Gov. Pat McCrory | Media Matters for America

Gov. Pat McCrory

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  • Sunday Shows Largely Ignore NC GOP's "Unprecedented Power Grab”

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Sunday morning political shows almost entirely ignored the unprecedented move by North Carolina Republicans to significantly limit the executive powers of the incoming Democratic governor.

    On December 14, Republicans in the North Carolina state legislature launched a three-day special session for the sole purpose of introducing “a flurry of bills … to undermine [incoming Democratic Governor Roy] Cooper by stripping him of his ability to make key appointments to state and local boards and mandating, for the first time, legislative approval of his cabinet,” The New York Times reported. The Times added that the “significant shackling of the governor’s authority” may result in lawsuits from the incoming administration against the state legislature.

    CNN.com reported that the Republican legislature's "unprecedented power grab" includes legislation to “block Cooper from appointing any members to the state Board of Education and to the board of trustees for the University of North Carolina system,” and to slow lawsuits from reaching the majority Democratic-appointed state Supreme Court. The legislation also will revert to a partisan election process for filling vacancies at appellate level state courts.

    Despite North Carolina Republicans’ “brazen bid for permanent power,” the Sunday morning political shows of December 18 all but ignored their unprecedented actions. A Media Matters review of ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s State of the Union, and Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday found that only Meet the Press discussed the situation in one brief segment that lasted less than three minutes.

    Host Chuck Todd opened a discussion on Meet the Press about the events in North Carolina by describing them as “perfectly legal” due to Republicans’ “veto-proof majority.” (In fact, a legal challenge against North Carolina Republicans’ actions may be looming.) The segment also featured misinformation from CNBC’s Rick Santelli, a right-wing commentator sometimes credited for “launching the tea party movement,” who bizarrely transformed a story about a state political party’s power grab into a complaint that “the federal government gets too much control in various states.”

    Other national and internet media outlets have given this story the detailed reporting and thoughtful analysis it demands. Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern wrote that the “last-minute power grab marks an alarming departure from basic democratic norms” and is “a blatant attempt to overturn the results of an election by curtailing judicial independence and restructuring the government to seize authority lawfully delegated to the incoming Democratic governor.” The New York Times and Washington Post editorial boards excoriated North Carolina Republicans’ "novel strategy to subvert the will of the voters" in a “graceless power grab.” And as elections law expert Rick Hasen explained, some of the measures are so extreme that they could spur “potential Voting Rights Act and federal constitutional challenges” on the basis that “the legislature would potentially be diluting minority voting power and making minority voters worse off."

    Nonetheless, Sunday shows appear to be following the poor example set by broadcast news shows, which Media Matters previously found completely ignored the story for several days.

    Methodology:

    Media Matters searched Snapstream and iQ Media for mentions of “North Carolina” on the December 18 editions of CNN’s State of the Union, ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, and Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday.

  • Right-Wing Media's Failed Attempt To Downplay The Impact Of North Carolina's Anti-LGBTQ Law In Governor's Race

    ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    Right-wing media outlets are attempting to deny the impact of North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ law House Bill 2 (HB 2) in the state’s still too-close-to-call gubernatorial race between incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Democratic challenger Roy Cooper. Mainstream journalists and political scientists have repeatedly pointed to the “politically obvious” costs of the discriminatory HB 2 as a “key issue” in the governor’s race, the outcome of which could mark a potential “watershed” moment for LGBTQ equality. 

  • North Carolina GOP Files Complaint Against Charlotte Observer For Hosting Forum On Anti-LGBTQ Law

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    The North Carolina Republican Party is attempting to thwart a forum on House Bill 2 (HB 2), the state’s controversial anti-LGBTQ law, by filing an elections board complaint against forum host The Charlotte Observer.

    The North Carolina GOP submitted a formal complaint against The Charlotte Observer, along with several other entities, for planning to host a forum on HB 2 scheduled for November 2. The controversial anti-LGBTQ law -- which, among other things, invalidated local governments' ability to provide legal protections for LGBTQ people and limited transgender people's bathroom access in certain public bathrooms -- has been a focal point of North Carolina’s gubernatorial race. 

