Phil Berger

Berger tweaks legislation so fellow Republican can draw two salaries

Can you say Patronage? I knew you could:

A one-sentence change tacked into broader legislation earlier this month helps a single state employee, tweaking state law so he can again get paid to serve on a state commission while on vacation from his full-time state job. Under Gov. Pat McCrory, Peaslee drew his regular state salary and was also paid the daily wage tax commission members get to sit for several days each month hearing appeals from around the state. When Gov. Roy Cooper took office, a new regime at the state Department of Revenue looked at state laws against employees double-dipping on salary and questioned whether Peaslee should draw both paychecks.

Peaslee, a former general counsel for the North Carolina Republican Party, brought the issue before Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and other state legislators. He'd been taking vacation time from his $115,494-a-year job at the Industrial Commission to make $450 to $500 a day at the tax commission. His tax commission pay last year totaled $24,500.

If you're thinking something about this story sounds familiar, it's because NC Republicans are making a habit of using the Industrial Commission to line the pockets of their friends. During one of the grossly unconstitutional Special Sessions of late 2016, Republicans gave authority to McCrory (after he had lost the Election) to appoint his Chief of Staff's wife to a NINE YEAR TERM on the Commission, a million-dollar pat on the back:

'Recent Events in Charlotte'

It has long been said it takes only one step to go from the sublime to the ridiculous. This past week, the NC General Assembly jumped into the ridiculous with both feet. Any intimation that a driver can use his car to strike protesters blocking a road is prime for misuse and abuse. Nevertheless, HB 330 passed in the House and was sent to the Senate.

Governor Cooper expands lawsuit against GOP-dominated Legislature

Chipping away at the massive power-grab:

This expanded lawsuit also challenges what it calls the “unprecedented” provision requiring the governor’s Cabinet appointments are subject to Senate confirmation. The lawsuit also challenges a provision that drastically reduced the number of state employees who are political appointees and exempt from state personnel protections, as well as a provision that allowed hundreds of those exempt employees to become non-exempt.

Further, Cooper’s suit challenges a provision that allowed the appointment of the spouse of Gov. Pat McCrory’s chief of staff, Yolanda Stith, to the state Industrial Commission for an unprecedented nine-year term. The provision “confers an exclusive privilege upon a single person with no benefit to the general welfare,” the lawsuit reads.

Understand, the widening scope of this lawsuit is merely reflective of the GOP's appetite for power. What Roy is engaging in is not "radical" or "all-encompassing," it is the classic definition of a "measured response." And don't let any pundit or editorial staff get away with making it seem like an overreach on the Governor's part. They have a really bad habit of forgetting or editing out context, to get a little more "pop" out of news developments, and that very often serves to mislead more than inform. Friendly reminders in the comment section, or even LTEs, can be more than just a way to vent frustration.

How can you tell when the Bergermeister is lying?

burgermeister.jpg

If his mouth is moving, it's a good bet:

“It’s a reasonable conclusion that people can come to that the reason the Democrats voted against repeal, the reason that Cooper urged them to vote against the repeal, was because they would prefer to have it as an issue that they can raise money on,” Berger, an Eden Republican, said Thursday in an interview with the News & Record where he discussed what happened behind the scenes Wednesday.

If Roy Cooper wanted to keep it as an issue, he wouldn't have gone to so much trouble to get it repealed. And after the recent "special session" fiasco, in which Republicans attacked the Governor-elect's authority and influence so blatantly, it's a "reasonable conclusion that people can come to" that the failure to repeal HB2 was just one more effort by Republicans to undermine Cooper's administration. If you want to see just how disingenuous Berger can get, here are a handful of direct quotes taken from an N&O article:

Projecting Berger

If you're looking for the truth, all you need to do is to look at whatever Phil Berger says in the mirror. Here's a great example of Berger projection: "They’re brass-knuckled politicians who want to wage a nasty culture war with divisive issues so they can keep filling their campaign coffers with cash from fringe liberal activists.”

Demagogues-R-Us: BergerMoore steps over the line

And the Bar Association has a responsibility to deal with it:

“Since today’s decision by three partisan Democrats ignores legal precedent, ignores the fact that other federal courts have used North Carolina’s law as a model, and ignores the fact that a majority of other states have similar protections in place, we can only wonder if the intent is to reopen the door for voter fraud, potentially allowing fellow Democrat politicians like Hillary Clinton and Roy Cooper to steal the election. We will obviously be appealing this politically motivated decision to the Supreme Court.”

Not only is this idiotic statement inflammatory as hell, publicly speculating that three judges could be attempting to facilitate a crime, based on nothing more than ad hominem party affiliation observations, appears to be a blatant violation of Rule 8.2 (hat-tip to commenter Paul Ditz):

Phil Berger's true colors beginning to run

It doesn't get more bitter and resentful than this:

“People need to wake up: Roy Cooper, Barack Obama, two unelected federal judges and the liberal media are on the verge of completing their radical social reengineering of our society by forcing middle school-aged girls to share school locker rooms with boys.”

It appears our poor Bergermeister is facing battles on four different fronts, if you were to take this complaint literally. Make that five fronts: I forgot about the radical and subversive gay peoples. But seriously, there has to come a point when even a genetic aberration like Phil Berger would sit back and say, "Maybe, just maybe, I could be wrong." Or not. I'll let Rob finish this one:

Phil Berger may have an opponent come November

Eric Fink from Elon Law is looking for signatures:

“The fact that Phil Berger is running unopposed, the more I thought about it and talked it over with friends, it struck me as something that was not good,” Fink said during a phone interview from his home on Wednesday morning. “Given my views, the fact is that he’s been a leader for things that have happened in Raleigh that I think are going in a bad direction.”

Eric is not only a solid supporter of many progressive ideals, he's also as sharp as a freshly-stropped razor. If you live in Senate District 26, make sure you and your neighbors sign his petition. 5,000 signatures might not seem like that many compared to what's needed for a state-wide race, but it's no walk in the park for a candidate.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Phil Berger