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Let the truth be revealed

In response to the false narrative that has been printed in this venue and others, I’d like to present the truth, the facts that are without dispute regarding the vote to override Gov. Cooper’s veto of the state budget. Of course, some will not allow the truth to get in the way of their preconceived notions about Republicans, and that is a real shame.

On Sept. 14, Forbes posted an excellent article on what really happened, despite what the Washington Post, CBS and other national outlets reported.

First of all, the Speaker of the House, Rep. Tim Moore is the only one authorized to declare that there is a voting session or a non-voting session. He did not announce that last Wednesday’s early session would be a no-vote session. The consideration to override the Governor’s veto has been prominent on each day’s House calendar for weeks. And, in fact, there were two announcements made on Tuesday that votes would be taken on Wednesday.

Here are other facts to debunk the lies that are being spread regarding the House Republican’s veto override vote: There was never any of the customary public communication of a no-vote session by the Speaker’s office, which makes all such announcements to members of the House when a no-vote session is planned.

House Republicans never planned to attempt a veto override on Wednesday, nor were they aware House Democrats were incorrectly told by their own leadership of a no-vote session.

House Republicans had only 55 members in session on Wednesday morning — not even enough to hold a majority on the floor with all members present. By these numbers alone, it is obvious House Republicans never planned to override the veto Wednesday. *Note: The Republicans had enough votes to override the veto on Tuesday, but did not hold the vote because Speaker Moore had previously announced that there would be no votes held in the session.

Contrary to false claims that House Democrats in North Carolina were attending 9/11 commemoration ceremonies on Wednesday morning, four extremely credible, separate accounts factually demonstrate this is an outright lie.

The editor of the News & Observer’s “Insider” Colin Campbell tweeted the following: “So much misinformation going around the #ncga today: -Only one Democratic House member has been confirmed as attending a 9/11 event during the veto override vote.”

Gov. Roy Cooper said in a noon press conference on Wednesday that he did not see and was not aware of any House Democrats at a ceremony he attended, directly contradicting a false narrative spun by national media outlets like the Washington Post

As widely reported, House Rep. Deb. Butler (D-New Hanover) said on the floor (5:20 mark) that Democrats were downstairs drawing maps during the veto override.

House Minority Leader Darren Jackson confirmed in his press conference that, in fact, Democrats had a redistricting committee meeting planned that morning.

It is interesting to note that Butler said that her colleagues were in a “redistricting meeting” which is a clear, blatant violation of the court order that there be no meetings on redistricting outside of the public’s view.

So, the truth is, and the facts are, that the Speaker of the House did not announce or tell anyone that Wednesday’s morning session would be a “no-vote” session. The Republicans had not planned to hold a veto override vote in advance. The Democrats were not at 9/11 memorials — this by the admission of their leadership and Gov. Cooper.

The narrative that the budget veto override vote on Wednesday had anything to do with 9/11 ceremonies is a provably false fabrication debunked by extremely credible sources —  the House Democrats themselves — and any reproduction of this narrative is simply spreading a lie.

The Governor has vetoed every budget passed by the General Assembly with teacher pay raises included. If there is any question about which branch of North Carolina’s government is pro-education and pro-teachers, one need only look at the legislature’ having passed seven consecutive pay raises for teachers, only to have them vetoed by Gov. Cooper. Over that run of pay raises, the state had the third-fastest rising teacher pay in the nation according to the National Association of Educators.

Sometimes folks will misunderstand what really happened regarding an event and will be happy to embrace the truth once it is revealed. Unfortunately, there are others who will believe a lie no matter what is the truth and what are the facts. And, that is sad.

Rep. Keith Kidwell is in his first term representing House District 79, which includes Beaufort and Craven counties.