Kirk Ross rounds-up a chaotic year:
Although this year started with a continued focus on the GenX story that broke the year before, the two biggest news events of 2018 came much later in the year. On Sept. 14, Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach and began its slow, devastating journey through the state and into the history books as North Carolina’s worst natural disaster.
Seven weeks later, in a usually sleepy blue moon election cycle, voters turned out in record numbers to unseat enough GOP incumbents in the state House and Senate to end supermajorities in both chambers. The consequences of those two events at the end of the year will drive the public policy debates in the year ahead.
Since this is New Year's Eve, and Democrats have earned the power to help sustain Vetoes by Governor Cooper, it's as good a time as any for them to resolve to do just that. While I do believe Senate and House Dems need to use their influence to "temper" the Legislation put forward from their respective bodies, it is equally important they not allow that activity to undermine efforts by the Governor to also temper that Legislation. Just because you voted for a bill, possibly because you were concerned it would get worse after being tweaked, it doesn't automatically follow you are bound by that prior vote if said bill is Vetoed. You won't be labeled a hypocrite if you sustain a Veto; not by anybody that matters, anyway. And make no mistake, the #1 goal of BergerMoore going forward will be to divide and conquer Democrats. The last thing the Governor needs is a handful of Dems ready to cross the aisle and block his attempts to govern, because he's been fighting to retain that authority during every session:
Beyond the turnout, the election was remarkable because of a slew of constitutional amendments added to the ballot and last-minute court cases that included challenges to their wording on the ballot.
Opposition to some of the changes included the five former governors, two Republicans and three Democrats, who held a joint press conference at the North Carolina State Capitol, to denounce two amendments as a power grab by the General Assembly.
After losing in court, the legislature went into special session to revise the amendments.
And before you accuse me of creating a problem where one doesn't yet exist, please remember a handful of House Democrats voted to override several of Bev Perdue's Vetoes, including an intrusive anti-abortion bill and one that shredded the Racial Justice Act. Four of those five are gone, and one (Bill Brisson) decided to formally become the Republican he's always been. But it could happen again, if we're not paying attention.