RALEIGH — The ReOpen NC movement has launched two petitions in the wake of Gov. Roy Cooper’s new executive order extending the state’s phase two restrictions. The new order also has a statewide mandate for mask usage.
The first petition puts pressure on state lawmakers and leadership to curb Cooper’s actions, which the group deems “unconstitutional.” The petition, which has gained over 2,000 signatures in a few hours, demands that the General Assembly “investigate Gov. Roy Cooper or take legal action on behalf of the citizens of this state.”
“The citizens of the State of North Carolina demand that the NCGA leadership Sen. Phil Berger and Rep. Tim Moore put aside their ambitions of public office and investigate or sue Gov. Roy Cooper for his infringement on the Constitutional rights of the Citizens of NC,” the petition reads. “By administering Executive Orders without the concurrence of the Council of State and by infringing on citizens rights to the Fruit of their labor. Both a heinous violation of the Constitution of the State of North Carolina.”
The petition calling for an investigation into the governor was followed later in the day by a press release from the group about activities by elected officials in Raleigh.
“Inside sources have reached out to me in overwhelming numbers over the past 48 hours with nothing less than shameful news about the goings-on with our elected officials,” said Ashley Smith, co-founder, ReOpen NC. “While the State is still shut down, with thousands of business owners nearing bankruptcy, it is more than rumored that people like Phil Berger and Tim Moore seem unaffected by their own incompetence and ineffectiveness and want to close the Session tomorrow as planned.”
Smith’s statement continued, accusing the Council of State of inaction.
“To add further insult to injury, a reliable inside source informed me last night that as Dan Forest attempted to initiate a law suit against the Governor, allegedly, not a single Council of State member agreed to sign on to that action,” said Smith. “Who do these Council people work for and represent? Clearly it is not the citizens of this great but failing State.”
The recent protests and the governor failing to curb the violence and property damage were also included in Smith’s statement, asking the media and public to question Cooper about “who is wholly complicit and working with these hooligans ruling our streets” and -“why he openly supports the riots with minimal arrests for looting, property destruction and violence?”
The ReOpen NC co-founder closed her statement with criticism that none of the state’s elected leaders seem to be leading in this crisis, adding that “Maybe if these elected officials surrender their pay for 2019/2020 they may get a taste of what the rest of us are feeling as bills pile up and our livelihoods are lost.”
The second petition launched by ReOpen NC takes direct aim at Cooper’s statewide mask mandate and has already gained almost 4,300 signatures. The group says they support “the rights of citizens to exercise personal freedom when making medical decisions.”
ReOpen NC specifically mentions “mismanagement of the Covid-19 medical data by Roy Cooper and NCDHHS.” The group says that with regards to the falling death rate in the state that the administration is “withholding data, skewing data, and propagating fear.”
The petition opposing masks states that, “We, the Citizens of the State of NC, of all political affiliations do not support mandatory masking in the State of NC by an unconstitutional mandate from the Gov. of the State of NC, or by County and City Governments under the guise of a one size fits all application of Covid-19 Data.”
It also says that ReOpen NC and those signing the petition “support for people to make their own medical decisions.”
“The mask must be a choice of the individual, and not violate the Constitution of the United States of America or the North Carolina Constitution. We also support businesses rights to not require masking in their businesses, but allow individuals to make that decision as mandating a mask could directly impact the right to the fruit of the labor guaranteed by the Constitution of NC,” the petition says.