Meet North Carolina state Rep. Jason Saine. He’s one of the Republicans who perverted democracy in his state on Wednesday, holding a vote to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s state budget veto after Republicans had told Democrats there would be no votes scheduled in the state legislature until 1 p.m. While the governor and some Democrats were reportedly attending 9/11 memorial services, Republicans snuck in the critical vote, which will overrule a Medicaid expansion and deny nearly 500,000 North Carolinians health care.
Gov. Cooper and Democrats were rightly angry that the Republicans used the morning of Sept. 11 to unleash their deception, choosing to vote while members were attending ceremonies honoring first responders.
“For a decade, this Republican legislature elected by unconstitutional means has used tricks and bullying to starve our public schools and deny healthcare to half-a-million working North Carolinians,” Cooper said at a news conference. “They used lies, bribes and illegal districts because their policies damage our state and can’t pass on their own merit. Today, on the 18th anniversary of 9-11, while the state was honoring first responders, Republicans called a deceptive surprise override of my budget veto.”
Republicans then held their own press conference as the outrage and fury over their deceptive actions grew and started getting nationwide attention. They said they “take exception” to the criticism, and golly, they can’t help it if they are the only ones who turned up for work this morning. Seriously: They accused Democrats of “missing work.” Jonah Kaplan and ABC 11 in North Carolina obtained the schedule Democrats were working from, after being assured by Republicans there would be no morning vote.
Putting salt in the wound on this somber day, Rep. Saine used the most hideous defense you can imagine. He told reporters that if they hadn’t held a secretive vote this morning, on the anniversary of 9/11, the terrorists would have won. Here’s his exact, disgusting quote: “As a former firefighter and an American, I am appalled that anyone in our country would stop going about their normal business on this day. When we stop being a beacon of freedom, hope and democracy, then the terrorists win.”
Read that again. And again. This man has the nerve not only to use his past as a volunteer firefighter, but he further uses the vile excuse that pausing work to memorialize the victims and first responders who died, and are still dying, from the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath means the terrorists win. I don’t know about you, but that enrages me in the worst way. It is an insult to everyone in this country who witnessed the tragedy of that day and all the days since.
I visited the East Lincoln Fire Department’s Facebook page to see if it was going about “business as usual,” and to no surprise, the department, where Saine had volunteered, was not. In fact, here is the meme it is using as its cover photo today.
I was so upset by this man’s quote and the actions he and his colleagues took that I tweeted at Rep. Saine. He responded, saying, Blargh, blargh, 9/11. See the exchange below.
I was asked specifically about us doing business in the House which was scheduled. I did not say we shouldnÃ¢Â€Â™t honor victims of 9/11. We did honor 9/11 victims and first responders today in session.
Ã¢Â€Â” Rep. Jason Saine (@JasonSaine97th) September 11, 2019
Shame on Rep. Jason Saine and the rest of the Republicans who disgraced and perverted democracy today. If you live in North Carolina and you want to share your feelings with Rep. Saine about his comments and actions today, his public contact information is below.
Republican – District 97
16 West Jones Street, Rm. 1326
Raleigh, NC 27601-1096
1760 Whispering Pines Dr
Lincolnton, NC 28092