North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) held an event yesterday unveiling the site of a future interstate, and the governor noted that more reporters were on hand than he’d ordinarily expect. “I’m just amazed how many of y’all are interested in roads,” the governor said. “This is fantastic.”
The praise, of course, was insincere. McCrory realized that the media’s interest is in H.B. 2, a controversial new anti-LGBT measure the governor signed into law late las week, and as the Kinston Free Press reported, he’s eager for the questions to just go away.
[A]fter three questions, he was ready to leave.“I know the media loves these created controversies, but the people of North Carolina want to talk about roads and jobs and education, and that’s what I’m going to focus …,” McCrory said.
Moments later, the report added, the governor “swiftly turned,” walking away from reporters with questions.
McCrory’s rhetoric would be more persuasive if it were consistent with reality. If the people of North Carolina are focused on roads and jobs and education, why is North Carolina’s Republican-led state government – led by Pat McCrory – focused on bathrooms and blocking communities from protecting civil rights?
As for the controversy itself, the governor may be disappointed if he’s waiting for the story to fade away. The New York Times reported yesterday:
The onslaught of criticism, economic sanctions and a lawsuit being leveled at Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina grew on Tuesday, as the largest corporation in his state joined the fight against a new law that eliminated anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.Bank of America, which has its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., announced late Tuesday on Twitter that its leadership was joining over 80 chief executives, including Timothy D. Cook of Apple and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, in objecting to the new law. Earlier in the day, the chief executives published a letter, addressed to Mr. McCrory, on the Human Rights Campaign website, saying, “Such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business.”
The Greensboro News & Record noted. “McCrory has claimed that a large number of businesses supported the law, but his office has not listed those companies despite many media requests.”
Public-sector responses, meanwhile, are only adding to the pressure. The Democratic governors in New York, Washington, and Vermont have stopped all non-essential travel to North Carolina, and several mayors have done the same. [Update: Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a related executive order this morning.]
As for McCrory himself, the Republican governor still hasn’t explained why he said the new law doesn’t interfere with local civil-rights protections, when the truth is the exact opposite.