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McCrory Turns To Public For Help With Vetoes


As North Carolina lawmakers mull whether to override Governor Pat McCrory's first two vetoes in office, he is hoping you'll pick up the phone and help him out. 

The governor just might have a future in infomercials. He's got the cadence down in a three-minute YouTube video released Thursday night.

Call your legislators and urge them to sustain the vetoes on House Bill 3-9-2," he intones. "That's House Bill 3-9-2."

House Bill 392 would have required drug testing for some people applying to get welfare benefits.  McCrory says the practice would be costly and "fundamentally unfair." He did like another part of the bill – to require local welfare offices to verify an applicant is not a fugitive felon – so he issued an executive order on that.  

The other measure ("House Bill 7-8-6 - that's House Bill 7-8-6," says McCrory on the video.) would have expanded the exemption for employers required to use the E-Verify identification system for temporary workers. McCrory says the bill creates "a loophole big enough to drive a truck through" and could end up taking jobs from North Carolinians.

"The intentions behind these bills were well-meaning, but sometimes good ideas get fouled up in the legislative process," says McCrory. "Therefore, I vetoed those bills, and now I need your help."

"I think this is an attempt by the governor to say, I am still relevant: This is still part of my power over the legislature," says Catawba College Political Science Professor Michael Bitzer.

Bitzer says McCrory frequently found himself outgunned by established Republican leaders at the state legislature. The two bills he vetoed passed with strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. So, without a big fan club in the General Assembly to back his vetoes, McCrory's turning to the public for support.

He's got some surprising allies on that front: the ACLU, ActionNC and Southern Coalition for Social Justice all praised McCrory's veto of the welfare drug-testing bill.

But a new poll from the left-leaning Raleigh firm Public Policy Polling finds McCrory's popularity among voters has dipped below 40 percent - largely because of an abortion-related bill he did not veto.