Editorials

The Cooper factor in the legislative session

Exclusive interview with Roy Cooper on HB2

N.C. Gov.-elect, Roy Cooper talks about the General Assembly's failure to repeal HB2 in an exclusive interview.
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N.C. Gov.-elect, Roy Cooper talks about the General Assembly's failure to repeal HB2 in an exclusive interview.

Don’t look for Gov. Roy Cooper and state Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore to have a “Casablanca” moment where they’re walking through the mist talking about the beginning of a “beautiful friendship.” If that happens, look for flying donkeys and Martians.

The Democratic governor and the Republican legislative leadership (see above) will clash and clash repeatedly during the coming session.

Cooper wants HB2 gone, and in a special session, showed he wasn’t backing down when Berger, the Senate leader, massaged some language in a repeal bill (which he failed to get passed) that was unacceptable to Cooper.

The power struggle will be evident time and again. Republicans may even reject Cooper’s Cabinet appointments, just for spite. But in Cooper, they have a foe with experience as one of them and in statewide-elected office as attorney general. And, Cooper recently reached out, in a way, to say he hoped the General Assembly and he could find some common ground. Let’s hope GOP chiefs respond. If they don’t, North Carolina will, elections aside, be the loser all the way around.

NC Sen. Phil Berger, Republican President Pro Tempore, expresses his frustration over the failure to pass a bipartisan bill that would repeal House Bill 2 while answering questions from the press following the North Carolina General Assembly’s fif

Video: Speaker of the N.C. House Tim Moore talks to reporters about the upcoming 2017 session of the General Assembly following the convening of the Legislature in January.

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