I have known Dean Weingarten for a number of years now. He is one of the good guys and he does good work. However, sometimes an outsider’s perspective is very different from that of someone closer to the action. Such is the case with the failure to over-ride Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of H652 – Second Amendment Protection Act.
In an Ammoland.com article entitled, “Rogue Republicans and Democrats Join Forces to uphold NC Governor Veto of Gun Reform”, Dean asserts that nine Democrats and five Republicans “changed their vote”.
Yes and no.
You had six members of the House who had excused absences on July 8th – one Democrat and five Republicans. Their absences lowered the threshold for a veto over-ride from 72 to 69. It should be remembered that the North Carolina General Assembly is a part-time job for which members are paid less than $15,000 annually plus per diem. There are going to be conflicts especially when the General Assembly is being called back and again as the session drags on much longer than normal thanks to gubernatorial vetoes and court actions involving redistricting.
On the day that the bill originally passed, June 25th, all six of these House members were present. Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenburg) voted Nay that day. Republicans Ted Davis (New Hanover), Jeff Elmore (Avery & Wilkes), Donny Lambeth (Forsyth), David Rogers (Burke & Rutherford), and Larry Yarborough (Granville & Person) all voted Aye.
Conversely, on June 25th, Democrats Cecil Brockman (Guilford), Carla Cunningham (Mecklenburg), Susan Fisher (Buncombe), Verla Insko (Orange), and Evelyn Terry (Forsyth) were given execused absences. There were no Republicans absent that day.
H652 passed on June 25th with a total of 77 votes – 65 Republicans and 12 Democrats. It was only a veto-proof majority if, and only if, enough Democrats stuck with their original vote to provide the margin. The Republicans lost their super-majority in both houses of the General Assembly in the 2018 election. They must have Democrats cross over to over-ride any veto. That is the bottom line.
Dean noted that nine Democrats changed their votes. This is in error.
You have the five that were originally absent now voting Nay. you have the excused absence of Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenburg) who had voted Nay, and you have six – not four- who originally voted in favor of the bill now voting to sustain the governor’s veto. I did a long post on those six. Dean missed that Rep. Brian Turner (D-Buncombe) and Rep. Marvin Lucas (D-Cumberland) switched their original Aye votes to Nay.
Dean mentions a vote that was 67-47. That vote was merely to call the bill to be voted on in the House. That vote only needed a majority to pass and not the super-majority required for a veto over-ride.
I think it is an error to call the Republicans who had an excused absence “rogue”. Gov. Roy Cooper has issued more vetoes than all the other governors combined since that power was granted to them. In this current session, Cooper has issued 25 vetoes. None, I repeat none, have been overturned. The only thing that would have changed if all of those five had been there is that the number of Democrats voting Aye would have been zero. Some of these Republicans are outstanding on gun rights, a couple just so-so, and all are better than their Democrat opponents in November when it comes to gun rights.
Dean is absolutely correct on two things.
Governors frequently offer rewards and twist arms to have legislators change their vote in veto override attempts.
In these votes, the progressive media favors those in favor of infringing on Second Amendment rights, which gives cover for those who change their votes.