Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly were successful Friday in developing a pair of proposals that would limit the appointment power of the incoming Democrat Governor, Roy Cooper.
The measure, which was the result of a hastily-called special session following a special session dealing with disaster relief, led to protests and arrests with Democrat activists calling the move a "power grab."
At issue is the effort to limit Cooper's ability to make appointments to, most notably, the board of trustees to the UNC school system. The proposals also reduce the influence Democrats have over election regulation in the state.
Current N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law the bill dealing with elections Friday.
Protests broke out during the session as the legislators finished their work and at least 39 were arrested. Those arrested, including civic leaders, university faculty/staff, and clergy, accused "the GOP majority of using Hurricane Matthew victims as pawns in a ploy to seize power from Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper."
Steve Leonard, a UNC-Chapel Hill professor of political science and former chairman of the UNC system Faculty Assembly, wrote to McCrory, warning that the bill could result in “severe sanctions” by the university’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. He said that’s because the legislature has “clear and direct intent to insert ‘undue political influence’” in the selection of campus board of trustee members.
Republicans said they were merely reverting appointment of trustees to what is described in the state constitution, which says the General Assembly “shall provide for the selection of trustees.”
Now, liberal filmmaker Michael Moore has weighed in, calling the situation in North Carolina a "coming attraction" of how the GOP will govern nationally, telling MSNBC's Chris Hayes, "You have to admire conservatives and Republicans. They are so brazen. They don't care. They just go for it."
Watch the interview below: