Emails sent to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s office complained that he didn’t call for a special session after the Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance targeting transgender rights, and they suggested that he would lose votes in his re-election bid if he didn’t react, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The Charlotte Observer (http://bit.ly/2dlzSzl) reported that on April 5, the newspaper requested copies of emails sent or received by McCrory and his staff since Feb. 1 regarding the Charlotte nondiscrimination ordinance and House Bill 2. On Oct. 7, the newspaper filed suit against McCrory for not meeting the request made under North Carolina’s public records law.
On Monday, the governor’s office provided more than 40 files containing thousands of pages of emails, and more are expected to be delivered, said Mike Tadych, an attorney with the Stevens Martin Vaughn & Tadych law firm that filed the lawsuit for the newspaper.
Some emailers to the governor’s office called McCrory an “idiot” for signing the law. Others used the same word to describe supporters of the Charlotte measure, which allowed transgender individuals to use bathrooms in government-run facilities that matched their gender identity.
After McCrory signed the bill, some of the same activists who had questioned whether he would call a special session said he now deserved their support.
“Now that we have passed the immediate challenge, thanks to everyone who took action to heart,” wrote Ken Barun, chief of staff for the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, on March 27. Franklin Graham, the organization’s CEO and son of founder Billy Graham, “told me he had called his good friend Governor Pat McCrory to thank him and the Governor shared with Franklin that his office was receiving a lot of heat from corporations.”
Tami Fitzgerald of the N.C. Values Coalition sent a group email urging recipients to rally behind McCrory and his re-election campaign. She also suggested pushing back against major corporations opposed to the HB2, and raised doubts about whether the NBA would pull the 2017 All-Star Game.
The NBA pulled the All-Star Game on July 21. The NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference later pulled their championship events from North Carolina.
In another email exchange, Kevin Walker, a partner at a Charlotte accounting firm, told McCrory’s general counsel, Bob Stephens, that he knew it wasn’t his bill, but “I have to express my extreme disappointment that the state legislature felt it necessary to pass this reactionary bill, and that the Governor chose not to veto it.” The state’s reputation as “a business friendly and inclusionary state is taking a serious and self-inflicted hit as a result,” he added.
Stephens wrote back that he understood.
“I think there are a number of ‘misunderstandings’ about this bill but, there are some provisions in this bill that I don’t like either,” he wrote. “Also, very few people understand that, yes, the Governor could have vetoed this bill but that veto would have been overridden by the legislature in a matter of days.”