Home National Politics To the South: Standing Up to the Tea Party in NC

To the South: Standing Up to the Tea Party in NC

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Outgoing Democratic NC Governor Bev Perdue has been called the least popular governor in the country by pollsters and the not-liberal media.  A moderate Democrat, she has governed from the center.  (You know what I think about the middle of the road (full of yellow lines and dead armadillos, as Jim Hightower said).  Personally, I think Democrats should be Democrats.

Part of the antipathy TeaPublicans have for her has been the result of her increased moxie standing up to their Teahadist extremism. And, along the way, increasingly, she has my respect.  Over the past year Perdue has blocked a number of Tea Party efforts.

But just this past week she vetoed the racist TeaPublican effort to gut the Racial Justice Act.  For one thing, the GOP tried to disallow  the use of statistical evidence in death penalty case appeals.  Here is the Governor’s statement on the veto:

I should note that I disagree with Gov. Perdue about her support of the death penalty. Here is part of what she said:


Several months ago, a North Carolina superior court judge ruling on a claim brought under the Racial Justice Act determined that racial discrimination occurred in death penalty trials across the State over a multi-year period.  The judge’s findings should trouble everyone who is committed to a justice system based on fairness, integrity, and equal protection under the law.

Faced with these findings, the Republican majority in the General Assembly could have tried to strengthen our efforts to fix the flaws in our system.  Instead, they chose to turn a blind eye to the problem and eviscerate the Racial Justice Act.  Willfully ignoring the pernicious effects of discrimination will not make those problems go away.

Now she has vetoed a TeaPublican budget which shortchanges schools, tossed out reparatons to the victims of the appalling NC eugenics program.  Here’s a nice touch from the governor’s website: The Top 20 Flaws in the GOP budget.

Eyes will be on the governor’s mansion this week as we await a (hopefully) veto of this state’s GOP effort to roll out fracking before any safeguards are written and with zero oversight.  Well, they claim there is oversight, but it is a “Commission” of industry hacks.  

I can think of no better legacy than such a veto for a governor who has been a lot better than her detractors suggest, indeed, I think, a better, more courageous governor than Mark Warner ever was.  But Virginians still seem to love Mark Warner.  Go figure.

This next week should be interesting.  Stay tuned.

(Author’s Note: This article omits one of Gov Perdue’s biggest vetoes.  She correctly vetoed a regressive vote suppressing voter ID law.)