NC REPUBLICANS' SHAMELESS THEFT OF DEMOCRACY: The verdict is now plain. North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders — not actually leaders, but connivers — are beyond shame. In a stunning display of contempt for democracy, House Speaker Tim Moore, a Cleveland County Republican, called a surprise vote to overturn Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget just after a session opened at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Democratic lawmakers and the media had been told by Republican leaders that there would be no vote in the morning. Most Democrats were absent. Enough Republicans, aware of the secret plan, were there. When Rep. Jason Saine, a Lincolnton Republican, made the motion to reconsider the state budget, the handful of Democrats on hand objected strenuously. “This is a travesty of the process and you know it,” said Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover.