Moore targeted over 'ag-gag' veto override

Posted June 3, 2015

Full-page Humane Society ad targeting House Speaker Tim Moore, June 3, 2015

— As House Speaker Tim Moore prepares to try to override the governor's veto of House Bill 405, which some opponents call the "ag-gag" bill, the Humane Society is targeting him back in his district.

The group took out a full-page ad Wednesday in the Shelby Star newspaper, asking readers to contact Moore to voice their disapproval of the legislation, entitled the "Property Protection Act," which would allow employers to sue employees who take video or audio in areas of the workplace they're not authorized to enter and then give that information to anyone aside from "authorities."

Backers of the legislation, including the North Carolina Chamber, say it's intended to protect employers from corporate espionage, organized retail theft or people who seek employment with the purpose of obtaining and revealing information about a workplace. But critics, including Gov. Pat McCrory, say it goes too far because it doesn't exempt employees who uncover evidence of actual wrongdoing.

AARP, one of the bill's most prominent opponents, said the legislation "will create new risks for workers, older adults, families and children because it extends to all industries, including nursing homes, hospitals, group homes, medical practices, charter and private schools, day care centers and so forth."

In his veto message May 29, McCrory specifically cited the bill's lack of protection for whistleblowers.

"I am concerned that subjecting these employees to potential civil penalties will create an environment that discourages them from reporting illegal activities," he said.

The Humane Society's ad against Moore calls the bill a "cruelty cover-up," saying it "would cover up the abuse of vulnerable North Carolinians, including elders in nursing homes, veterans in hospitals, children in day cares and animals in puppy mills."

Veterans' groups have also voiced opposition to the bill, as have domestic violence and women's groups.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, House Minority Leader Larry Hall predicted the House would override the veto but said he would vote to sustain it.

Hall, D-Durham, said the state already has laws on the books to deal with corporate espionage and theft. He said lawmakers have already gutted the state's ability to inspect and enforce regulations in workplaces and is now seeking to "tie the hands of the people" most likely to see violations.

"This was a bill that was not needed," Hall said. "This is overkill. This is over the top."


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Eric Hammond Jun 4, 2015
    user avatar

    Bill McKellar Jun 3, 11:44 p.m

    Another step back in time.

    actually no, this is a step forward (for the radical right wing) There is absolutely nothing "conservative" about this blantant attack on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights! this is just another shot in the GOP's war on personal freedoms (freedom of speech and the press) that are supposed to be guaranteed by the law of the land - the NC legislature has already removed your rights (in this state) - to mineral rights on the land you own, your right to compensation for lands seized (gave fracking companies free reign to build roads on lands they don't own without compensation or regard to the desires of the owner) and in one case legalized breach of contract at the request of the corporation that profited directly from said breach! In other words, if you're a big GOP donor, they'll pretty much legalize anything you want!

  • Bill McKellar Jun 3, 2015
    user avatar

    Another step back in time.

  • Anthony Snark Jun 3, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    As long as the profits of corporations are protected, I guess it's ok. They should have thrown in another corp tax cut too.

  • Alex Yopp Jun 3, 2015
    user avatar

    Bad move NC Lawmakers. Limiting the ability of concerned citizens to bring potential issues to the public eye? NC legislators are undermining the rights you and I have to bring to the light of day, bad practices , illegal practices , immoral practices.