The Governor lined his cabinet secretaries up in a row, sat down behind a table, clenched his fist, looked straight into the cameras and said there’d been tough, tense negotiations but he’d threatened a few vetoes and everyone had come around so, to his way of thinking, the budget was fine.
Since May, when the Governor sent his budget over to the Senate, he’d had to deal with one brouhaha after another.
The ole Bull Mooses had dumped his budget in the trash can, passed their own budget and sent it to the House.
The House then dumped the Senate budget in the trash can and passed its own budget.
The Senate then let fly telling the House it looked like the legislature would be in town till Christmas, figuring sometime between now and November Thom Tillis was going to decide to leave Raleigh to campaign against Kay Hagan.
Next the Governor said the Republican Senate leaders reminded him of Marc Basnight and Harry Reid – which bruised Phil Berger and Bob Rucho’s feelings – and added he’d veto any budget that raised teachers’ salaries more than 6%.
The Bull Mooses promptly went over to the House and said they’d agree to a budget that raised salaries 7% and the House, abandoning its ally the Governor, said, Deal.
The Governor then announced the legislature hadn’t really passed a 7% pay raise – it was a 5.5% raise (if you didn’t include longevity pay which teachers were already getting) – and declared victory.
Meantime, at the same time the brawl was going on, the Senate’s popularly dropped and, perhaps coincidentally, Phil Berger, Jr.’s lead vanished in a tough runoff election for Congress in Greensboro. Thom Tillis fell behind Kay Hagan in the polls. And a poll by a conservative group said Pat McCrory is trailing Roy Cooper. So at the end of the day the real winners may turn out to be Democrats.