North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory planted fake questions at a press conference, posed by an unwitting moderator, to avoid having to answer real questions about the anti-LGBT HB2 law that has cost the state millions of dollars in lost revenue.
The first three questions at the press conference in Charlotte were said to be from the Charlotte Observer. But they weren’t. They were questions written by McCrory’s own staff. The moderator was “a volunteer from the lunch audience” simply reading them from a sheet of paper.
When the real Charlotte Observer reporter tried to pose a question, it was denied by McCrory: “We’ve got three Observer questions answered already. I think you guys dominate the news enough.”
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.
Ricky Diaz, a campaign spokesman, on Friday acknowledged the campaign provided questions for the governor, but said “we were asked to in order to keep the conversation format going.”
McCrory has at least 395 million reasons not to want to answer questions about HB2. That’s the amount, in dollars, that the law has cost the state, according to a new estimate from Wired magazine, as noted in our Hot Links earlier this morning.
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…the total cost to North Carolinians so far from HB2 protests is slightly more than $395 million. That’s more than the GDP of Micronesia. And the bulk of it is from sporting organizations, who even five years ago would likely not have waded into political territory like this. But experts aren’t that surprised that the NBA, NCAA, and ACC have taken this step now. “They’re not out on a limb here,” Durso says. “They’re in line with their base.” The near unanimous outcry against HB2 and in support of the NCAA and ACC confirms that. Legislating discrimination has become an expensive bad habit.
And McCrory has reason to worry politically. The latest RealClearPolitics polling average has the governor trailing Attorney General Roy Cooper by 48.7 to 44.