    In the complaint, the North Carolina Republican Party alleged that the forum would serve as an “infomercial” for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper, claiming it amounts to a political “contribution” that would violate North Carolina election law. The GOP called for the event to be canceled and its hosts and sponsors “appropriately sanctioned.” Last month, for the first time in 25 years, the Observer editorial board did not endorse North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in his political race. Since 1991, the paper had endorsed McCrory in every one of his bids for office, including twice for city council, seven times for mayor and twice for governor.

    In response to the complaint, Observer Executive Editor Rick Thames said it was “ludicrous to suggest that this is anything other than a forum to help voters” and noted that the paper had made “every effort possible to make this a forum that represents all views.”

    From the November 1 edition of The Charlotte Observer:

    On Wednesday night, the Observer plans to host a forum on HB2, the controversial law that limits protections to people who are gay or transgender.

    The forum, which is sponsored by Charlotte-area marketing firm Red Ventures, is scheduled to include gay and transgender advocates as well as former Republican Charlotte mayor Richard Vinroot and Mitch Kokai of the John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank.

    In a complaint filed Tuesday, the state GOP is asking the North Carolina elections board to launch an investigation and force the cancellation of the forum.

    The complaint alleges that the forum’s “proximity in time to the general election and its focus on an issue repeatedly raised by the democrat party and Roy Cooper belies the true purpose and motivation behind the event.”

    Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who is seeking reelection, has defended HB2. Cooper, however, has called for the law to be repealed, saying it has caused significant economic damage.

    [...]

    Observer Executive Editor Rick Thames said, “It’s ludicrous to suggest that this is anything other than a forum to help voters.

    “We’ve made every effort possible to make this a forum that represents all views.”

    The Observer’s newsroom determined the content of the forum without any influence from Red Ventures, Thames said.

  • NY Times Editorial Board Calls For Repeal Of North Carolina’s Discriminatory HB 2

    Editorial Board: HB 2 Is “Based On The Specious Notion That Transgender People Are Sexual Predators”

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    The New York Times' editorial board slammed North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for his “desperate” offer to repeal the state’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2 (HB 2) on the condition that Charlotte, NC, drop its LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. The board called for McCrory to “come to his senses” and “admit ignorance and error and repeal the law.”

    In the immediate aftermath of the NCAA and ACC pulling events out of North Carolina because of HB 2, McCrory proposed a widely condemned “compromise” to repeal the discriminatory law. McCrory called for the Charlotte City Council to first drop the city’s LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. If Charlotte were to comply, he indicated, the General Assembly might call a special session to repeal HB 2 -- which, among other measures, requires transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate.

    On September 21, the New York Times editorial board lambasted McCrory for having “some nerve” in his “desperate” move to propose a compromise on HB 2. The Times called out the “specious notion that transgender people are sexual predators” and debunked the talking point that’s been used by McCrory and the North Carolina GOP to justify HB 2. The board noted that HB 2 was never even enforceable, as police can’t “reasonably be required to inspect people’s genitals” outside of all public restrooms, highlighting that the “point of the law was to harm and humiliate L.G.B.T. citizens.” The board called for McCrory to repeal the harmful law, writing that it’s “not too late for Mr. McCrory to come to his senses” and admit his “ignorance and error.”

    From the September 21 edition of the New York Times:

    Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina has some nerve. Alarmed by the rising financial fallout from the discriminatory law he and Republican lawmakers hastily passed in March to bar transgender people from using restrooms that match their gender identity, the governor seemed desperate for an off-ramp last week.

    [...]

    It was a desperate move by Mr. McCrory, who appears likely to lose his re-election bid in November, in large part for championing a measure based on the specious notion that transgender people are sexual predators.

    Mayor Jennifer Roberts of Charlotte sensibly refused. Although she was under pressure from some in the business community, including the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, it would have been wrong to cave in to Mr. McCrory’s demand.

