Editorial: Legislators - Repeal HB2, spare us pointless posturing

Posted December 20, 2016


A CBC Editorial: Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016; Editorial# 8099
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Even as we seem to be on the threshold of repealing onerous House Bill 2, that possibility seems mired in petty partisan bickering that could sink the deal.

Or maybe it is all a ruse? Make it appear as if the legislature’s going to repeal the law that legalizes discrimination, but avoid doing so. If votes somehow come up short on repeal, the blame again will be pinned on those who back anti-discrimination efforts for failing to compromise further or pressing for a vote that they weren’t going to prevail on anyway.

It is time to stop. No games, no blame. Just repeal HB2 now.

In a video statement that should have been an appeal to accommodation, Gov. Pat McCrory seemed to lay responsibility for the entire matter on Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper, and Democrats in general. The soon-to-be former Republican governor said he’d call the General Assembly into an extra session on Wednesday “to reconsider existing state legislation passed earlier this year.”

While McCrory said he demanded repeal of the Charlotte ordinance, he never mentioned – or suggested – he wanted and would insist on repeal of HB2 in return.

The fact of the matter has been that McCrory and the legislature brought all of the plagues that followed HB2 – loss of the NBA All-Star game, ACC championships, prime entertainment events, thousands of jobs and millions of dollars – upon themselves by their impetuous action.

McCrory and Attorney General candidate Buck Newton lost elections where repeal of HB2 was a major issue. Poll after poll show overwhelming majorities of North Carolinians believe the law is unfair and hurts North Carolina’s economy.

Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper personally lobbied reluctant Charlotte council members who didn’t trust the legislature to uphold its end of the deal. The council members came around, voting unanimously to rescind, contingent on repeal of HB2, its non-discrimination ordinance. They met the legislature’s demand for removal of the ordinance in return for repeal of HB2 – even as legislative leaders seek to equivocate on the deal.

Rather than welcome the overture from Charlotte’s council they demanded, McCrory and the legislature’s GOP leadership lashed out.

Berger and Moore ridiculed the ordinance as a “political stunt to drive out-of-state money into the governor’s race.” The reality was just the opposite. It’s HB 2 that failed as a hot-button issue designed to drive money to Republican candidates and motivate their voters to the polls.

The state Chamber of Commerce helped write portions of HB2 that limited minimum wage increases and moved job discrimination cases out of state courts. While the state Chamber remains silent about the repeal, other key state and local economic development advocates are pressing for repeal. The state Restaurant and Lodging Association and the chambers of commerce in Charlotte and Raleigh were quick Monday to urge the legislature to action.

It is time to end the partisan gamesmanship and bickering. The action Monday by the Charlotte Council gives North Carolina the opportunity to start rebuilding and rehabilitating its brand.

Wednesday there is a chance to reopen North Carolina to the rest of the nation and world. Unlike much of the complicated and important legislation that was just recently passed in great haste, repeal of HB2 doesn’t need much debate, nor much time.

The General Assembly can quickly repeal HB2 in its entirety and still have plenty of time to start celebrating a merry Christmas.


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  • Robbie Beck Dec 20, 2016
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    Unattributed editorials are generally ascribed to the editors of a given news outlet and are quite common. The managing editor of WRAL is Derek Medlin if you need to personalize your ire.

  • Nicolle Leney Dec 20, 2016
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    Unfortunately we know that's never going to happen :( I'm more concerned at this point about the possibility of any "additions."

  • Mary O'Shields Dec 20, 2016
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    I couldn't believe it when I heard McCrory on the news last night saying that he had always opposed HB2. I have a better memory than that, and I know that he defended it vigorously for months. If he was so opposed to it, why did he sign it so quickly? Also, while the legislators are in town to repeal HB2, maybe they should take another look at those power-grabbing measures they passed in their last session. Why not go ahead and repeal them too?

  • Teddy Fowler Dec 20, 2016
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    Please you are getting you want... maybe you need to spare us your pointless posturing....

  • Bernard Grace Dec 20, 2016
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    LOL, ...................pointless posturing is what CBC does in every editorial and most of the times they do it in the "news" section as well. Fake news indeed.

  • Dave Elliott Dec 20, 2016
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    Jeff, do you live in Charlotte? If not, you are not part of any "mess" caused by Charlotte. That's their city and their anti-discrimination law has no effect on you. HB2, on the other hand, effects the entire state. It has hurt business here in Raleigh and all over the state, plus, it makes the entire state look bad. The only mess you've been subjected to is the mess caused by the Governor and the General Assembly.

  • Jeff Freuler Dec 20, 2016
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    Charlotte should have spared us all with this ridiculous mess

  • Allen Hack Dec 20, 2016
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    Excellent! It is the sign of a coward to not put your name up on the editorials. It means you don't want anyone to know who you really are.

  • Paul Gemborys Jr Dec 20, 2016
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    "The opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company" ????? So lame, just put your name up there and take "credit" for your outstanding journalism.