“I’ve never tried to help people in my life and be treated so poorly.” – Sen. Tom Apodaca, June 1st, 2016 in reference to SB 837.
And it is all the fault of Charlotte, NC.
Seriously. The Slip-n-Slide, slippery slope logic used in the past by Sen. Apodaca makes this easy to explain.
Charlotte passes an ordinance that protects the civil rights of the LGBT community. The General Assembly under a call from people like Apodaca is “forced” to fight that scourge of local government and convene a special session, secretly constructing HB2. Publicly saying that Charlotte “brought it on themselves,” Sen. Apodaca and other GOP members withstand a national backlash and even bring a lawsuit against the federal government to allow them to keep HB2 on the books.
But that’s when Bruce Springsteen, Maroon 5, and Cirque du Soleil started cancelling shows. Even England talked about us, as well as many governors and large city mayors.
Sensing that the negative image was hurting the reputation of the NC GOP, Sen. Apodaca, Sen. Berger, and Gov. McCrory begin crafting “feel-good” legislation trying to satiate those who have been hurt most by their lawmaking. This leads to empty teacher raises and the Access to Affordable College Education Act.
So, none of this would have happened if Charlotte had not done what it did.
Dammit, Charlotte! You made Adam Levine and The Boss force Apodaca to create SB 873 and then get his feelings hurt.
But, on a pseudo-serious note, I am sure that Sen. Apodaca does feel somewhat unappreciated after the backlash that occurred over Senate Bill 873, his attempt to “help” people get a college education while actually bankrupting some flagship HBCU’s and the largest public college campus in the western part of the state.
In what is becoming a rather intense swansong of his political career as a state legislator, Sen. Apodaca seems more intent on acting as if his heart is being worn on his sleeve.
John Hinton in his front page article on the June 2nd edition of the Winston-Salem Journal (“Apodaca to remove HBCU’s from tuition bill”) reported that Apodaca “said he was hurt by Tuesday’s comments by the Rev. William Barber II, the president of the North Carolina NAACP, who called the bill’s supporters ‘extremists’ and described the bill as an attack on the state’s historically black colleges and universities.”
Wow! That’s rich. If having someone tell you that you are wrong will get you to drop the bill, then many should have spoken out before on previous bills.
But they have, which makes Apodaca’s “excuse” childish and not genuine.
Rev. Barber has made many comments about some of the legislative actions of Sen. Apodaca. Look at reactions to HB2 or the Voter ID Bill, both of which have the senator’s fingerprints all over them. Look at the Moral Monday Movement. That’s more than a statement; that’s a moral revolution.
I wonder if the senator realized he may have hurt the feelings of the very people he hoped to “help” when he, as the “the second most effective legislator the past two sessions” according to the Henderson Lightning, led contentious votes along party lines.
Maybe it’s just kharma that his own feelings got hurt, but more than likely it’s just a lame excuse.
Sen. Apodaca was also quoted on June 1st as saying, “I’ve never had such a hard time trying to give away $70 million.” But he wasn’t trying to give it away. He was trying to create a diversion with strings attached. By allocating that $70 million for the first year the bill would be implemented, Apodaca never relayed how it would continue to be allocated after that to help the affected schools recoup revenue losses.
Just imagine if he was giving it away with good intentions. I can’t. The timing smells of electioneering.
He seemed to be saving face in the eye of his record on public education and LGBT rights. He was wearing a crown of good intentions alongside his heart on his sleeve. And as the British Romantic poet William Blake once said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Ironically, the senator could “give away” much more money. The almost one billion dollars allotted for the Opportunity Grants over the next ten years would really be put to better use if given to the public school system. Giving back item deductions to working citizens would help. Expanding Medicaid would help.
But for someone who has shown ardent support of fracking, abortion restrictions, and election reform that is still being challenged in court, yet claims to be hurt by one person’s comments is placing false blame.
That’s because it’s still Charlotte’s fault.