Still Calling


More ‘Toons: North Carolina backlash

Boy: did Pat McCrory and whats-his-fuck, the moron in the Legislature, fuck their state out of nearly $4 billion. I did a little video about it for Raw Story. Hope you dig the fistfuls of dollars at the end: I found some tutorials and learned the basics of Photoshopping and created those myself.

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out

Guys, shed a tear for Pat McCrory. Shed a single, crystal tear with a unicorn on a rainbow reflected in it. Former Gov. Pat McCrory says the backlash against House Bill 2 is making some employers reluctant to hire him but he’s currently doing consulting and advisory board work. McCrory has been appearing frequently in…

The North Carolina situation

It has been a bad few days for Pat McCrory, governor of North Carolina. After signing off the on unnecessary “bathroom bill”, which not only gives the green light to discrimination against sexual minorities in that state but also “pre-empts local employment ordinances governing wages, benefits, employee protections and leave policies”, everything went to Hell pretty quickly. My chronology is probably a little off, but PayPal canceled a major expansion in the state, costing North Carolinians jobs and revenue; Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia (hardly the most evolved human/state on the planet) decided to veto Georgia’s “religious liberty” bill; then the equally neanderthal Governor Nikki Haley indicated she’d veto a similar bill in South Carolina; then Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert; then Deutsche Bank froze its plans to expand in the state, costing North Carolina 250 high-paying jobs; and then Ringo Starr canceled a concert as well. I’m sure I missed a few, but the point is that Pat McCrory is up to his eyeballs in a big river of shit, and some pundits in North Carolina are already predicting that Attorney General/gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper, who has refused to defend the law, will soon take McCrory’s place.

This is why I was fascinated to get a series of messages from my friend Travers Chandler, who is a rank-and-file Republican in North Carolina and has some insight into how the state and the governor got into this fine mess. He has graciously allowed me to quote him at length here. And at this point, let’s have a Laurel and Hardy break, because this is essentially how I envision the relationship between the governor and the legislature:

And now, here’s Travers…

Dude you need some perspective about what’s going on down here in NC… this shit’s been brewing for over a year.

First the mayor of Charlotte is… not at all interested in any kind of sound governing. At no point was there any clamor for gender assigned anything in Charlotte. The CMPD are shooting people down in the street, mass transit is in chaos, the city lost control of their airport and the lovely mayoress makes bathrooms her top priority. Mind you she finds her way to the mayors desk because her predecessor was arrested on corruption and assorted other charges.

This was all by design.. Now the governor previously vetoed two pieces of legislation that would’ve restricted the civil rights of the LGBT community while vocally stating he would sign a third that would extend protections on the state level (I can’t find a link to this, so I’ve sent Travers on the hunt). During this time he vetoed legislation that would place further restrictions on abortion.

This whole episode was designed. Now the NC legislature is full of extremist scumbags, and I fervently disagree with the legislation, but this crusade is bullshit, and the supposed outrage from outside makes me want to fucking puke if not homicidal. Where was this outrage a year ago? Where were these companies a year ago? The entertainers? Why weren’t they here creating interest in this issue? Because they give two fucks less about the LGBT community in NC. Its election year demonizing on both sides and the people of my home state pay the price. I realize there’s genuine out rage from some folks about this but goddamn.

I disagree with Travers on the hypocrisy of outsiders. Those of us who don’t live in North Carolina don’t get a daily does of the political machinations in that state. By the same token, when a Rhode Islander asks me about Pennsylvania’s “Porngate” scandal, I don’t expect them to know about the feud between Kathleen Kane and Frank Fina, or how the story ties into the Sandusky scandal. All they see is “Porngate”, just like to all we see in North Carolina is “anti-gay discrimination”. And that’s important because as Travers points out…

Just shows you what gets overlooked. Its a shitty deal all the way around. Mccrory ain’t my favorite, but he’s pretty pragmatic and he’s being painted by a broad brush.
He nixed a bill last year or the year before similar to the GA and MS bills. His words were “nobody’s threatening religious liberty in NC, it’s absurd.”

The real problem is a man named Phil Berger: look that asshole up. The main feud began with Mcrory and the legislature. Phil Berger leads that legislature. Berger has fought the governor tooth and nail on teacher pay raises. [The] governor is up for reelection and they are forcing everything far right. They have to energize western and rural eastern nc to overcome Democrat strongholds in Mecklenburg County (Charlotte) and Wake County (Raleigh).

[If] Mcrory doesn’t sign the bill he doesn’t get his education bill and the teacher pay raises he has desperately been working on for two years. Not saying its justified, but they’ve bent him over a barrel and he figures sign the bill, get the education spending he wants, and at some point maybe he survives and the court strikes down the law.

[I]t’s Berger forcing Mccrorys hand. Pat would be ok with Charlotte making its own rules. He’s a true believer in government on local level. But he wants his education plan, while Berger wants the toll road and so [does] Charlotte GOP. Unfortunately the town of Cornelius (Republican) wants to block it, and can through town council ordinance under NC law. Also, Democrats in Charlotte have a hard on for Mcrory from his time as mayor when he fought them on a crony deal on downtown commuter train and trolley. Throw in a dirty plan to privatize and toll I-77 thru the burbs and it gets ugly. NC politics are filthy.

None of this, by the way, is meant to elicit any sympathy for McCrory, except to the extent that it looks like Phil Berger has successfully avoided any backlash himself. But it does go to show that things aren’t always as simple as they look. If Travers is to be believed -and he is, in my opinion- the NC legislature (like other Republican-held statehouses) may be a bit further to the right than their constituents. Yes, support for the bill holds a bare majority -51%, according to an article in the Charlotte Observer that remains behind an annoying firewall– but that’s going to change, and change fairly rapidly as Big Money begins calling in its chits, and the glare of national condemnation begins to take its toll. No one likes to be a laughingstock, and unlike Mississippi, North Carolina has always been in the vanguard of the New South: cosmopolitan, international, and forward thinking. That’s why the boycott and negative attention is already working. My guess is that far from institutionalizing discrimination in the state, the law will not only be repealed (or, more likely, deemed unconstitutional by the SCOTUS), but that McCrory will lose handily to Cooper, and that the Republicans in the legislature may also find their numbers diminished a bit, as the rank-and-file turn their back on the agenda of the religious right that has had such a tenacious grasp of the party (not sure if Travers would come to the same conclusion, of course).