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That story should have been updated. Only one Dem house member was at a 9/11 ceremony, the others were around the state capitol in various meetings but the vote was still sprung as a surprise while they were out.
It's a scumbag move by the GOP but they are what they are -- we've known that about them for years. I primarily blame the Dem minority leader for this fiasco. A GOP leader told him there would be no vote, he believed it, and told his caucus members they didn't need to show. It's his job to not fall for BS like that. Especially since the GOP has been making it clear for weeks that they would override the veto if an opportunity presented itself, and the bill was on the calendar (as it had been every day in the 11 weeks since it was vetoed).
The real "victims" such as it is, are the NC Senate Dems. The only have a one-vote margin to sustain the veto and thanks to the incompetence of their peers in the house, all of them are for all practical purposes now chained to their desks in the Senate chamber for the rest of the legislative year.
And the base blame goes to the Dem legislators who wrote the veto amendment in the mid 1990s for not putting a deadline on overrides. They wrote the amendment to give the legislature all the advantages because they figured that while there may be a Republican Governor every now and then, a Republican legislature was inconceivable.