The Democratic leader in the North Carolina House said Monday that Republican counterparts have misled him and the public on how an unexpected override vote on Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget bill veto came about earlier this month. But Republicans counter that he is the one who is slanting what happened.
House Minority Leader Darren Jackson of Wake County told reporters he’s so convinced Speaker Tim Moore’s top lieutenant told him no votes would be taken the morning of Sept. 11 that he’s taken a lie detector test. Jackson called on Moore, Rules Chairman David Lewis and two others to do the same and offered to pay for the tests.
Most House Republicans but only about 15 Democrats were in the chamber that morning when the override vote succeeded, leading to an uproar on the floor by some vocal Democrats. There were so few Democrats, Jackson said, because he had relayed to colleagues the information that he said he received from Lewis.
“The events of that morning did not result from a miscommunication. I was lied to,” Jackson said, equating the events to a GOP scheme that resulted in “a deliberate, dishonest assault on the democratic process and the integrity of this chamber.”
Lewis, a Harnett County Republican, has said he never told Jackson there would be no recorded votes. On Monday, Lewis added: “I don’t need to change the narrative or revise any statements: I stand by my previous remarks.”
Lewis and Moore separately dismissed the lie detector idea as a stunt. “I don’t plan to get in the gutter with Rep. Jackson and play silly games like that,” Moore told reporters in a news conference later Monday. Moore reiterated that the vote complied with the House operating rules, and that he had said repeatedly during the summer that he would hold an override vote in the situation presented itself for success.
The override isn’t complete. The Republican-controlled Senate still would have to vote to do so. The legislature returns to work next week from a short recess.