The following is a column by Mark Shiver, host of the “What Matters in North Carolina” podcast.
Gov. Roy Cooper seems to be playing a high-stakes game of “HB 2 chicken” with the North Carolina General Assembly, with little regard for how it impacts the citizens of our great state. He continues to talk out of one side of his mouth for compromise on the repeal of HB 2, while out of the other side, encourages Democrat legislators not to support such compromise.
Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) has filed HB 186. The bill would repeal HB 2 and also provide non-discrimination rules in North Carolina that mirror those of the Federal government regarding protected classes of people. It provides steps that local municipalities would need to take if they desire to expand the protected classes of people, including a provision for citizens to petition for a public referendum if their local board passed an ordinance making such an expansion.
— Brittney Johnson (@BrittneyWSOC9) February 23, 2017
The intent of this column is not to advocate for or against HB 186. It is meant to show that the real issue surrounding HB 2 is not that of protecting transgender people as some may assert, but rather is something altogether nefarious. It can be argued that Cooper and his cronies want HB 2 to not be repealed, so that they can use it as leverage against the Republican majority in the General Assembly.
They say they want to compromise and repeal HB 2, but their actions are altogether different.
McGrady was a guest on the “What Matters in North Carolina” podcast on Monday, Feb. 27. Much of the conversation had to do with the fact that both Republican and Democrats signed onto the bill when it was filed. He said, “I’m gratified by the bipartisan support. I think we’d have a lot more support if Gov. Cooper would stop trying to dissuade Democrats from joining the bill.”
Noting that one of the original bill sponsors, Rep. Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg) has withdrawn his sponsorship of HB 186, WRAL reported on its website on Friday, Feb. 24 that Sadie Wiener, a spokesperson for Cooper, confirmed that there have been conversations between the governor and lawmakers about the local referendum provision. It appears that Cooper wants the public to think he is working hard to find a compromise with the General Assembly on HB 2, but in reality is doing all he can to keep that compromise from happening.
McGrady said, “Until the Governor allows Democrats without fear of threat from him to come on the bill, no I can’t pass this bill.”
If Cooper really wants to work with the General Assembly on a compromise that will lead to the repeal of HB 2, McGrady’s bill provides a starting point. Cooper’s continued negative interference in the process however, indicates that he is more interested in using HB 2 for all it is worth politically, at the expense of the citizens and businesses of North Carolina.