Friday, June 25, 2004 | News for Charlotte, N.C. | North Carolina News | News for Charlotte, N.C. | North Carolina News
Republican candidate's ads link governor, 9/11 attacks
Associated Press

State Sen. Fern Shubert, one of six Republicans seeking the gubernatorial nomination to oppose Democrat Mike Easley, is running ads that link the incumbent to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

In an advertisement Shubert has placed on cable TV stations, footage of airliners slamming into the World Trade Center is joined with a voiceover by the father of a man who died in the attacks.

"Within days after 9/11, Mike Easley signed a law that made it easier for terrorists, illegal aliens, drunk drivers and everyone except law-abiding citizens to get driver's licenses," says Peter Gadiel, a member of the group 9/11 Families for a Secure America.

The 2001 budget bill, which Easley signed into law, included language that allowed drivers license applicants to use a taxpayer identification number in lieu of a Social Security number on their application.

The DMV has said that having a taxpayer ID number is not enough in and of itself to get a North Carolina license. Applicants still must have two forms of identification and show proof of residency, a DMV spokeswoman said Thursday.

Shubert, of Union County, said she spent $25,000 buying time for the television ad and a similar radio spot in which Gadiel adds, "You can't bring (my son) back, but you can help stop Mike Easley from helping illegal aliens and the terrorists who hide among them."

Shubert has been critical of illegal immigration for years and has complained that North Carolina's driver licensing program is lax.

Jay Reiff, Easley's campaign manager, called the ad "shameful" and pointed out that most of the Sept. 11 terrorists entered the country legally on student visas. Reiff also noted that none of the terrorists used North Carolina licenses to board the hijacked planes.

"This ad really insults the intelligence of North Carolina voters," he said.

In February, under orders from Easley, the state Division of Motor Vehicles imposed new limitations on the kinds of identification that can be used to obtain a license. DMV stopped accepting expired licenses, individual tax records, and licenses and other identification cards issued by the Mexican government, such as the matricula consular.

Officials said they made the change under recommendations from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.


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