From Rep. Richard Morgan of Moore County, the Republican co-speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives.
Sen. Robert Pittenger attempts ("Morgan sold out his party," Dec. 22
guest column) to cast the court fight over new legislative districts as
a "Republican" challenge and insinuates that only the Democrats and I
support the plans. He says that the challengers seek "fair and
constitutionally drawn" legislative districts. The senator's
contentions are deliberately misleading and disingenuous.
It seems odd that Morgan mentions only Sen. Pittenger,
since Rep. McMahan and Sen. Ballantine also contributed to that article.
I suppose he doesn't want to highlight the fact that his argument is not
just with Sen. Pittenger. -DB
I am confident the House redistricting plan meets all federal and
state constitutional requirements as well as the federal Voting Rights
Act. While Sen. Pittenger asserts that the N.C. attorney general is
representing only the Democrats and myself, the attorney general is
representing the institution of the General Assembly and the citizens
of North Carolina against unfounded attacks by those, such as Sen.
Pittenger, who are acting in their own self-interest. It is precisely
because of these erroneous allegations that taxpayer funds must be
expended to defend the new plans.
1)That's poppycock. The plan is a blatant
Democrat gerrymander. And,
2) What's this "House redistricting plan" business? They didn't
redistrict just the House. The bill that Morgan and the Democrats
rammed through the legislature (with only 19 of the other 83 Republicans
voting for it) gerrymandered both the House and the Senate,
to reduce the number of competitive and Republican-leanding districts. -DB
I am not the only Republican who voted for the new plans. The new
districts have the support of the Republican chairman of the House
Redistricting Committee, the Republican House Majority Leader (who was
unanimously elected to that post) and former Republican Speaker Harold
Brubaker. It also had the support of numerous other Republican House
members who believed the plan was not only constitutional, but fair as
The leaders kept their redistricting
plans secret, then got Gov. Easley to call a snap legislative session,
and forced a vote before most Republicans had a chance to examine the new
The leaders assured the members that it was a fair and equitable plan.
It is a measure of Mr. Morgan's (lack of) credibility with the other 83
Republican legislators that only 19 of them voted for it. The rest were
smart enough to figure out that he was lying. -DB
Sen. Pittenger's claims must be looked at in context. His opposition
to the new plans is surely affected not so much by his concern about
minority voting strength, but by the fact that his senatorial district
was combined with that of another Republican, Sen. Robert Rucho.
Although there is a long-time understanding that the House will not
meddle in the districts of the Senate, and vice-versa, Sen. Pittenger
asked me to intercede on his behalf in the Senate plan. Through an
intermediary, Sen. Pittenger, the lead attorney for the challengers in
the lawsuit, and the state Republican Party Chairman called and offered
to drop the redistricting lawsuit if I could get the Senate leadership
to separate his district from that of Sen. Rucho's district. So much
for his altruism!
1) All three men deny this outrageous fabrication
by Rep. Morgan. Morgan would have you believe that Sen. Pittenger,
attorney Tom Farr, and Republican State Chairman Ferrell Blount are all liars,
who would sell out their Party and the voters of North Carolina, to
protect two Senators from a primary. What an outrageous, evil smear!
2) Republicans have never been party to any "long-time understanding that
the House will not meddle in the districts of the Senate and vice-versa."
When the Democrats controlled both chambers, the House was gerrymandered to
please House Democrats and the Senate was gerrymandered to please Senate
Democrats - that's all. But this year we had the votes to stop it...
until Morgan betrayed us. -DB
As co-speaker of the House, I am satisfied that we have done well to
draw new House districts that are fair and constitutional. And as a
Republican, I am satisfied that we have done well to draw districts
that are fair to Republican candidates for the House of Representatives.
When Republicans get most of the votes,
but Democrats get most of the seats, how is that "fair?" And what about
the Senate? Notice that Morgan doesn't want to talk about the Senate.
But Morgan also rammed the Democrats' Senate gerrymander through the
House, to disenfranchise the voters and prevent Republicans from having
a fair chance of wining control of the Senate. -DB
Finally, regarding Sen. Pittenger's criticism of my attendance at a
fish fry hosted by Sen. Marc Basnight, I was hardly the first or only
Republican to be invited to or attend this seafood social honoring the
president pro tempore of the Senate. Traditionally, both Republicans
and Democrats have attended events honoring state dignitaries.
The article in question did not even
mention Marc Basnight's fish fry. Perhaps Rep. Morgan has so many
ongoing arguments with Republicans that he can't keep them all
The Republican Party deserves to know the truth about Sen. Pittenger
and the challengers to the House redistricting plan. Those who are
considering contributing to their so-called private fund should realize
the truth. This lawsuit is motivated more by self-interest than any
concern for Republican interests in the House of Representatives.
Richard Morgan is such a liar!
The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of integrity.
Bill Clinton's Party is the Party that says, "everybody lies."
That's just one more way that Richard Morgan is really a Democrat in
everything but name. -DB