Former Governors Martin And McCrory, NCGOP Chairman Hayes Release Statements
Statements Address Proposed Constitutional Amendment Changes
Raleigh, N.C. — Former Republican Governors Jim Martin and Pat McCrory have released the following statement:
"The action underway by the NC General Assembly to revise the two proposed constitutional amendments that we have opposed is indeed encouraging. Final action by the Senate is expected Monday.
"First, we commend the General Assembly for removing the part of their proposal to take from the Governor all executive branch appointments to boards and commissions. This was a good step, and we welcome and applaud it. We still believe that a better solution would have been to remove the entire proposal, but they have retained the part about a reorganized Board of Elections and Ethics Regulation. We are particularly concerned that it takes all appointment authority from the Governor to the General Assembly.
"The other proposed amendment, making changes in appointments to fill judicial vacancies, has been given a partial clean-up, but is still fundamentally flawed. They have now eliminated the 'Trojan Horse' by which other issues could have been inserted to save them from a veto, and the language on the ballot is somewhat clearer. However, except for legislative leaders, no one has asked for this, and it is still a proposal to take full control of judicial appointments from the Governor. It limits the Governor’s consideration to two nominees submitted by the General Assembly, and if it takes more than ten days to vet the nominees, the General Assembly will usurp the appointments. This must not stand, and will be opposed."
"I applaud the Legislature for addressing the court’s concerns even while disagreeing with them, and working to address the concerns of our former Governors. It is clear that there can no longer be any questions about the ballot text. Governor Cooper must stop fighting to block the people from voting. He should take his concerns to the people and leave the courts out of it.
"The North Carolina Republican Party Executive Committee has endorsed all of the amendments and we will simply ask the public to give them due consideration. We firmly support the amendment creating a fully independent, bipartisan Elections Agency. Administration of elections and ethics rules demands a fair and bipartisan process that is completely independent of the Executive and Legislative branch once the appointments have been made. The proposed amendment achieves that. I personally believe this is a wise change even though, as Party chairman, I lose the ability to made official recommendations of State Board members.
"We believe our former Republican governors and our current Republican legislators all have the best of intentions: sound constitutional government that delivers positive and impactful results to North Carolina citizens. The people deserve a chance to vote on their constitution. We fully believe our citizens can evaluate the merits of these proposals and wisely vote their conscience.
"Meanwhile, our Democrat counterparts have demanded citizens reject all six constitutional amendments without discernment or consideration. Democrats are going to have to answer to voters why constitutional adjustments don't deserve a vote of the people, should not EVEN BE CONSIDERED by voters, and why Democrats formally oppose enhancing the rights of crime victims and citizens who hunt and fish even when Democrat legislators voted to support them."