Richard Morgan and Democrat Party “Coalition”
Violate NC Constitution on Redistricting
To Destroy Republican House Majority
Richard Morgan, the “Republican” Co-Speaker, and the Democrat House Caucus, passed 2003 redistricting plans, prepared in secret, that violated the North Carolina Constitution, in order to gerrymander House districts to ensure the Democrat Party the majority of the House seats for the rest of the decade.
Democrat-Morgan Coalition Strips Judge, Limits Chief Justice Lake’s Authority
To protect their unconstitutional plan, Richard Morgan and Democrats even included an unprecedented new law stripping the current judge of venue over the Stephens redistricting case, and limiting the Chief Justice, Republican I. Beverly Lake’s, power to designate judges to hear cases. This new law is itself unconstitutional, but once again time and money will have to be spent to get it declared unconstitutional.
Democrat-Morgan House Plan Clearly Unconstitutional
There is no question that the Democrat-Morgan House Redistricting Plan itself is unconstitutional. The North Carolina Supreme Court has twice held that two previous redistricting plans enacted by the Democrat majority were unconstitutional. The NC Supreme Court held that the Legislature must follow the “Whole County Provision” by first keeping as many single counties in tact as possible, next drawing as many two county combinations as possible, and create as many groups or “clusters” of counties, as possible. A comparison to the Republican alternative, “Remedial 14 Amendment,” makes this clear.
Democrat-Morgan Remedial 14 NC Constitution
House Plan House Plan Requires Greatest Number of:
10 11 Single Counties
12 14 Two County Groupings
36 39 Total County Groupings
Richard Morgan Did Not Allow Republican Alternative Plans to be Heard
The RNC, Republican National Committee, experts prepared “Remedial 14 Amendment,” as an alternative that complied with the North Carolina constitution. Morgan and Republican Redistricting Chairman Rick Eddins had turned down offers of help from the RNC, preferring to work with the Democrats in secret. Eddins never held a committee meeting, and Rep. Joe Kiser, Republican Leader, never held a Republican House Caucus, where the RNC constitutional alternatives could be presented and discussed. Morgan and the Democrats never allowed Republicans to offer the plan as an amendment, or even speak on the redistricting bill. The reason Morgan and the Democrats would not let Republicans, other than Rick Eddins, speak or offer amendments, was because they knew their own redistricting plan was unconstitutional compared to the Remedial 14 Amendment plan:
Alternative Remedial 14 Plan Favors Republicans And Is Constitutional
A constitutional plan, such as Remedial 14, would also have ensured that when the majority of citizens voted Republican for the NC House, then a majority of Republicans would have been elected. The Democrat-Morgan plan ensures the Democrats control of the House for the rest of the decade.
Democrat-Morgan Remedial 14 Number of Districts Won by Republicans
House Plan House Plan in Elections for:
66 75 Beverly Lake, 2000 Chief Justice
54 64 Les Merritt, 2000 State Auditor
45 48 Richard Vinroot v. Mike Easley, 2000 Governor
Supporters of Richard Morgan argue that because Beverly Lake won 66 of the Democrat-Morgan House districts, Republicans can expect to win 66 House seats in 2004. The problem is Republicans always do better in judicial races than legislative races, regardless of the candidate. And Beverly Lake was an extremely strong candidate running against a weak Democrat. The more realistic race to use would be the State Auditor where Republicans win only 54 seats under the Democrat-Morgan Plan.
Regardless, under the Constitutional Remedial Plan, Republicans win 9 to 10 more House Districts than they do under the Unconstitutional Democrat-Morgan Plan, using either the Chief Justice or Auditors race!
Democrat-Morgan Plan Pack Republican Districts To Help Elect Democrat Majority
Another measure used to determine if a district can be won by a Republican, often cited by NCFREE, is if it has Republican voter registration of 35% or more.
Democrat-Morgan Remedial 14
House Plan House Plan Percent of Voters Registered Republicans
56 61 Republican Registration of 35% or more
12 7 Republican Registration of 49% or more
Again, the Democrat-Morgan House Plan has only 56 districts where Republicans have 35% or more of the registered voters. Remedial 14 has 61 such districts, clearly better than Richard Morgan’s plan. Interesting enough the Democrat-Morgan plan has 12 districts with a Republican registration of 49% or better, compared to only 7 such districts in Remedial 14. What does it mean when Richard Morgan’s plan has 12 districts greater than 49% Republican, but only 56 greater than 35% Republican? It means Richard Morgan joined the Democrats in “packing” a lot of Republican voters in high percentage Republican districts, in order to make the rest the districts more Democratic. This is a classic gerrymandering technique, only this time it is being used by “Republican” Richard Morgan to prevent a Republican majority. And in order to pack Republicans, he violated the NC Constitution.
Another Payment On the Morgan-Democrat Deal for Co-Speakership
Why would Richard Morgan fight for and sue to uphold the unconstitutional Democrat-Morgan Plan, when the Constitutional Remedial Plan will elect more Republicans?
The answer is obvious. It must be part of Richard Morgan’s deal, what he agreed to give Jim Black and the Democrats, in order to be given the title “Co-Speaker.”
First, it was rumored that Morgan had agreed to give the Democrats the majority of House committee chairmanship, including the sole Rules chairman so the Democrats could control the flow of all legislation. This is exactly what happened.
Next, it was rumored that Morgan had agreed to give the Democrats “cover” to increase state taxes and spending on another out of balance budget. Again, this is what happened. Morgan led a handful of Republican House members to vote for higher sales taxes and higher income taxes, the same tax increases that Republican legislators voted against in 2001.
Now, after giving away the Republican House majority elected in 2002, after giving Democrats cover to raise taxes, the main election issue, Morgan has also given the advantage to the Democrats in redistricting, even though it required violating the NC Constitution.
Republicans Lose, Democrats Gloat
Richard Morgan got his title of Co-Speaker. The Democrats gave Morgan the power to punish Republicans. And the people of the state who pay higher taxes, and the majority of the people who elected a Republican House majority, are the losers.
And now Richard Morgan is joining the Democrats in using our tax dollars to defend their unconstitutional redistricting plan, and raising money to defeat Republicans in primaries.
Is there any Legislator, any member of the public, who really, still, believes Richard Morgan is acting for the good of the state, or the good of the Republican Party and conservative principles?
Meanwhile the Democrats are openly gloating and laughing about how they used Richard Morgan to steal the majority away from the Republicans and the people who voted Republican. And now with political cover on their tax increases and new legislative districts, their power is secure for the rest of the decade. And all they had to do was give Richard Morgan a title and nice offices!
There Is Hope, If You Act
Our hope is that the courts will continue to uphold the North Carolina Constitution and strike down, for a third time, the Legislature’s unconstitutional gerrymandering. And, in Constitutional districts, the Republican grassroots, activist and donors will rally and defeat Richard Morgan and his supporters in the primaries.
Otherwise, the Democrats will be in control, using Morgan as a front, regardless of the will and vote of the majority of our citizens for Republicans.