Open Letter to Our Governor and General Assembly – Keep the Special Session About Those Affected By Matthew

Dear Gov. McCrory, House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate Pro-Tem Phil Berger, and other members of the North Carolina General Assembly,

Last March, many of you called for and orchestrated a “special session” of the North Carolina General Assembly in order to respond to so-called “government overreach” by the city of Charlotte and their decision to place protections for its LGBT citizens into local statutes. Yet what may have started as a “special session” quickly morphed into a covert operation to seize even more partisan control over a supposedly democratically-run commonwealth.

What convened on that eventful day has not only defined how the rest of the country (and some of the world) views us as a state, but it has damaged us economically, socially, and created a divide between us and the rest of the country. It was the one issue that distinctly had the largest impact on state-wide elections for governor, Attorney General, and state Supreme Court.

Not only was HB2 an egregious bill that negatively impacts our state, but the surreptitious provisional statutes that were added to the bill which now frame how we as citizens of North Carolina have come to see your “special sessions.”

Over sixty thousand North Carolinians who voted for Donald Trump as POTUS did not cast a vote for either Pat McCrory or Buck Newton, who was a primary sponsor of the “special sessions” landmark bill, HB2. To deny that the shadow of your actions on that fateful March day would be laughable. To deny that many North Carolinians are looking at this next “special session” with a tad bit of skepticism would be senseless. To think that many of us are not looking for the same shady political dealings to occur on December 13th is simply foolish.

Hurricane Matthew was a catastrophe for many of our fellow North Carolinians. I truly hope that you as a governing body put into place measures that will help them rebuild. In fact, if it meant that I had to pay more in a special tax for disaster funds, then so be it.

Their children go to schools like mine do; their citizens work to support the local and state economy; their tax dollars help to build roads that I drive on each day.

However, there is talk, rumor, and conjecture that there might be measures taken by the GOP supermajority and the governor to appoint more justices to the state supreme court in an effort to “pack the court” and make it lean conservatively again although the voters have spoken. There is even talk that you might even introduce measures to limit gubernatorial powers in response to Roy Cooper’s election.

When asked about these possibilities, people like Sen. Berger and Rep. Moore have been rather silent. There has been no denial from their lips that this will happen. Considering that there is so much still at stake, it seems that a silent non-answer on such matters would create even more cause for concern.

Elected lawmakers should be forthcoming on such matters, and they should be willing to abide by the will of the people who have voted in a democracy, even one that has been tainted by measures of voter suppression by this current administration.

Consider that you as lawmakers have taught us how to perceive you and treat you. Consider how history will treat you if you overstep your obligations and place personalities before principles.

I urge you to keep the events of the special session focused on relief from Hurricane Matthew for our fellow citizens. To couple that with brazen acts of political partisanship would be antithetical to your mission and would constitute an act contrary to your duty as elected servants.

You are supposed to help people, not further agendas.


Stuart Egan