Radical N.C. Council of State nominees aren't focused on peoples' needs

Published March 7, 2024

By Capitol Broadcasting Company

Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin had an oft-repeated set of priorities he said reflected those the state’s citizens had for elected leaders and state government:

“Better public schools, better roads, better jobs and a better environment.”

They are more than platitudes of a bygone era. Astute politicians – such as Gov. Martin -- understood the expectations citizens had for their state government.

For three top of the ticket candidates who won nominations for governor (Mark Robinson), attorney general (Dan Bishop) and superintendent of public instruction (Michele Morrow) they are passe sentiments that need to be set aside in the rush to cut taxes, reduce spending for public services and maintenance of public facilities and push the imposition of a narrow ideological agenda.

Michele Morrow, a nominee for Superintendent of Public Instruction, is backed by Moms for Liberty and was among those at the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol and says the 2020 election was stolen. It was not.

In 2022 she lost a campaign to be a member of the Wake County Board of Education. She says public schools are “socialism centers” and “indoctrination centers” and people should not send their children to them.

The other nominee for Superintendent of Public Instruction is Maurice “Mo” Green. Green, a lawyer, has served as Guilford County Schools superintendent and deputy superintendent and chief operating office for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

2024 Attorney General nominee Dan Bishop, currently a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, is probably best known as the sponsor and architect of the infamous 2016 House Bill 2 – “the bathroom bill” that was widely recognized as an attack to discriminate against those who identify as LGBTQ. Studies showed the revulsive reaction to the law cost the state $3.76 billion in lost business – economic development projects canceled, conventions, entertainment and sporting events and other canceled tourism and convention activities.

It was fully repealed in 2020.

Bishop has been among the loudest voices claiming, wrongly, that the 2020 election of President Joe Biden was fraudulent. He has never suggested there is any taint to his status from votes in the same election that sent him to his second term in the U.S. House. In Congress he has established reputation for being among the most strident partisans and is a member of the Freedom Caucus.

The other nominee for attorney general is Jeff Jackson – like Bishop a former state legislator and member of Congress from the Charlotte area. The legislature gerrymandered Jackson out of his district – part of the incentive that led him to run for attorney general. He has emerged as a rare bipartisan voice – working with a coalition of representatives to co-sponsor legislation – for example -- to help members of the National Guard pay for college education, regulate so-called gas station heroin and cyberspace security.

Mark Robinson is a nominee for governor and has been the lieutenant governor since 2021. The New York Times headline greeting his primary victory says it all: “North Carolina Republicans Picked Their Man, and He’s a Doozy.” There’s more here, and here, and here, or here.

Josh Stein, the other nominee for governor, has been the state’s attorney general since 2017 and before that served four terms in the state Senate. Among his significant efforts has been his work to hold drug firms – makers, distributors and drug stores – accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic. His efforts resulted in settlements that have brought more than $1.5 billion to the state and local governments to fund efforts to fight the epidemic and provide community-based treatment for those dealing with addiction.

Those who will be atop the Council of State ballot in November will offer a stark contrast, but an easy common-sense choice:

Imposition of a strict creed being pushed by special interests;

Or, as former Gov. Martin oft repeated;

“Better public schools, better roads, better jobs and a better environment.”

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