Republicans call for Coopers Resignation

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
Congressman Richard Hudson talks with employees of Piedmont Natural Gas following a roundtable discussion with Sen. Thom Tillis and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee William Thornberry on May 27 in Fayetteville

CHARLOTTE— Resign or pay back the people of North Carolina.That was the clear message that North Carolina congressman Richard Hudson and North Carolina representatives Larry Pittman and Scott Stone wanted to send North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on Thursday.It was a strong statement from the three Republicans, who stood in front of the U.S. District Courthouse as they went over statistics and what other states had done in relation to North Carolina’s voter ID law, which was struck down in a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on July 29.After the ruling, Cooper said he would no longer defend the law in court.”Cooper’s own political agenda, frankly he’s been running for governor since his last re-election, coupled with his refusal to do his job, has cost the taxpayers of North Carolina almost $9 million, because we’ve had to hire other lawyers to do the job the people elected Roy Cooper to do,” said Hudson, U.S. Congressman for North Carolina’s 8th District. “He doesn’t get to pick which laws he’s going to defend or not defend. His job is to defend the laws passed by our legislature. … He needs to do his job or resign.””The sad part is that if the attorney general were to resign, I’m not sure the people of North Carolina would even notice, because he hasn’t even been doing this job.”Stone was just as pointed in his comments.”We need Attorney General Roy Cooper to be a full-time attorney general, not a part-time attorney general,” said Stone, who represents South Charlotte and southern Mecklenburg County in District 105. “We need him to enforce the laws, prosecute the laws, the way they’re written, without his personal biases, and he needs to just do this job. … It’s just him picking and choosing which laws he, as an attorney general, is going to follow and actually implement.”Stone also cited a current case in Texas, which he said was settling a case with the federal government, and which he used to show that North Carolina’s vote ID law was constitutional.”In that lawsuit, the government has been saying that you need to do certain things to make your law legal, and they pointed to North Carolina law as examples to what they need to do,” Stone said. “For example, they needed to do a longer rollout period, they need to put some money behind it to make sure there was voter education. Texas didn’t do that, North Carolina did. When the courts are now pointing to the fact that North Carolina is doing something, Texas wasn’t, that is an example of why our law is not only constitutional, but is appropriate.”Pittman cited statistics that he said showed at least 75 percent of North Carolinians, “including the majority of Democrats, support the voter ID law because it’s common sense legislation to promote honest elections, integrity in our election system.””We’ve been accused of passing this bill,this law, in order to suppress minority vote,” Pittman said. “Nothing could be further fromthe truth, and it’s utterly ridiculous. As a matter of fact, an editorial in the National Review pointed out that the voter participation among minorities has actually increased since we implemented this law…If we want to suppress anything, it would be voter fraud, you know, dead people voting.”Pittman then injected some humor as he recalled a story that famous country comedian Jerry Clower had once shared about Marcel Ledbetter, a family Clower used in his routines.”Marcel got a job as a deputy sheriff, and it’s getting close to the election, and the sheriff had him out in the graveyard one night writing down names,” Pittman said. “And they got halfway through the graveyard and sheriff said, ‘Marcel, we have enough names, let’s go home.’ And Marcel said, ‘Nothing doing, the people on that side of the cemetery have as just much right to vote as people on this side, we’re going to stay and take every name before we leave.’ That’s kind of what it’s like.”Pittman ended with an analogy, and calling for Cooper to step down.”If you hired a lawyer personally to represent you, and he started arguing the case for the other side instead, I believe you would probably fire that lawyer, not give him a higher position, and you would probably want the money back that you paid him,” Pittman said. “So I feel like if Roy Cooper’s not going to do the job that he’s been given to do, then maybe he should step down instead of seeking a higher position.”