Pictured: N.C. General Assembly
ORANGE COUNTY – Throughout this entire legislative session, critics of the General Assembly have been outspoken against its Republican leadership. We’ve shared the liberal perspective on the legislature, but it’s been difficult to get a conservative perspective in Orange County.
WCHL has reached out to Stephen Xavier, Chair of the Orange County Republican Party, several times.
Dave Carter, a Republican who challenged Senator Ellie Kinnaird in the 2012 election to represent the 23rd district, shares his thoughts as this controversial legislative session comes to end.
“They’ve [the General Assembly] been all over the road. They’ve done some things I would view as progressive, which I am not a fan of. I’m not a fan of the ultraconservative crazies either,” Carter says. “And I see the current legislature, like the last legislature, and the legislature for the last 12 years that I have been following, they are driving all over the road. Sometimes they pull the wheel left, and sometimes they open their eyes and they are going to the extreme right.”
Carter doesn’t consider himself a moderate, but leans more toward Libertarian ideals.
He says he gives this General Assembly a grade of a “C.”
“They talk up a good thing, but they get all carried away with minutia. They are really not doing the things that they said they would do.”
Others, including the Moral Monday protesters, would not have so gracious an estimation of the Legislature. Each week since late April, protesters, led by NAACP State Chapter President, Reverend William Barber, have gathered in Raleigh to rally against what they call “regressive policies.”
“The Moral Monday stuff seems very fabricated, like it is almost backed by corporate sponsors,” Carter says. “I kind of expect to see Reverend Barber walking around with a big sign on the back of his shoulder, like you’d see a football player, saying sponsored by whomever.”
More than 900 people have been arrested inside the General Assembly as part of the Moral Monday protests.
“It’s like ‘Go get arrested and we can say: Look, we have 80 people arrested!’ That’s not civil disobedience; it is proving it with quota kind of stuff,” Carter says.
Activists were outraged recently when tighter abortion regulations swept through the General Assembly with little public notice, tacked onto unrelated bills.
“I know that there was recent brouhaha over the abortion stuff,” he said. “I think it was kind of tricky for them [Republican lawmakers] to do what they did, using rules in their own special way. They followed the rules, but they did it in a tricky way, and I think they could have been a little bit more transparent on that.”
Carter, who remains active in the Orange County Republican Party, says he’s entertained the idea of running again, but nothing is definite at this point.