Under the Dome

Cooper calls GOP teacher pay plan ‘a political Band-Aid’

Attorney General Roy Cooper revved Wake County Democrats on Friday evening, saying the years of progress under the party’s former leaders “came to a crashing halt” 14 months ago.

The reference to Gov. Pat McCrory’s ascension to office is no mistake. Cooper is making clear his intention to challenge to the Republican in the 2016 governor’s race. And he rallied the party’s faithful at a fundraiser in Raleigh with a speech fit for the campaign trail.

Cooper said he is encouraged by the “Moral Monday” protests and “convinced that that a majority of the people of North Carolina do not want to go in this direction.”

He called the Republican plan to address teacher pay “a political Band-Aid.” In the upcoming short legislative session, he said, Democrats need to pressure lawmakers to “make them expand Medicaid, make them raise teacher salaries, make them clean our water, (and) make them change our laws so people can more easily register (to vote).”

“In 2014, we are going to make a dent in the House and Senate, and in then in 2016, we are going to take it all back and move North Carolina forward,” he said to a roar from the crowd.