Letters to the Editor

Legislature special session on amendments draws criticism from NC residents

A small group of protestors show their opposition to the first extra session of the legislature on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 in Raleigh, N.C. Lawmakers were called back to Raleigh to write captions for constitutional amendments for the November election ranging from voter ID, income tax, judicial vacancies and governor’s power.
A small group of protestors show their opposition to the first extra session of the legislature on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 in Raleigh, N.C. Lawmakers were called back to Raleigh to write captions for constitutional amendments for the November election ranging from voter ID, income tax, judicial vacancies and governor’s power. rwillett@newsobserver.com

The following Sunday Forum is in response to “Session called to write amendment summaries” (July 24).

‘Usurpation’

Since the election of Governor Roy Cooper, I have observed the majority leadership in our Legislature act with complete disregard and contention to the spirit of cooperation and communication.

It is not the products of General Assembly that I wish to call attention to, but rather the means in which they are produced that I find reprehensible. Certainly, this new attempt to override democratic processes is one of a history of infractions taken by the majority leadership.

This particular action taken by House Rules Committee Chairman David Lewis to hold a “special session” can be likened to one of the usurpations conducted by King George III as cited in the Declaration of Independence: “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”

Of course, several alterations should be made to pull this passage into the present so that it may reflect the current actions of the majority leadership in the legislature:

[House Rules Committee Chairman David Lewis] has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of [undermining the Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission] into compliance with his measures.

Just as behavior of this kind was not tolerated by our Founding Fathers, it ought not be tolerated now . I urge my fellow North Carolinians to see these acts for what they truly are (usurpation) and vote accordingly in the upcoming elections.

Joshua Peters

Cary

‘Circus’

“The three member committee couldn’t be trusted not to politicize the amendments.” Seriously? What does the Republican legislature call what they are doing? The legislature calls a last minute meeting to “word” the amendments properly.

One can only hope that North Carolinians are smarter than these power-hungry thugs and will vote, not only against these amendments, but every single one of them out of office. It’s time for the circus to end. North Carolina is better than this.

Kathleen Kelly

Emerald Isle

Amendments ‘anti-voter’

I attended the N.C. General Assembly’s surprise special session on Tuesday. And I’m upset.

After hearing for the first time on Twitter that legislative leaders planned to remove any chance for plain-language explanations of constitutional amendments on the ballot this fall, I rescheduled my work meetings and drove to the Legislative Building. But I’m incredibly privileged: I have access to the internet to see the announcements on social media, a car at my disposal and I live just one county away from Raleigh.

Most North Carolinians I know are frustrated but they couldn’t be there. So I tried to speak for them. I stood up during the public comment period and reminded our legislative leaders that we received less than 24 hours’ notice of this sham session; of lawmakers’ lack of transparency about proposing more election changes less than 90 days from the start of early voting; told them about how upset I am that no one inside the Legislative Building appears to be listening.

Here’s hoping voters outside the building are listening. And that they join me in rejecting this cynical process by voting against these legislators’ anti-voter amendments this fall.

Caitlin Metzguer

Durham

Set term limits

I just finished reading about “Dictator” Berger, “Emperor” Moore and “Court Jester” Lewis calling for a special session to write descriptions about the proposed amendments to the state Constitution. It seems they don’t trust the committee required by law to do the job, because “heaven forbid” there are two Democrats on it.

I am registered as an unaffiliated voter because I became disgusted with both parties. It seems that bipartisan is a bad word nowadays and no effort is made to work together for the people of North Carolina.

I think it’s time we add another amendment to the state Constitution that sets term limits of two terms for all legislators. Our governor is limited to two terms and so should our politicians. We have too many of them making a career of politics . This applies to both parties.

The voter ID law which was overruled by the court system is a good example of how the current “dictators” want to circumvent the law by making it an amendment to the state Constitution. It’s time “We the People” take back control of our government.

Bob LeBowsky

Cary

Read ‘fine print’

I believe that voters would be foolish to vote to approve the six constitutional amendments proposed by state lawmakers. When I sign an agreement, I have learned to read the fine print.

I will not vote for any amendment for which the details will be filled in during a lame-duck session after voters pass it November 6th. My daddy taught me better than that.

Glenna Sears

Raleigh

‘Trickery’

What are the Republicans so afraid of? Because the Republicans know they won’t convince people to pass the dangerous proposed state constitutional amendments on their ideas, they’re trying to fool the voters with trickery and obfuscation.

Let the legally designated Amendments Commission do their job, as they have quite successfully in the past. Who’s doing the politicizing here ?

Don’t worry; from now until Nov. 6, the voters will be educated on what’s really going on here – voter suppression; a regressive tax cap that will unfairly target the poor; completely unnecessary new laws; and a power grab away from the governor, counties, cities, towns and the people.

Go ahead and act like you’ll be in power for the next 100 years – we’re here to tell you your days in Raleigh are numbered (specifically, 106).

Susan Siegel

Carrboro

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