About

Gerry Cohen has been Director of Bill Drafting for the North Carolina General Assembly since 1981. This blog presents some unofficial news from him.

17 Responses to About

  1. Linda Convissor says:

    Hi Gerry,
    I just read your post on OP and the happenings near Lot 5. Good stories. They made me wonder if you have any recollection of Coach Fetzer’s house, which sat on Rosemary Street where Breadman’s is today. The story I know is that it was moved in 1976 to make way for the Western Sizzler that was built there, and that it was rented for several years prior. I’ve heard tell of the hippie houses near there and have often wondered if it was one of them. I live in that house now, back behind the BCBS building, and have often wondered about it’s history on Rosemary. We have pictures of it sitting prepped for moving, but no pics of it in its original location. One small irony is that I’ve heard there was a big fuss because a large tree had to be cut down so that it could be moved – when I was a planner in FL before we moved here, one of my jobs was to approve tree removal requests, not sure if I would have approved that one!
    Enjoy your posts,
    Linda

  2. Elizabeth says:

    And now for something completely different…

    I’m a law student, and in true law school style, I am a big dork. I really want to draft legislation. I’m working with the Attorney General in another state for the summer (I just finished my 2L year), and I’m with a section where I’ve been able to research and draft proposed legislation. I am finding it quite addictive!

    Any chance I can pick your brain?

  3. Teresa says:

    Where can I find a listing that contains the details of 14 cases of expulsion or censure between 1757 and 1883? Who should I contact and where is the repository located? I read a recent article by Mark Schreiner about this topic and wish to do more research on this subject.

    Thanks,

  4. gercohen says:

    Teresa, I believe the Legislative Library, 5th floor Legislative Office Bldg, Raleigh, 919-733-9390 has a clip file on this issue.

  5. Thomas Brock says:

    Gerry,

    How can we (voters, constituents) see the floor speech history for our elected representatives? Is there an online repository?

  6. gercohen says:

    Thomas,
    House floor speeches and debates are neither recorded nor transcribed.
    Senate floor debates are recorded but not transcribed. I am not sure how long
    they are kept. The Senate Principal Clerks office 919-733-7761 may be able to
    help

  7. Lea Ghidali says:

    Adam found your blog through one of his LinkedIn connections (Chuck Till).

    At present we live in Israel and would love to hear from you and Pam.

    Lea

  8. Damon Circosta says:

    It was a pleasure meeting you at the election law thing the other week. keep on keeping on with the blog

    Damon

  9. Hi Gerry – I just found your blog and like what I see! I recently started a blog on recent developments in North Carolina insurance law (which I’ve creatively named: http://www.northcarolinainsurancelaw.com), so I’m glad to find a resource like your blog to help keep me up-to-date on legislative developments.
    Regards,
    George Simpson

  10. Adam Kemp says:

    Geryy

    I came upon your site through through a reference at the writters at Under The Dome. As a respected of the NC community I though you may be interested in this. ADE will be hosting a Summit on Net Neutrality in North Carolina and offering it via a live webcast. The topic of net neutrality is an important one to all demographics in our society and one that I believe people should be talking about more.

    As I said thought you would be interested in the event.
    Link to event: http://www.alliancefordigitalequality.org/event_details.php?sid=4732

  11. David Klinger says:

    I voted for George McGovern in 1972 and Gerry Cohen in 1973. They were my first votes. Funny how none of my subsequent votes have ever been as good.

  12. Jessica says:

    He was King, wasn’t he.

    Fellow DTH staffer, class of 73

  13. Wells says:

    Why does NC House have the most unfair voting rules in the United States? Why allow 15 seconds without a chance to correct a vote before the Speaker announces the results — when the vote can really matter — but then allow changes for hours afterward that don’t matter?
    Why would a speaker ignore a member’s pleas to correct a vote on an electronic machine without, at the very least, first checking to see if there was a possible malfunction?
    What exactly is the intent of the House?

