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The ACLU of North Carolina sent a letter to its members and suporters today asking them to urge their state representatives and senators to uphold Gov. McCrory’s veto of controversial drug testing legislation. This is from the letter:

“In announcing his veto, Gov. McCrory called H.B. 392 ‘a recipe for government overreach and unnecessary government intrusion … that is not a smart way to combat drug abuse.’ We agree.

H.B. 392 does nothing to rehabilitate people who test positive for drugs. But it would open the door to costly and unnecessary government intrusions into the physical privacy of North Carolinians who need public assistance to care for their families. It would also force people in need to pay up front for their urine test, likely deterring many families from even applying.

Our state and federal constitutions protect the privacy and dignity of all North Carolinians against unreasonable searches, and all available evidence has shown that welfare applicants are no more likely to use drugs than the general public. Forcing North Carolinians who need public assistance to care for their families to pay up front for an invasive test without reasonable suspicion of drug use would be cruel, costly, and constitutionally suspect.”

The General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene next Tuesday September 3 to consider the veto.

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The web is alight these last 24 hours with stories and commentaries regarding North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis’s remarkably offensive and bone-headed comments before a group of Madison County Republicans.  

The story, which was broken by my colleague Chris Fitzsimon, has now made its way onto the websites several other news outlets, including WRAL, the News & Observer, State Government Radio and the Freedom newspapers.   

The Speaker’s helpers are already trying to spin the story as mere linguistic clumsiness, but anyone who watches the speech gets a very different impression — namely that Tillis thought he was speaking to an extremely friendly audience of supporters (one in which he could let his hair down and say what he really thinks).

It is, frankly, an incredibly depressing glimpse into the heart (largely non-existent it would appear) of a very powerful and, normally, very slick politician.