• 50°

Editorial: The ‘Going Too Far Gang’ in Raleigh

No matter how great their victories, the Republicans leading the N.C. General Assembly have an insatiable hunger for more. They have repeatedly reached for additional powers and imposed new curbs on others’ authority. As the majority, that is their right — to a point. Time and again, the Republican leadership sabotages the will of its constituents by going too far.

Concerned about voter fraud, lawmakers decided to reach beyond passing a requirement that voters show a photo ID, as several states did successfully. Instead, N.C. legislators enacted what some called the most sweeping and restrictive rewrite of state voting laws in the nation, cutting early voting and ending other practices. A federal appeals court struck down the law, saying its provisions deliberately “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision” to curb the black vote.

With a veto-proof supermajority, Republican lawmakers redrew congressional and legislative district maps to even further tighten their hold on government. More than once, their maps failed to pass constitutional muster. The latest ruling requires what is essentially a do-over next year on legislative redistricting and elections, after just holding those elections last month.

Then there’s House Bill 2 — not yet ruled unconstitutional but already causing economic damage. HB 2 not only restricts transgender bathroom use, but also bans local governments from passing laws protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The law set off a round of concert and tournament cancellations as well as industrial-recruitment reversals. The U.S. Department of Justice said HB 2 violates federal law, and ordered the state to stop enforcing it or lose millions.

Now the Republican-controlled legislature has set its sights on the governor’s powers. Smarting from Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s defeat, they passed measures during an emergency session last week to rein in Democrat Roy Cooper before he takes office. Even former Gov. Jim Martin, who as a Republican suffered similar treatment from a Democrat-controlled General Assembly, said lawmakers went too far last week by taking away the governor’s right to appoint trustees to UNC system schools.

Throughout much of this political maneuvering, Republicans have defended their actions by saying Democrats used the same tactics. So much for the moral high ground. Republicans have proved that politics is politics, regardless of party. Their chicanery has come to overshadow their accomplishments.

North Carolina could have required voter ID this year if lawmakers had not weighed down the law with other restrictions. Elections would be over now if the redistricting maps had been drawn fairly.

Only a concerted effort by voters who reject current legislators’ over-reaching conservatism can make them stop. The “Going Too Far Gang” gained power under redistricting maps drawn by Democrats. To break the gang’s grip on the state, moderate forces have to regain power under maps drawn — and redrawn — by Republicans.

Comments

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic

Crime

Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures

Crime

Blotter: Man faces drug charges after being found passed out in vehicle

Ask Us

Ask Us: What programs exist for litter cleanup?

Business

County begins accepting restaurant grant applications

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses

Nation/World

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

Nation/World

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Nation/World

Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment

Nation/World

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police

Local

Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies

Business

After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status

Lifestyle

39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership

Local

Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education

News

After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both

Education

East Spencer after-school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status

Lifestyle

Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

College

Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame