Talk about a “thin blue line.”
With the aid of effective campaign advocacy by NCLCV and other citizen environmental advocates, North Carolina’s voters blocked a veto-proof pro-polluter supermajority in the NC House. In doing so, we beat the dismal historic trends predicting massive mid-term legislative losses for the party in power in Washington. The feared “red tsunami” was held to a ripple.
In 2022, Conservation Votes PAC (CVP) (the independent expenditure arm of NCLCV), NCLCV’s Conservation PAC, and NCLCV itself spent over $1 million on state races, voter registration, and GOTV (get out the vote) efforts to achieve its top goal of preventing a legislative supermajority and protecting Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto power over pro-polluter legislation. The groups’ endorsed climate champions won in 83% of their races in the state House and Senate.
The results could not have been closer. The pro-polluter legislative leadership needed a net pickup of two seats in the NC Senate and three seats in the NC House. They got their two Senate seats, but fell short in the House. One seat short.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s Democratic supporters will hold 49 seats in the NC House, the minimum number needed to uphold his vetoes. That protects his bargaining power for clean energy, pollution control, and environmental justice in the state budget and other legislation. He can still stop the most egregious legislation with his veto and make it stick, so long as his House allies maintain the unity they have shown during the 2021-22 sessions.
Remember that lesson: Every. Vote. Counts.
“Facing an onslaught of unprecedented funding from pro-polluter donors, the Conservation Voters PAC kept the protection of our climate and our democracy front and center,” said Dan Crawford, director of government relations for NCLCV and head of the CVP. “We held the line for Gov. Cooper to continue to protect the people of North Carolina against extreme legislation.” “We stopped a GOP supermajority tonight when North Carolinians voted for balance and progress,” Cooper said in a tweet early Wednesday. “I’ll continue to work with this legislature to support a growing economy, more clean energy, better health care and strong public schools.”