Little bills, in a big rush, can tip checks and balances

Winston-Salem Journal article by Scott Sexton highlighting the work of NCVCE.  

Melissa Price Kromm sounded harried when she answered her phone. “Can I call you right back? I’m at the legislature.”

Where else would she be on a Tuesday afternoon in June?

The director of North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections — the group is exactly what it sounds like, a good governance lobbying outfit — Kromm was walking the halls (and working her phone) trying to bring what pressure she could bring to bear on the legislature. 

The issue of the day was a bill that would reconfigure judicial and prosecutorial districts across the state in a way that would tilt in favor of Republican candidates.

It sounds about as sexy as Santa in a skinsuit, but it matters because it was yet another attempt to press a thumb down on the balance of power between executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Checks and balances, they used to call it in civics class back when that was a thing.

“The bill came out overnight,” Kromm said. “The legal community wasn’t consulted. The public wasn’t consulted. We literally found out about it in a tweet from Rep. (Justin) Burr, (R-Albemarle). Nobody saw the maps until 9:30 a.m. Monday.”

Read more here.