Under the Dome

NAACP petitions McCrory to call for special legislative session

Corrected: We had previously called the Capitol the "old" state Capitol. Barbara Boney Campbell, Past President of the N.C. State Capitol Foundation, took issue with our use of the word "old." While the building is getting up there in age, it is the only one. "Completed in 1840, the State Capitol stands on Union Square and is the only State Capitol in North Carolina," she assures us.

The North Carolina NAACP delivered a petition with more than 3,000 signatures to the office of Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday morning calling for a special legislative session to reverse laws blocking Medicaid expansion and cutting unemployment benefits.

Following a morning news conference, the Rev William Barber, who heads the state NAACP chapter, and about three dozen followers walked into the Capitol Building and handed the petition and information packets to McCrory spokeswoman Kim Genardo. Genardo met with the group in the Capitol rotunda for about 20 minutes.

Barber, who was joined by Greensboro Rabbi Fred Guttman and N.C. Council of Churches executive director George Reed, called the decisions to block Medicaid expansion and curb unemployment benefits moral wrongs that would hurt people of all political parties.

The NAACP previously urged McCrory and legislative leaders to call a special session to reverse the Medicaid legislation. At that time, McCrory issued a statement saying that “a special session to further expand Obamacare in North Carolina is out of the question.”

Asked if McCrory’s position had changed regarding a special session, Genardo indicated it had not. She provided the same statement that the governor’s office had issued in October. She prefaced the statement with: “Same question asked of administration on October 28th when NAACP hosted press conference. Here’s the same response as the last one.”

Legislative leaders also issued a joint statement in October rejecting the idea and characterizing those pursuing reversals of the Medicaid law as “Democratic Party front groups” who were unprepared to say how they would pay for the expansion.

Barber said on Tuesday that the issues are not ideological, citing Republican governors who had accepted Medicaid expansion. “It’s like he (McCrory) is stuck in an ideological time warp,” Barber said.

Barber said a Moral Monday protest will take place at the state Capitol on Dec. 23 – to either celebrate a decision to reverse the laws or keep up the pressure to do so.