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Power turns some politicians into bullies. Especially when they’re running scared. So it was with Republican legislators who embarrassed themselves trying to embarrass Governor Cooper’s new legislative liaison last week.

They turned what could be a useful policy debate into a typical political sideshow. Typical.

The ostensible issue was a $58 million mitigation fund the Governor negotiated along with approval of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. No doubt Republicans fear Cooper will use the money to do something good for Eastern North Carolina’s economy and environment. Have to nip that in the bud.

Republicans want to tag it as a “slush fund.” Meaning: “Money we don’t get to spend.” Cooper should welcome that debate. As one TAPster said, “Everybody gets upset about North Carolina paying incentives to big corporations. Here are corporations giving us money! What’s not to love?”

The real story here is the Republicans’ real fear: that the U.S. Supreme Court will punt North Carolina’s legislative-redistricting case back to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Which has, in case you forget, a 4-3 Democratic majority.

Republicans are doing all they can to politicize the courts. It’d be fitting if the courts get the last word on the politicians.

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