It is difficult to overstate the incompetence of Greensboro’s first Intergovernmental Relations Manager LaToya Caesar-Crawford.
At the Greensboro City Council work session on Thursday, Oct. 26, Caesar-Crawford introduced the team from the city’s paid lobbying firm McuireWoods LLC to give a report on the success or lack of it the City of Greensboro had in the 2023 session of the North Carolina General Assembly.
Ceasar-Crawford said, “Today, we have our state lobbying team with us, MGuireWoods, and we are going to have them give you an overview of how we are doing, sort of three-quarters of the way into our long session.”
Ceasar-Crawford made this statement about being “three-quarters of the way into our long session” on Thursday, Oct. 26. The North Carolina legislature adjourned the long session on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
It is true that the legislature is technically still in session, but as anyone who follows state government knows – and as the representative of McGuireWoods, Bo Heath, had to explain to some city councilmembers – the legislative session ended on Wednesday, Oct. 25. The legislature is still technically in session because it passed bills, including the redistricting bills on Wednesday, Oct. 25. If bills that have been passed are vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper, then the legislature would be called back to Raleigh to override the veto. So far Cooper has vetoed 19 bills and the legislature has overridden all 19 vetoes.
The governor can’t veto the redistricting bill, but it will be challenged in court, and should a court rule against the legislature, it might have to come back into session to redraw one or more of the redistricting maps.
But as far as passing new legislation, the leaders of the state House and state Senate have said they are done for the 2023 session and held a press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 25 to talk about what had been accomplished in the “fairly historic session.”
However, someone who doesn’t understand how the legislature operates could easily be confused by the fact that technically the legislature will be called to order and then recessed without taking up any business for the next several months.
So the long session adjourned on Wednesday, Oct. 25 and on Thursday, Oct. 26 Caesar-Crawford, who is being paid by the taxpayers of Greensboro to follow and lobby for legislation for the City of Greensboro, said the session was only “three-quarters” of the way done.
It is worth noting that this did not appear to be a case of Caesar-Crawford misspeaking. She had plenty of time to go back and correct her remarks, but she did not.
Caesar-Crawford’s statement put the representative of McGuire Woods in a difficult position because his entire presentation was a review of the actions taken by the NC General Assembly in the 2023 session. How do you explain that bills that had not passed in this session had no chance of passing when the city employee charged with overseeing Greensboro’s relationship with the legislature has just said that the legislature is only “three-quarters” of the way through the session?
Heath did a good job of explaining that the session was over without correcting Caesar-Crawford directly.