Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., March 13, 1998. Interview C-0328-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Power and responsibility for North Carolina's governor

The legal changes that gave North Carolina's governor veto power and the right to seek a second term changed the relationship between the office and the legislature, Holshouser believes. He recalls that when he was governor, he could distance himself from "screwy" laws, but at the time of the interview, the governor was more vested in the legislature's actions.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., March 13, 1998. Interview C-0328-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

So you were hands off as far as the organization of the legislature was concerned.
JAMES E. HOLSHOUSER, JR.:
Yes. And it is interesting when I think about. The relationship between the governor and the legislature at the time Terry was governor and through the time that Jim Hunt's second time now, I think it has changed fairly dramatically in a lot of ways, some because of personalities and some because of events. But the ability to seek a second term and the ability to veto, particularly the last, makes you a player more in the legislature more than you were at one time. One of the nice things about being governor when I was, if the legislature did something that was just really screwy, you could just say that it was really screwy and there wasn't anything that I could do about it.
JACK FLEER:
You mean you say that publicly or you just said it to yourself.
JAMES E. HOLSHOUSER, JR.:
I didn't do that much of criticizing the legislature publicly, but you didn't have to sign off on every bill saying that this bill is okay with me.