Under the Dome

NC House Republican says McCrory’s criticism ‘borne of ignorance’

Rep. Michael Speciale speaks on the House floor in 2014. He said Gov. Pat McCrory’s critique of the legislature is “borne of ignorance.”
Rep. Michael Speciale speaks on the House floor in 2014. He said Gov. Pat McCrory’s critique of the legislature is “borne of ignorance.” cseward@newsobserver.com

Rep. Michael Speciale fired back this week at Gov. Pat McCrory for criticizing legislation that will reshape the Greensboro City Council.

Speciale, a New Bern Republican, had harsh words for McCrory on Facebook after the governor called the Greensboro change “a bad bill and a shameful process.” McCrory said he’d veto the bill, but because it’s local legislation, it automatically became law last week without his signature.

“Gov. McCrory just cannot seem to get that he is no longer a Mayor and we are not his Aldermen,” Speciale wrote on his Facebook page Monday. “As usual, the governor’s comments about the General Assembly are sophomoric and borne of ignorance and a lack of knowledge. The Executive Branch needs your attention, governor, not the Legislative Branch!”

Speciale went on to suggest that McCrory is “constantly grandstanding in the press.”

The Greensboro bill changes the city council from a mix of at-large and district members to eight district council seats, likely forcing a number of incumbents to run against each other. Critics say the change will diminish the impact of black Greensboro residents.

Speciale, however, defended the bill on Facebook – and the legislature’s role in changing the system.

“At-large voting allows a small cabal to control the political scene, but individual districts allows for individual representation,” Speciale wrote. “We do not have home rule in NC, therefore it IS the responsibility of the General Assembly to ensure the fairest system of government.”

But Speciale was against the bill before he was for it. He initially voted no but was among several Republicans who changed their mind and voted yes after a closed-door GOP caucus meeting.

The two votes were taken about an hour apart last Thursday.

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