HB 142 Vindicates McCrory

Pat McCrory

Pat McCrory
It’s a crime to yell “FIRE” in a crowded theatre when there is no fire. That’s because a prank like that can make people think there’s a crisis, and that can lead to panic and all kinds of collateral damage. Last year, Attorney General Roy Cooper, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, and the inappropriately named Human Rights Campaign, sounded a false alarm when they created a transgender bathroom crisis that didn’t exist. One of their objectives was to put Cooper in the Governor’s Mansion, and to that extent, the prank paid off. But the collateral damage it caused was enormous. North Carolina became the butt of jokes and the object of national derision. We lost scores of high-profile sporting events and concerts. We also lost out on attracting prospective industries which would have created thousands of jobs. And former Governor Pat McCrory was thrown under the bus for a mess he didn’t create.

Prior to last year, North Carolina had an unwritten “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy regarding the use of public bathrooms by transgender adults. There was no crisis, and no need for legislative action. But thanks to a handful of crusading parents in several other states, the rights of allegedly transgender children began to attract media attention. The epicenter was in Colorado where, in 2013, the parents of an eight-year-old boy said their child identified as a girl, and therefore, demanded that he be allowed to use the girls’ restrooms, showers, and locker rooms. Similar cases popped up in Illinois and Massachusetts, and, over time, the high court would have ruled on the issue of gender identity. But 2016 was an election year, so transgender rights made for good political theatre.

Here in North Carolina, first-term governor Pat McCrory, a moderate Republican and former coalition-building, seven-term mayor of Charlotte, had been busy resurrecting our state’s lagging economy. Under his administration, unemployment went down, federal debts were paid, and we outpaced the national average in economic growth. He also led a bi-partisan coalition to pass a $2 billion dollar bond for modernizing college campus facilities, and, in the weeks prior to election day, he helped thousands of homeowners in Eastern North Carolina recover from a devastating flood. Along the way there were bumps in the road, like criticism from the Left over a voter ID bill, and from the Right when McCrory said that magistrates should be made to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Nevertheless, he was expected to win re-election over Democrat Roy Cooper, an Attorney General whose only claim to fame was waging war on people who needed sinus medicine. Cooper was in desperate need of a signature issue, and in March of 2016, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts handed it to him, gift wrapped.

Roberts, supported by the HRC, was poised to pass an ordinance that would have required private businesses to make bathroom accommodations in accordance with gender identity, or else face jail time and a stiff fine. Coincidentally, the day after Roberts held a fundraiser for Cooper, she called for a vote on the bathroom ordinance, and it passed. And, just to make sure that Cooper’s opponent would get pushed into a full blown controversy, Roberts designated the ordinance to take effect on April 1, giving McCrory just over a week to diffuse a politically charged bombshell. Last October, appearing on “Triad Today”, Governor McCrory told me what transpired when he first learned of the Mayor’s plans to order a vote.

“I begged Mayor Roberts not to pass the ordinance. I wrote her a letter saying, ‘You’re trying to find a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.’ “

McCrory’s pleas to Roberts fell on deaf ears, while Cooper turned a deaf ear to the impending debacle.

“The Attorney General should have declared the ordinance unconstitutional, and intervened immediately, but he refused to do it because he was in the pocket, doing fundraisers with Mayor Roberts.”

Conservatives in the General Assembly were incensed by the Queen City ordinance, but McCrory tried to discourage any legislative action, instead hoping that the matter would be settled in court. Nevertheless, legislators called a special session, and drafted what became known as HB2. It was filled with extraneous language that dealt with everything from minimum wage to denying state employees redress in state courts. But at the heart of HB2 was a requirement that people must use government owned restrooms that correspond to their biological sex. Overall, it was a poorly written bill which seemed to leave minorities and gays unprotected against discrimination, so I asked McCrory why he signed it.

“Because the Charlotte ordinance was going to go into effect within eight days if I didn’t sign our bill. I wasn’t going to allow an ordinance threatening a jail sentence to someone who doesn’t recognize gender identity, which is a whole new definition of man and woman, and of a boy and girl in our schools. But I did issue an executive order prohibiting any types of discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

Once HB2 became law, North Carolina faced a flood of boycotts and millions of dollars in lost revenue. Mayors and governors from other states even barred their employees from attending functions in North Carolina. The NBA moved its All-Star game from Charlotte, and major film companies refused to shoot here. McCrory was excoriated daily for signing a law that he didn’t seek, didn’t write, and tried to prevent. Even so, the gubernatorial race was still tight, but only because of HB2 and the perception that Cooper was a champion of transgender rights.

In July, a bipartisan deal was in the works that would have removed enough controversial language from HB2 to end some of the boycotts. It was endorsed by almost every House Republican and ten House Democrats, and was on the way to being passed. But according to a report by WBTV’s Nick Ochsner, one man torpedoed the erstwhile repeal of HB2. A source involved with the negotiations told Ochsner, “We started losing Democrats. We were told Cooper was making personal phone calls to the ten Democratic members, saying if they wanted to be on the team in November, they needed to vote against the bill.” Reacting to Ochsner’s story, state GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse said, “This report raises serious questions about the ethics and motivation of Attorney General Roy Cooper.”

The WBTV report should have ended Cooper’s bid for governor. Instead, he ran hundreds of disingenuous TV ads in which he promised to repeal HB2. The scam worked. Cooper defeated McCrory by about 10,000 votes, and HB2 was cited as the reason for his narrow victory.

