The company he keeps

There will undoubtedly be more troubling stories that will come to light in the days ahead about the group of extreme right-wingers that North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis met with yesterday in Raleigh, but here’s one that certainly ought to make people wake up and pay attention:

According to a 2010 story written by Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies, one of Tillis’ new buddies has some pretty amazing views.

The man in question is named David DeGerolamo. According to this story on WRAL.com, DeGerolamo was one of six or seven extreme conservatives who met with the Speaker yesterday. The story describes him as “David DeGerolamo of NC Freedom/NC Renegade.” You can check out NC Renegade’s post on the meeting (including a photo of the speaker with a couple of the attendees) by clicking here.

According to the Institute story, DeGerolamo appeared on a radio show with the head of a Nashville, Tennessee -based national Tea Party group on November 17, 2010 and called for the repeal of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

To quote the story:

“Also on the program was David DeGerolamo, a North Carolina tea party leader and founder of NC Freedom, a state-wide tea party umbrella group.

DeGerolamo went even further on the program, calling for complete repeal of the Fourteenth Amendment — a broad-ranging amendment which outlines basic rights of citizenship, due process and equal protection.

Here’s a transcript of the discussion between Philips and DeGerolamo:

Judson Phillips: ‘Of course, when people talk, three Amendments that really are the only ones that seriously get talked about getting repealed: the 16th Amendment, for the income tax, and we can only hope that happens; the 17th Amendment for having the appointment of Senators got back to state legislatures; and the 26th Amendment, I believe it is. Do you know which one that is, David?’
David DeGerolamo: ‘No, but I know which one I want repealed.’
Judson Phillips: ‘Which one is that?’
David DeGerolamo: ‘I want the 14th Amendment repealed.’
Judson Phillips: ‘At least modified, but yeah…'”

The story went on to note that DeGerolamo’ website had previously promoted the idea favored by secessionists that North Carolina is a separate republic that is not bound by Reconstruction era amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Got that? The Speaker of the North Carolina House had time on one of the busiest days of the 2012 legislative session to meet with a man who wants to repeal the 14th Amendment and who apparently questions the legitimacy of the United State government.

Stay tuned for more troubling updates.

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