North Carolina is dealing with some top-notch incompetence in the Governor’s office.
The ongoing conflict between the Democrat governor, Roy Cooper, and the Republican majority General Assembly, as it applies to the controversial HB2 “bathroom bill” took another twist on Tuesday.
House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger called a press conference for 6:30pm on Tuesday, presumably to announce that an agreement had been reached between Republicans and Democrats over HB2.
Presumably, but then – Cooper.
In the press conference, Berger read off four proposals that had been sent to their offices from the office of Cooper, saying that, in principle, Republicans agreed with the proposals and were ready to work with the governor to hammer out the fine details.
In what can only be considered some sort of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde scenario, a call to Cooper resulted in his balking and saying those were not his proposals.
“(The governor) now denies he made the proposal, so we’ve got to figure out where we are,” Berger said less than two minutes into his news conference. “We were prepared to have him work with the Democrats to get Democratic support, and we were going to work with our caucus to get Republican support for the proposal.”
Berger and Moore said they had been discussing the proposal for five days with other legislative leaders and were “taken aback” by Cooper’s disavowal of the proposal.
The proposal received, apparently, was worked out by businesspeople with a vested interest in seeing HB2 repealed, who were working as intermediaries between Cooper and legislative Republicans.
Cooper called the press conference a “political stunt,” yet, Berger and Moore produced copies of emails between Cooper’s chief counsel, William McKinney, and chairman of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, discussing the proposals.
Ken Eudy, senior adviser to Cooper, was also copied in the emails.
Who is doing Cooper’s job? Are we to believe his chief counsel works on legislation without his knowledge, and that his senior adviser doesn’t keep him in the loop?
Actually, that’s probably not very far from the truth. Cooper spent years hiding under his desk as the state’s attorney general. No reason to believe he’d be any more involved, except when the cameras are present, as governor.
Of course, state Democrats have had plenty to say about the proposals.
Said Cooper spokesman, Ford Porter:
“It’s frustrating that Republican leaders are more interested in political stunts than negotiating a compromise to repeal HB2. While Governor Cooper continues to work for a compromise, there are still issues to be worked out, and Republican leaders’ insistence on including an Indiana-style RFRA provision remains a deal-breaker,” Porter said. “Any compromise must work to end discrimination, repair our reputation and bring back jobs and sports, and a RFRA is proven to do just the opposite.”
RFRA is shorthand for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and Porter was referencing a short-lived 2015 Indiana law that would have allowed people to cite their religious beliefs in refusing to accommodate same-sex couples. The legislature quickly approved protections for the LGBT community under intense pressure from businesses and the NCAA.
Yes. The NCAA is pressuring North Carolina, as well, and has made ultimatums as to when North Carolina is to fall in line… or else.
The NCAA is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. It may be time to look at how they’re stepping outside of their purpose and act accordingly.
The fact that the sticking point for Democrats is that they don’t want people to freely exercise their religious conscience should bother people. A lot.
Roy Cooper needs to get with those people who are acting on his behalf and either be the boss, or resign his post.
He can’t do this job, and he apparently doesn’t want it.
Either way, the Tar Heel state shouldn’t feel pressured by state Democrats, or a corrupt NCAA into approving legislation that is not good for our citizens.
You can view the email exchanges and proposals here.