ongoing regular session at 12:45 a.m. Thursday.
What many people outside of the Republican inner circle don't know is just how or why this happened.
The communications director for House Speaker Thom Tillis' office said getting to 12:45 a.m. was actually a long road.
Jordan Shaw says Gov. Bev Perdue is the person responsible for setting the tone of the day, which was hostile. He said it began with her office not officially nominating Republican Trudi Weland to her seat in the General Assembly.
After Republican's public outrage, Weland was seated -- but bridges were already burned.
As this worked itself out, it was easy to notice there were multiple empty seats on the Democrats' side of the House chamber.
After some number crunching, Republicans realized if they could get a few more members in the chamber and a few friendly Democrats to join on, they had the three-fifths majority they needed for veto overrides.
But they insist they didn't know what for until moments before the 12:45 session.
While a Rules Committee meeting was taking place at 8:45 p.m., and Rep. Tim Moore was dodging questions from Democrats about adjournment, his colleagues from the far reaches of the state were already on the road.
And as the house gathered for the 12:01 session, Representatives Roger West, of Cherokee County and Grey Mills of Iredell County were in house for the first time of the day.
“That is not good government. That is not the way good government should function,” Minority Leader Joe Hackney said, about the Wednesday night maneuvers.
Republicans are quick to point out this is not the first time an adjournment resolution was altered to change the scope of what is being considered.
In fact, they point to Senate Joint Resolution 1575 from 2007, where two of the biggest opponents of the Wednesday night's action, Hackney and Perdue, signed the document.
Republicans say this sets a precedent, and while their actions may have been political hardball, they contend they were also legal.