Editorial: Column -- House Speaker's sales job on HB2 shouldn't get any takers

Posted September 23, 2016

House Speaker Tim Moore

From the CBC Opinion Editor: Friday, Sept. 23, 2016
The following is a column by Seth Effron, opinion editor for Capitol Broadcasting Company

In “The Godfather” films, when Don Corleone wanted to put the squeeze on someone, he’d say: “Make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

When House Speaker Tim Moore wanted the city of Charlotte leaders to compromise to get HB2 repealed, he took a different tack. Moore, R-Cleveland, made them an offer they couldn’t accept.

While those weren’t exactly his words, that’s what the deal he and Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, essentially offered. Just watch and listen to what he said in this WRAL-TV report below, during a discussion with reporters.

House Speaker Tim Moore discusses his views on possible repeal of HB2.

Moore demands the Charlotte City Council first repeal its non-discrimination ordinance “unconditionally.” After that happens, he MIGHT see IF there’s support among the Republicans in the legislature to “maybe taking a look to find other ways to see if we could, you know, support and make sure there were basic protections, you know, when it comes to restrooms, changing facilities, showers, etc.” Moore stressed that the legislature hadn’t “taken a formal position … because we were waiting to see if Charlotte‘s going to move.”

Who conducts a serious negotiation where action is demanded of one side, while the other promises no quid pro quo (I’ll scratch your back, but if I do, you have to agree to scratch mine)?

Keep in mind the problems that have erupted – businesses abandoning North Carolina expansion plans, artists refusing to perform in the state, conventions cancelling planned events, professional and college sports leagues moving major championship games outside the state – all came as a result of the LEGISLATURE’S passage of HB2.

Those decisions weren’t in reaction to anything the city of Charlotte did. In fact, more than 200 other local government around the nation have passed similar ordinances and laws without any negative consequences.

What’s going on here?

Let’s make this simple. Imagine if Speaker Moore was selling cars.

A customer spots a model. “What’s it cost?”

Moore gives the customer a firm handshake and pat on the back. “$30 grand,” he replies.

“$30 grand! That’s an awful lot for that model. Let’s talk about that,” the customer says.

“No problem. Sure, we can negotiate.” Moore says. “But first, you have to agree you’ll pay $30,000 for the car. And I can promise that maybe I can get you something on a trade-in.”

“What?” the customer wonders.

“I’m very disappointed that you don’t even want to talk about this,” Moore says. “All you need to do is agree to pay $30,000 for the car. I’m just being reasonable here.”

The customer is speechless and confused.

“Oh, and after you agree, I’ll need to check with the other sales agents to see if we’ll need to tack on anything additional and maybe that trade-in might get worked out. So, do we have a deal?”

“No way!” the customer replies, walking away in bewilderment and disgust.

“Wait, wait,” Moore, scurries after the customer. “You asked me about the car. You wanted to buy it. This is all your fault.”

Car salesman Tim Moore wouldn’t last too long on the showroom floor with that approach.

North Carolinians shouldn’t accept that kind of not-so-slick fast-talk either.

The reality is that Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislative leadership are looking for a scapegoat to absolve them of their responsibility. The damage done by the impulsive imposition of HB2 rests with the governor and the legislature, no one else.

No gyrations, convoluted logic or political spin can cover that up or change that equation.

There’s no magic needed here. As Colin Powell might say to the legislature: “You broke it. You own it.”

McCrory and the legislature need to repeal HB2, now. No strings attached.


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  • Steven Brown Sep 23, 2016
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    I completely agree. WRAL has become my least visited news source these days when it used to be my only source. Now I tend to only check I for local news but like you say, there's some foolish opinion article at the top every time I check.

    And yes, I'm for repealing hb2 and the Charlotte ordinance. In my opinion giving cities the ability to set minimum wages within their city will cause more economic damage to the areas not in the city than the ncaa or acc pull out.

  • Matt Clinton Sep 23, 2016
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    They've really gone out of their way as of late to destroy the trust they've built over the past few decades. I guess promoting their ideology is more important than presenting the public an unbiased source of local news.

  • Jon Rey Sep 23, 2016
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    Let me remind all that McCrory dragged his feet on giving homeowners full and honest information and answers on the poisoning and coverup of WELL WATER contaminated by Duke. Seems the only concern with the Governor and his appointed officials, who must do as told and not do the correct action, is to protect Duke at the health and welfare of citizen of our great state. Harmful, deceptive, unethical, bordering on criminal behavior by the Governor and his henchmen. Me angry at the harmful treatment toward citizens? You know it. Vote for Cooper and other Democrats now. Change the administration and do a full investigation into political interference into the proper health standards of water, and the well water scandal. Protect citizens of NC and vote Democrat up and down the ballot.

  • Jon Rey Sep 23, 2016
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    By tally the state of North Carolina has already lost into the hundreds of millions of dollars from conventions, sports events, etc. Those folks are really getting angry that the GOP has harmed their families & jobs, lost business and income, econ development, tourism, and the cycle of incoming money circulating in communities, local business, sales and income tax lost, on and on. Time to FIRE the GOP and VOTE DEMOOCRAT up and down the ticket. Regain sanity, prestige, jobs and business. Vote now!

  • Aiden Audric Sep 23, 2016
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    Immediate impact measured in the hundreds of millions. Long term, it is projected in the billions per year.

    On McCrory's watch. He owns this, not Hunt, Easley or Perdue.

    Can you cite the study where people are moving to NC because of HB2? And how their being here displaces billions lost per year? I wasn't able to find that information.

  • Judy Loftin Sep 23, 2016
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    I'm sorry but I think HB2 has helped our state. More people are moving here due to our morals, and that is long term economic benefit. I certainly don't miss the concerts or the sports McCrory is still the best Governor we ever had. Remember Hunt, Easley and Perdue!!!
    All democrats and all horrible.

  • Bill Forster Sep 23, 2016
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    Since when is an editorial one of the top three headlines for your web page, unless you are more of an editorial agency and not a news outlet. It seems that ever since you changed affiliations to NBC you have been more and more opinionated in your stories, and based on my personal observations and conversations with people, you are starting to lose your grip for being the news source for the triangle area.
    While HB2 is controversial no matter what side you are on, providing editorials is not news. It's sad that you have decided that presenting news in an unbiased way and letting the reader decide is no longer the way WRAL wants to do business. The old WRAL I grew up with will be missed.

  • James Mcintyre Sep 23, 2016
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    Just repeal HB2

  • Matt Clinton Sep 23, 2016
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    You can't sit there with any sense of intellectual honesty and say that the state fixed what wasn't broken without also accusing Charlotte of doing the same. Both laws need to be repealed, because both equally overstep the bounds of responsible governance.