Fast forward to last week when Governor Cooper signed HB 142 into law. The so-called repeal of HB2 was rushed through the General Assembly in response to a threat by the NCAA to boycott North Carolina for the next two decades. The hypocritical sports body had given us until April 1 to act, or else. The problem is that HB 142 is not a repeal of HB2. Instead, it only restores the status quo, and prohibits localities from enacting their own bathroom ordinances until the year 2020, by which time, the Courts will have ruled on the legal standing of gender identity as an orientation equal to that of biological gender. In other words, Cooper’s HB2 replacement bill is exactly what McCrory had advocated. Not surprisingly, Cooper is now coming under fire from the same groups who once excoriated McCrory. They mistakenly thought McCrory created HB2, and they mistakenly thought Cooper would thoroughly repeal it.

Four years from now I hope voters will remember what really happened with HB2, and who was really responsible for stirring up a faux crisis that did a lot of damage. I also hope they’ll remember who could have prevented HB2, and then deliberately blocked an effort to repeal it, just so he could get elected. By supporting the Charlotte bathroom ordinance and helping to keep HB2 alive for political purposes, Roy Cooper is like a man who yelled “FIRE”, then refused to help extinguish the flames with one hand, while fanning them with the other. Pat McCrory deserved another term as governor, and because of HB 142, he might still get it.
 
 

19 Comments

  1. Comment by Bryan:

    We lost the best Governor we ever had. Pat did for North Carolina and did it right.

  2. Comment by Marsha Parrish:

    Governor McCrory was the best . You run again and I’ll vote for you again.

  3. Comment by Jan:

    Thanks so much for this article. Hopefully it will enlighten those that didn’t know the truth and put the spotlight totally on Cooper for all the problems NC had with this issue.

  4. Comment by chuck parris:

    If half the voters were aware of the issues, then Roy Cooper would not have been elected. Or if Cooper had been the AJ for North Carolina, rather than on a personal campaign, the citizens/state would not have had a problem.

  5. Comment by Pat:

    Roy Cooper is a loser. I voted for McCrory. McCrory was the best governor NC ever had. Cooper is bad for NC in many ways. Another crooked democrat.

    • Comment by Mike:

      Cooper did not win; no voter I’d allowing tremendous voter fraud put Cooper in for some political reason we have not uncovered—yet!

  6. Comment by Vickie Hedden:

    Thank you for well written article. From watching past works of R. Cooper, his underhanded acts are no surprise.

  7. Comment by TANYA HOLLAND:

    PatMcCrory was the Best. Gov. EVER. Thank you for this well-written piece. It’s about time the truth was told.

  8. Comment by Susan Matt:

    Gov. McCrory was standing up for a right that all logical people should have applauded him for. Mr Cooper was not liked before he ran for Gov., wait people and see what happens to NC. now.
    It’s going to be a mess. Why would anyone agree to having men and women share the same showers or bathrooms? It’s beyond all comprehension. The deviate democrats are injuring our state, not the other way around. Wait 10 years, see where our state and precious children are. The worse thing that happened was to vote Gov. Mc Crory out. Pray we can bring him back in four years. Sorry Gov. Mc Crory, you still have patriotic followers.

  9. Comment by Jim Barco:

    Finally, finally, an accurate account of NC politics and the marketing of,” the sky is falling.” Pat is and was the best example of a leader who could work both sides of the aisle, that is until the wacko conservatives and liberals –yes, both exist– decided to blow everything up rather than to step back and take a breath. And at what cost? Gone is NC reputation as the place to be: live, work, raise a family, go to college, retire. All that remains mind you, but now it is covered wit soot from the battle, and neighbors no longer go their fence to discuss their day. Welcome to every other State NC; for the longest time you were admired for staying out of the mud and now it seems you invented it.

  10. Comment by Betty Hough:

    Thank you for this well written, accurate explaination of what has really happened in NC and who is to blame.

  11. Comment by Jeremy:

    I will say that if there just happens to be any type of criminal act of a man to a woman in the ladie’s restroom or a woman to a man in the men’s restroom, then the NCAA should be sued by the victim and held responsible for giving the ultimatum!Also everyone needs to remember there are other laws on the books that can protect you in the restroom. Indecent exposure is one of them, peeping is another.

  12. Comment by Cindy:

    From the beginning I said it was the City of Charlotte’s fault that HB2 was put into place. I was also aware that it could have been repealed earlier had it not been for Roy Cooper. Roy was more concerned with his election than he was the State of North Carolina — that should tell us volumes!!

  13. Comment by Tony Baker:

    It is a shame when we allow a non tax paying sports organization to control the moral compass of an entire State.

  14. Comment by Jeff Coffman:

    My wife and I moved here from Pennsylvania. We were extremely impressed with Governor McCrory. Imagine my surprise when he lost but the state went Republican in the Presidential race. It shows how deviate the Democrats can be. Also how gullible groups like the NBA, NCAA,and several groups are. Like the saying goes they can’t see the forest through the trees. Sad

  15. Comment by Don:

    Thanks for the well written article exposing the truth behind Cooper.

  16. Comment by Susan:

    Thank you publishing the truth. It shows how underhanded Mr. Cooper really is. North Carolina was in the best financial shape with Mcroy in office. I am ashamed of North Carolina’s for falling for this. I only hope Charlotte will wake up and vote mayor Roberts out of office.

  17. Comment by Kim:

    Never liked Mr. Roy Cooper for as Attorney General he did not perform his job. He avoided taking a stand on issues he should have. He did not put the lives of NC residents into consideration when making decisions about anything. We all need to remember Mr. Cooler and Mrs. Roberts on the next election

  18. Comment by Jeannie Collier:

    I was so disappointed that people fell for this farse! People need to really get educated before they vote. I want McCrory to become our next Governor as he was so cheated and he had done such a great job for NC jobs!!

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