    I just finished researching procedure for Roll Call voting in 43 states – ALL allow changing a vote before the results are announced –or the machine is locked – and most note specifically that the Speaker asks, before locking the machine, if all present have vote or need to change a vote and give extra time to do so.

    I listened to the audio of July 2, there is no audible call from the Speaker to make sure all members vote their intended vote before he locked the machine and announced the results – I hardly had time to blink before this vote was table – all the while Carney’s protests ignored.

    Got an email from Tillis’ office say YOU ruled this Constitutional – did you? And are YOU the final word on this? Are you aware that if Carney could not change her vote (either because of insanely limited time – or mechanical incapability – BEFORE the results were announced – then NC is the ONLY state out of at least 43 I reviewed so far, that WILL NOT ALLOW THIS!?

    How could this possibly be Constitutional? It’s certainly political.
    But what is the point of having representatives if they are prevented, by an UNFAIR technicality, from representing?

    I want answers, I want debate, and I want FAIR voting rules in MY legislature, and if you have anything to do with this ridiculous Rule, then you have something to answer for!

  14. Wells says:

    Sorry – let me make this more readable – it’s late, and I’m close to Carney’s age – makes a difference:

    Why does NC House have the most unfair voting rules in the United States? Why allow 15 seconds, without a chance to correct a vote, before the Speaker announces the results — when the vote can really matter — but then allow changes for hours afterward that don’t matter – as far as results go?
    Why would a speaker ignore a member’s pleas to correct a vote on an electronic machine without, at the very least, first checking to see if there was a possible malfunction?
    What exactly is the intent of the House?

    I just finished researching procedure for Roll Call voting in 43 states – ALL allow changing a vote before the results are announced –or the machine is locked – and most note specifically that the Speaker asks, before locking the machine, if all present have voted or need to change a vote, giving extra time to do so if needed.

    I listened to the audio of July 2, there is no audible call from the Speaker to make sure all members voted their intended vote before he locked the machine and announced the results – I hardly had time to blink before this vote was tabled – all the while Carney’s protests were ignored.

    Got an email from Tillis’ office saying YOU ruled this Constitutional – did you? And are YOU the final word on this? Are you aware that if Carney could not change her vote (either because of an insanely limited time to vote [15 seconds say the rules]– or mechanical incapability – BEFORE the results were announced – then NC is the ONLY state out of at least 43 I reviewed so far, that WILL NOT ALLOW THIS!?

    How could this possibly be Constitutional? It’s certainly political.
    But what is the point of having representatives if they are prevented, by an UNFAIR technicality, from representing us?

    I want answers, I want debate, and I want FAIR voting rules in MY legislature, and if you have anything to do with this ridiculous Rule, then you have something to answer for!

  15. Pam Williamson says:

    Hello, Gerry. I’m hoping you can answer a question for me.

    I’m hard at the language of the new Voter ID bill language, and I’m wondering if you have any insight into one particular part.

    In order for a registered voter to go to DMV to get a FREE ID:

    “To obtain a special identification card without paying a fee, a registered voter shall sign a declaration stating the registered voter is registered and does not have other photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163‑166.13. The Division shall verify that voter registration prior to issuing the special identification card. Any declaration shall prominently include the penalty under G.S. 163‑275(13) for falsely making the declaration.”

    The reading of this law depends on the words “does not have.” Does that mean “does not have on me” or “one does not exist to get”?

    At first I thought it meant, basically, that there is no birth certificate to be got—one cannot be got or one never existed—but then I read the part on getting your free birth certificate:

    “Upon verification of voter registration, the State Registrar shall not charge any fee under subsection (a) of this section to a registered voter who signs a declaration stating the registered voter is registered to vote in this State and does not have a certified copy of that registered voter’s birth certificate or marriage license necessary to obtain photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163‑166.13. Any declaration shall prominently include the penalty under G.S. 163‑275(13) for falsely or fraudulently making the declaration.”

    What about people who were not born in North Carolina? What if you were born in Beulah, Mississippi? How do you get your free birth certificate from Beulah? That makes me wonder if the “does not have” means simply “not in my possession.”

    Thanks for any direction you can offer.

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