Today in North Carolina: Republicans want to shake off federal shackles, get gifts from lobbyists again


The last time North Carolina Republican Robert Brawley served in the state House, lawmakers could accept gifts from lobbyists. That was in the 1980s and ’90s. Years later, after a scandal in their own party, North Carolina Democrats passed a ban on lobbyist gifts. Now Representative Brawley is back, his Republican Party is in charge, and he’d like the gifts again, please. WRAL notes:

He’s currently a member of House leadership, serving as chairman of the Finance committee, an influential post that would almost certainly attract lobbyists’ interest. 

Brawley did not immediately respond to requests for an explanation of his proposal.*

Today is deadline day for new bills, and North Carolina lawmakers are bringing the last few forward. Republicans have also introduced a new sovereignty bill that calls for the federal government to back off, “effective immediately,” on “mandates that are beyond the scope of any constitutionally delegated powers.” This one goes in the pile along with the nullification bill to stop the great American gun-grab before it happens. Not being heard this session: A Democratic bill calling for equal pay for equal work. OTOH, Republicans want to cut $345 million in corporate taxes and replace the lost revenue with something they think up later. They are willing to charge voters for photo ID in order to cast a ballot, unless the voter swears to poverty (in which case, drug testing?).

Yesterday North Carolina citizens got a chance to visit their Capitol and make their opinions heard. The Raleigh News and Observer reports that House Speaker Thom Tillis slipped out rather than talk to the state NAACP leader, the Reverend William Barber. It’s hard to know what to make of the video posted by the NAACP, except to say that the outnumbered liberals of the state do not seem to be giving up.

Bonus North Carolina item, after the jump.

The sponsor of the iced bill to give North Carolina an official state religion got asked, over email, if she’d be OK with opening a legislative session with an Islamic prayer. She responded:

 ”No, I do not condone terrorism.”

ADDING: Brawley tells WRAL that the reason he wants to do away with the ban on lobbyist gifts is that the ban and ethics laws in general just get in the way. “What makes you think a person without ethics is going to obey a law anyway?” he said.