Last Friday I drove to Asheville for the NC Federation of Republican Women’s Annual Convention. It was a beautiful day, a nice drive and a lot of fun to see old friends and political allies and meet some new members.
At dinner that evening all candidates for office were asked to come forward to speak for a few minutes and I was shocked to discover I was the only 9th District candidate who took the time to attend. Typically there are so many candidates that we hardly have time to tell people our name and ask them to vote for us. This time I got to go into some things I wish everyone knew about me.
For example, I didn’t get into politics because I was a political science major or had a burning desire for acquiring a title. When I moved home to NC after my husband retired from the military, Union County was so Democrat dominated that the local Republican Party couldn’t even find anyone willing to run for the NC House. I was asked to run because, as the District Chairman who asked me admitted, no one else would do it because it was impossible to win.
I did lose on my first try, but two years later not only did I win, the Republicans took the NC House for the first time in that century. For me to win, it was important for me to help build the Republican Party and I did.
Control of the House
But while the Republicans won control of the House in 1994, to everyone’s surprise, the Democrats still controlled the Senate, the legislative staff for all practical purposes, and the Governor’s office, giving them effective control of all of the apparatus of the State. Legislative staff didn’t want to offend the Democrats who had hired them and generally viewed Republicans as a temporary problem.
Despite those odds, I was able to repeal the inheritance tax, pass the landowner protection act and the equine liability/roller rink liability act, and get so many nuisance taxes repealed I won an award from the SBA as the accountant who did the most in the country for small business.
It was fun having time to actually talk and get a little applause. Repeal of the inheritance tax seemed to be the most popular item, maybe because everyone knew what it was before I explained it, or maybe because I explained how I got surprising support from some Democrats by explaining to them how the tax actually worked. The public wants to see people talking to each other, not just shouting slogans.
Meeting of the Minds
One other item of note, the legislative report at the workshop that opened the meeting included a warning that some people in the NC legislature are pushing a convention to rewrite the Constitution. It is being marketed as conservative, but inviting Congress to organize a meeting to amend the Constitution without knowing who would attend the meeting or who would decide what amendments to accept is just downright dangerous.
I had previously been told this issue was raised in discussions of the Platform Committee at the Republican National Convention in 2016, where the idea was overwhelmingly rejected. I was glad to know that awareness of the danger of this idea is beginning to spread. For the most part it has been pushed to legislators who are encouraged to imagine they’re going to save the Republic because only conservative ideas will be considered.
How anyone can consider Congress, particularly with the House now controlled by Nancy Pelosi and Democrats even farther to the left, likely to accept conservative changes without demanding something in return is beyond me. Besides, the main problem with our present Constitution is the people who refuse to follow it, particularly our government officials.