Right now there’re three great powers in Republican politics in Raleigh: The Governor, the House, and the Senate.
Now the Governor’s pretty easygoing – the kind of fellow who, when he can, will go out of his way to avoid a fight. Even when he disagrees with folks, he’s not inclined to say much bad or unkind about the other fellow.
The State House, on the other hand, can get pretty obstreperous. But, most often, the Republicans in the House are aiming their barbs at each other. A couple of weeks ago a Republican legislator let fly at Speaker Thom Tillis calling him a liberal, then another Republican legislator let fly calling the Speaker a pay-to-play politician. Last week, Republican legislators scuttled the Speaker’s tax reform plan in the House Finance Committee one day, scuttled it again in the House Appropriations Committee the next day, then on the third day they passed the whole thing (just the way the Speaker wanted it) almost unanimously.
Compared to the House, the Senate is a study in order.
The Republican Senators take their conservative ideas seriously – and they’re not prone to sit on their hands and wait for someone else to come along and do something about them. In their budget they cut state spending more than the House or the Governor, and in their tax package they cut taxes more than the House or the Governor – which has left the other Republican powers in Raleigh in a quandary. Because no Republican State Representative wants to have to go home and explain to voters that, the way he saw it, the Republican Senate cut taxes and spending too much.