A bill to change North Carolina’s Presidential Primary election date from May to March has been passed by the General Assembly. House Bill 373 was ratified yesterday and today was sent to Governor McCrory for signature.
Current law is found under Article 18A of Chapter 163, The Presidential Preference Primary Act. A summary of the changes notes the major changes:
- Primary moved to March 15th. The original date was in May.
- Reduces the time that a candidate must be affiliated with a political party before filing as a candidate in a party primary for that party from 90 days to 75 days.
- Moves the filing period from noon on the second Monday in February through noon on the last business day in February to noon on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, through noon on Monday, December 21, 2015.
- Requires a candidate’s statement of economic interest to be filed with the State Ethics Commission by February 1, 2016.
- Requires that the first quarter campaign finance reports are due Monday, March 7, 2016, and include the period through February 29, 2016 and that the report for the second quarter also covers March 2016.
- Sets the date of to May 24, 2016 (May 3, 2016, for office of U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives). This conforms with existing law, which provides that any potential second primary is to be held 7 weeks after the first primary (10 weeks for office of U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives).
- Provides that any special election authorized by statute or local act that is set for May 2016 must be placed on the ballot on March 15, 2016, unless the unit of government calling the special election affirmatively changes the date for the special election to another date in accordance with current law.
Additional points to note from the text of the bill:
- No later than December 16, 2015, the chair of each political party shall submit to the State Board of Elections a list of its presidential candidates to be placed on the 2016 presidential preference primary ballot
- the filing period for the 2016 primary shall open at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, and close at 12:00 noon on Monday, December 21, 2015.
You don’t have to be a genius to see that this date change is being done in order to screw over certain candidates in favor of establishment preferred ones.
The sound bite coming out of the General Assembly about the date change is ‘it will cut costs!’ If you’re buying that as the driving factor, I’ve got a set of experimental education standards to sell you. Don’t worry, Jeb Bush say’s they are great.
Politico thinks the date change is all about Trump. I think that ‘getting Trump’ is part of it, and I agree with George Will’s assessment — Trump’s supporters will arguably go to a non-establishment type like Ted Cruz or Ben Carson. Given the huge number of delegates in the South to be won, the intent HB 373 becomes crystal clear.
With regard to our state’s Republican party — Do they suffer from tone-deafness, I wonder? Did the election of Hassan Harnett as NC GOP chair not scream loud enough at the GOP establishment in this state?
Apparently not, so let me be blunt: The voters do not want Jeb. Period. The End. Do not Pass GO. Do not collect $200.
Remember, Team Bush in North Carolina is being led by Congressman Patrick McHenry.
A whole cast of characters have lined up behind McHenry, including General Assembly members. Jones and Blount as the story:
The committee co-chairmen are Sen. Tom Apodaca Chairman (R-Buncombe), Sen. Brent Jackson (R-Duplin) and Rep. Charles Jeter (R-Mecklenburg).
The other members of the Bush’s team include Cheryl Mills, a former U.S. Small Business Administration Official; Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in NC; John Cooper, a USDA Appointee for presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Geroge W. Bush; and Dion Clark, former Policy Director for Governor Pat McCrory. Jonathan Felts will be the N.C. adviser for the campaign. Felts previously served as White House political director and as McCrory’s senior adviser.
And a Partridge in a Pear treeeeeeee!!! Looks like mainly allies of Phil Berger, yet Berger was absent for the HB 373 vote.
In order to make this date change more ‘effective’, one has to have the right pocket-lining measures in place. And so it comes to pass that HB 373 also amends Article 22A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes to add a new section, § 163-278.8B. Affiliated party committees.
Here’s the main thrust:
“The leader of each political party caucus of the North Carolina House of Representatives and the Senate may establish a separate, affiliated party committee to support the election of candidates of that leader’s political party. The affiliated party committee is deemed a political party for purposes of this Article.”
Interesting. What I read above is ‘the Tea party has to be cut off’.
This ‘affiliated party committee’ addition has a serious stink to it. I’m apparently not alone here, the Daily Haymaker thinks so too:
In an earlier post, I lamented that you can’t take your eyes off this Jones Street crowd for thirty seconds. This latest development amplifies that assessment even further.
State Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), chairman of the House Rules Committee, dumped some changes into the state election rules bill that gives the Raleigh Establishment and consultant class all they need to work around their respective elected party leadership teams and divert millions of dollars meant for said parties to certain favored pockets.
- House Bill 373 (Final Text)
- NC Senate GOPers reportedly not excited about Woodhouse NCGOP candidacy (Haymaker)
- RINO’s Stampede For JEB!!!!! (Haymaker)