Under the Dome

Dome: Tillis urges GOP to resist going too far too fast

May 6, 2013 


House Speaker Thom Tillis listed his goals for the 2013-2014 session during a press conference Tuesday, January 29, 2013. The North Carolina General Assembly will reconvene on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.

TAKAAKI IWABU — tiwabu@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

House Speaker Thom Tillis issued a warning last weekend to his fellow Republicans about overreaching with their supermajority power.

“I was the GOP minority whip in 2009,” he began in a Facebook post. “My job was to get conservative Democrats to help us defeat liberal legislation. The Democratic leaders, heavily influenced by their most liberal members and far-left groups, could not resist the pressure to move too far to fast. They did not compromise and they went too far.

“They got out of step with the citizens of NC and they lost their majority as a result. It was their lack of discipline that laid the groundwork for Republicans to have House/Senate super majorities, a GOP governor, and (lieutenant) governor,” he concluded. “Our lack of discipline will lay the groundwork for their ascendency and if they succeed we will only have ourselves to blame.”

What generated the post is unclear. A Tillis spokesman declined to elaborate and answer specific questions. “Speaker Tillis was simply recapping what occurred under Democratic leadership before Republicans won a majority in 2010, and pointing out that the Republican majority should learn from the mistakes of Democratic leadership of the past,” spokesman Jordan Shaw said Monday.

The post came days after a Republican lawmaker criticized Tillis for not supporting a constitutional conservative agenda and delaying firearm legislation. Rep. Larry Pittman later apologized for speaking so bluntly at a recent tea party meeting but he stood by his point.

Tillis’ thoughts came the day after he attended the American Legislative Exchange Council meeting in Oklahoma City and days before the Senate is expected to roll out a disputed tax overhaul plan and a state budget. Tillis is also considering a bid for U.S. Senate in 2014.

Pastor considers Senate run

The Rev. Mark Harris, pastor of Charlotte’s First Baptist Church, said Monday he’s listening to those who want him to run for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination next year.

Harris met in Charlotte last week with about 70 people from around 20 North Carolina counties who are trying to draft him to run.

“I’m certainly humbled and flattered by the confidence that these folks have expressed,” Harris told his congregation. “It’s a little bit overwhelming to be honest. ”

GOP: Voller apology not enough

Republicans are saying that Democratic Chairman Randy Voller did not go far enough in apologizing for a comment he made last week at an event for the Democratic Women of Guilford County.

Voller said: “The GOP that’s leading us – we don’t know where they’re taking us, but they’re raping us along the way.”

Republicans pounced on the comment, causing Voller to say “I was not intending to offend anyone. I’m sorry if they took it that way. That’s not what the metaphor means.”

Voller also told The Greensboro News and Record, that “women and men are both victims of abusive power and violence. I personally could have been raped.”

U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, a Dunn Republican said: “I’m not sure what’s worse – Chairman Voller’s statement or his non-apology after the fact. The chairman does not have to agree with our policies, but to try to compare policy differences to violent sexual assaults is beyond the pale. Certainly he should have enough respect for women – Democratic and Republican – to know better than to use that kind of inflammatory and offensive language.”

She said she was surprise that Democratic women such as Sen. Kay Hagan have not called for Voller’s resignation.

Staff writers John Frank, Rob Christensen, Charlotte Observer staff writer Jim Morrill

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