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Last week, the Republican legislature convened a post-midnight special session for the sole purpose of gut-punching one of their foes - the N.C. Association of Educators. It was possibly the strangest political gambit since Wisconsin Democratic lawmakers fled to Illinois to prevent the Republican majority from passing anti-union legislation.
UPDATED: After the 1:12 a.m. vote on a bill designed to weaken the state's largest teacher's association, House Speaker Thom Tillis defended his leadership, calling the legislature's actions transparent. In a gaggle with reporters, Tillis tried to explain why the House needed to convene in the wee hours of Thursday morning to handle the override.
At 2:46 in the video, this reporter asked Tillis: "So you expect the public to be here at 1 a.m. to hear the veto of that bill?"
Tillis: "They're welcome, they're probably not here, but everybody should know, the public should know, or any of the vested interests. I think it's disingenuous to say that a number of people would come up if we did it tomorrow morning. I would suspect probably the same number of people would be there and they'd be the special interests that are opposing the override, so I'm not sure that has weight in terms of practical effect."
At 3:20, a reporter asks: "How would (the public) have known to be here at 1 o'clock in the morning? "
Tillis: "Because for the past six months we have said any veto override on unfinished business is elegible anytime we come into session and we're true to our word."