Even though a member of their own party got picked to serve as chairman of Legislative Management during the interim between sessions, House Republicans aren’t happy.
Legislative Management is probably best described as a mini-legislature which is empowered to make many policy and spending decisions until the next time the full session is in session. According to House Republicans, Democrats teamed up with Senate Republicans to put Senator Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) in as chairman.
“This is very telling on why the session took so long to complete,” one house Republican told me this morning. “It also give you an idea of the trouble house members face trying to push a conservative agenda.
“Republicans have “super-majorities, but the libs win,” he said.
There’s also not a lot of confidence in Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner. “Rich Wardner can’t handle his caucus and needs to go,” the same House Republican told me.
There was some consternation in the Senate too. One Republican Senator I spoke with this morning as well was also unhappy. “We might as well let Democrats set the agenda,” he told me.
Not all legislators were as outspoken in their criticism of Holmberg. “I know he didn’t promise anything to the Democrats,” another Senator told me. “They were mad at [House Majority Leader Al] Carlson and Wardner didn’t want it. It should be interesting, that is for sure.”
One of the legislators I spoke to today asked me if I thought the NDGOP’s donors might start to notice that the state is, essentially, be governed from the left. I don’t think they will. With the economy still booming, voters are fat and happy and not really tuned in I think.
As I wrote earlier today, it’ll take the state running into financial problems – or at least tax dollar scarcity brought on by tax cuts – to bring us back to ground again.
If it happens because of the former, instead of the latter, Republicans will be in a lot of trouble.