    [...]

    It’s not too late for Mr. McCrory to come to his senses and take the only way out — admit ignorance and error and repeal the law. While he and lawmakers are at it, they can acknowledge that no one has been made safer by preventing transgender people from using appropriate public restrooms, the ostensible reason for passing the law. The rule was never enforceable, since police officers can’t reasonably be required to inspect people’s genitals outside bathroom stalls. The point of the law was to harm and humiliate L.G.B.T. citizens, and for that all North Carolinians are having to pay an ever growing price.

  • Report: North Carolina Gov. Held Fake Q & A, Ducked Questions About Discriminatory HB 2
     

    Charlotte Observer Reports That Staff Of Gov. Pat McCrory “Planted Questions,” Blocked Inquiries About Anti-LGBT Law

    Blog ››› ››› ERIN FITZGERALD

    Gov. Pat McCrory held a “business-group” lunch on September 15 that was supposed to include questions and answers from the media or audience. Instead, McCrory’s campaign staff were reportedly responsible for three “softball” questions that were falsely attributed to the Charlotte Observer, and then refused to allow the Observer’s real questions about HB 2.

    In the immediate aftermath of the NCAA and ACC pulling events out of North Carolina because of HB 2, Gov. McCrory held a business lunch on September 15 where he purportedly answered questions submitted from media outlets attending the event. But according to a Charlotte Observer editorial page editor who attended the lunch, questions at the event actually came "from the governor's own staff," though the event moderator "portrayed [them] as coming from the audience and the Observer." The crowd at the event "was never told that many of them actually came from McCrory’s campaign.”

    From the September 17 column:

    With Hurricane HB2 blowing North Carolina’s doors off, Gov. Pat McCrory took questions in Charlotte last week – from himself.

    McCrory’s staff planted questions at a lunch event in South Park on Thursday with the crowd under the impression that they were coming from the media or the audience. The moderator, a volunteer from the lunch audience, introduced three questions by saying they were from the Charlotte Observer.

    He apologized to me afterward, saying it was his understanding all the questions on one of his sheets were from the Observer. In fact, they were from the governor’s own staff, an event organizer said.

    Speakers at Hood Hargett Breakfast Club events routinely take questions from the floor. McCrory required that all questions be submitted in advance in writing.

    When the moderator asked how to get started, McCrory said, “Anything you like. No filter here.” Sure, who needs a filter when you posed the questions yourself?

    When I tried to ask McCrory a question, the filter went up. “We’ve got three Observer questions answered already. I think you guys dominate the news enough.”

    Of course, those weren’t Observer questions. They were softballs from his staff about what he wanted to do with his next term; how he wanted to reduce the state’s rape kit backlog; and how the state crime lab performed under McCrory’s opponent, Roy Cooper.

    When the event was over, McCrory did not meet with the throng of reporters who were there. He ducked out a side door and down a hall that led to a back exit. I followed him to try to ask him about HB2, but his staff blocked me.

  • After NCAA, ACC Pull-Out Of North Carolina, Editorials Slam Gov. McCrory For Continued Support Of HB 2

    ››› ››› LUKE BATEMAN

    North Carolina editorial boards are slamming Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to stand by his state’s discriminatory House Bill 2 (HB 2) following the NCAA and ACC’s recent plan to remove championship games from North Carolina. Newspaper editorial boards are highlighting the “casualty count” caused by backlash the “hateful” and “disastrous” law has caused and saying it needs to be repealed. 

  • North Carolina Newspapers Call Out Gov. McCrory For Defending Anti-LGBT “Bathroom Bill”

    ››› ››› JARED HOLT

    North Carolina editorial boards are criticizing Gov. Pat McCrory (R) after he filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department in defense of the state’s anti-LGBT bathroom bill. McCrory claimed that the federal government had no authority to demand state legislators rework the law so it isn't discriminatory, and state newspapers denounced the governor for “defending the indefensible” and engaging in a “disturbing” legal battle that “won’t end well” for North Carolina.