Charlotte airport takeover to come under judicial scrutiny:
In a dizzying sequence of events, the General Assembly on Thursday created a new airport authority to run the airport, saw the city persuade a judge to block it, and then watched the sudden departure of the longtime aviation director, Jerry Orr. “It’s all very unfortunate,” says Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan. “The city and state need to be together. That is the face we present to the rest of the world from an economic development perspective.”
Republicans aren't interested in compromise, they're only interested in exerting as much power as is possible, regardless of the outcomes. Why? Because the more power you have, the more money you can squeeze from groups like the Chamber of Commerce. You breathed life into this monster, and big business is the only entity that can snuff out that life by closing their checkbooks. And you can start by cutting off the funding for these bazooka-toting tyrants:
Rucho quickly pushed the bill through the Senate. House leaders slowed it, allowing time for a city-funded study that concluded that an authority might be the best long-term model. As the conflict escalated, there were efforts to bring the sides together.
Rep. Ruth Samuelson, a Charlotte Republican and a House sponsor of the airport bill, called city leaders that morning, sweetening an offer for them to join legislators in studying airport governance. The city declined.
Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican and chairman of the powerful Senate Rules Committee, calls the dispute part of the state’s “growing pains.” North Carolina, once dominated by rural interests, has seen political power shift to Republican-leaning suburbs and Democratic-controlled cities.
“The smaller areas are having to fight back,” Apodaca says. “The cities are growing so large, trying to take over everything.”
This is not about the "smaller areas" fighting back, it's about some business interests using Republican bullies to take resources and investments away from the people. And we may be on the verge of finding out who those interests are:
State Sen. Joel Ford, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County, told me the potential for lawsuits has some authority supporters concerned about who will be forced to testify and what could be revealed. Andy Dulin, a Republican member of the City Council, echoed the sentiment in a social-media post, writing, “The City Council remains resolute in our option to litigate. That makes me sad because as I’ve said before NONE of this had to happen, but the list of ‘secret businessmen’ who are about to get deposed will be an interesting list and will make for great summer media coverage.”
One of the first things that needs to be ferreted out is the provenance of the legislation itself:
Turns out there was a potential solution. Around that time, lawmakers passed a bill that transferred control of Asheville's airport to a new authority. Days later, on June 8, Campbell says, he received an email from a US Airways official with an attached rough draft of a bill that would do the same to Charlotte Douglas, the world's sixth-busiest airport.
US Airways CEO Doug Parker on Wednesday told the Observer that he wasn't aware of any email with draft legislation sent by the airline. Allen didn't respond to a request for comment, but a US Airways spokeswoman denied that the airline had sent any such message.
Campbell, who wouldn't identify who sent the email, says he talked to other US Airways officials about the bill in addition to Allen. By early January, he added, the airline had decided to remain neutral on the legislation.
Which highlights an issue that should have been dealt with a long, long time ago. Every piece of legislation that is presented in the General Assembly needs to have authoring information. Not just the sponsor(s), the person or persons who actually crafted the document. You got it from ALEC? Fine. Put ALEC down as the author. It came from a US Airways executive? Fine. Put his name on the document. Until this information is provided, these public policy directives need to gather dust in some committee, and not receive anything resembling a vote.
The people of North Carolina did not vote for ALEC, and they did not vote for US Airways.