Can Republicans be trusted to keep Special Session free of politics?

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The short answer is "no," but with the election coming up, they may have to:

“The currents will be moving under the surface,” said Gary Pearce, a columnist who was a longtime aide to Jim Hunt, a Democrat who was North Carolina’s longest-serving governor. “You can’t take politics out of anything, and this state is so, so polarized, so politicized, and the last eight years have been so angry and bitter, that even in a disaster like this, it’s going to hard for people to set it aside.”

Few state governments in America have been as divided in recent years as the one in North Carolina, where Democrats and Republicans have regularly fought pitched battles over issues like redistricting, voting rights, bathroom access for transgender people, education, and executive authority.

Republicans take note: When your state-level feud is controversial enough to make the New York Times, you might be tempted to celebrate your success. But voters across the board are extremely tired of such partisan gamesmanship, and they will be watching closely at how you handle recovery efforts after this horrible storm. And thanks to the dynamic campaign of Jen Mangrum, Berger's constituents will be watching closely, too:

“It’s important to me, and I think it’s important to other folks in the legislature and folks in the executive branch, that the people that have been devastated by this event do not see us as doing anything other than trying to help,” Phil Berger, the Republican leader in the State Senate, said in an interview in his narrow office overlooking Jones Street.

“It is my hope that the executive branch has learned some lessons from how things were handled in the aftermath of Matthew,” Mr. Berger, the Senate leader, said. “A lot of the difficulties we’ve had with the executive branch have been differences of philosophy. It is my hope that we all share the same philosophy with reference to trying to get peoples’ lives back to normal.”

Differences of philosophy? Dude, your attacks on Roy Cooper have not been philosophical, they have been overt efforts to take his powers away and grant them to yourself. That's nothing short of a bloodless coup, so far outside the Constitutional boundaries you can't even see that document from where you're standing.

As far as the GOP refraining from political shenanigans, this does not give me a warm fuzzy:

But before getting to the election, the state must first endure the special legislative session, a venue that has proved particularly susceptible to hardball politicking over the years. Mr. Berger said he would not be surprised if “outside groups would either try to push other agenda items or accuse us of pushing agenda items.”

But perhaps, lawmakers said, the state government will belie its fractious reputation this time.

“It gives us an opportunity to show people that there are things that we can work together on,” Mr. Berger said.

Bolding mine, because Berger would not have said that if he didn't think something was going to be controversial. We'll see, and so will the voters.

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Comments

Short answer

No.

Long answer: What the hell's the matter with you, are you delusional?

Longer answer: There are no limits to the shenanigans Berger will exploit if he thinks it will help GOP rich guys make more money and keep more money. Whatever tablescraps drop for regular people will be accidental.