Think dirty politics, think North Carolina.

Yesterday, while some Democratic legislators and Governor Roy Cooper attended a 9/11 memorial service, the Republican legislators called a snap vote to override the governor’s veto of the state budget. They had repeatedly assured the Democrats that no votes would be recorded that morning, but they lied. If the full body of representatives had been present, the governor’s veto would have stood.

Cooper vetoed the budget because it did not include Medicaid expansion, which he favors but the Republicans oppose. Thanks to the Republicans, 634,000 citizens in the state will not have health coverage.

This article includes an interview with Democratic representative Chaz Beasley, who explains what was at stake.

He said,

North Carolinians sent us up to Raleigh to have a voice and a say in how we spend $24 billion. And what we’ve seen throughout this process is that many of us were not at the table when whole swaths of the budget were negotiated and settled upon. The governor has made it clear what he would like to see in the budget. One thing he’d like to see is Medicaid expansion in there.

But problems with the budget go beyond the fact that it doesn’t expand Medicaid for 500,000 North Carolinians. We still underpay our teachers. We still have schools that lack the resources to be successful. We still haven’t given a large enough pay increase to our state employees, or a cost of living adjustment to our retirees. Instead, the budget includes things like expanding programs for virtual charter schools that do not have good ratings for how they’re teaching our kids.

Virtual charter schools, we know, are a cash cow for big out-of-state corporations, and they are noted for terrible academic performance, high attrition, and low graduation rates.

The only mildly amusing comment in the article comes from a Republican who said that it was important to take a vote on 9/11 “so that the terrorists didn’t win.” He didn’t explain why it was necessary to take the vote when members of the Democratic party had been assured there would be no vote that morning. When you lie, cheat, and steal to get your way, you undermine democracy. When you betray democracy in your pursuit of power, the terrorists win.