North Carolina’s General Assembly accidentally legalized fracking, the controversial technology that allows the extraction of natural gas and hydrocarbons that once were inaccessible for commercial use, when the Governor’s veto of the fracking bill was unintentionally over-ridden. Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg, says she did not intend to cast the key vote that overrode the governor’s veto of the bill, but pushed the green button, signifying “Aye” instead of the red button, signifying “Nay.”
The vote was 72-47, exactly the count required for to override a veto. Without Carney’s botch, the governor’s veto would have stood. This meant that Carney, by North Carolina’s House rules, could not change her vote, which is only allowed when a flip-flop won’t alter the result.
“It is late. Here we are rushing to make these kind of decisions this time of night,” she told reporters, pathetically. Indeed, Carney is an opponent of fracking, she has voted against it in the past, and she spent the day lobbying other Democrats to uphold the veto of Senate Bill 820.
Color me unsympathetic. Legislators don’t have much to do but read bills, make up their minds, and vote by pushing a big button, and there are only three (including “ABSTAIN.” It is presumably yellow.) If Carney can’t gather her wits sufficiently to push the correct button on a crucial and closely contested vote, she is too careless and irresponsible to hold office. She is also unqualified to drive (that red-green color-blindness is a problem), use automated voting machines, and please, for the love of God, have responsibility for launching nuclear weapons. Right after the vote, Carney’s was heard on her microphone, saying “Oh my gosh. I pushed green!”
At least she didn’t say, “Oopsie! I just destroyed Beijing!
Pointer: James Taranto
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