Governor McCrory and other officials had said recently that a repeal of HB2 might be possible, but the Charlotte Ordinance would have to be repealed first. Any chance of that happening was killed by both North Carolina State lawmaker Becky Carney (Mecklenburg) and Mayor Roberts.
Carney, a Democrat, killed the attempt to repeal the illegal Charlotte Ordinance as part of a compromise related to a possibly repeal House Bill 2 (HB2). What’s more, Carney’s maneuvering has exposed the use of HB2 as political leverage by Democrats.
A Democratic member of the legislature, who spoke on background to discuss the situation, confirmed Carney tied her opposition to the ordinance’s repeal directly to her desire to keep HB2 on the books so Democrats in close legislative races could use the bill as a wedge issue in November’s election.
The lawmaker said Republican leaders in the legislature had agreed to repeal HB2 if the city’s ordinance were also repealed and that there were enough votes to push the bill’s repeal through.
“This deal was done, and was going to be done, but for three people and they’re all sitting in Charlotte,’ the Democratic lawmaker said. “Three people in Charlotte are holding North Carolina hostage right now.”
Carney isn’t the only one using HB2 as a political campaign tool. The most visible candidate using HB2 to leverage his campaign is Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is challenging Governor Pat McCrory.
Campaign finance reports show Carney received only two donations in the second quarter, $500 each from the Bank of American PAC and the Wells Fargo Good Government Fund.
This past May, Carney was one of the legislators who met with Equality NC and Human Rights Campaign activists during a lobbying visit to repeal HB2.
Mayor Roberts gave a statement yesterday from a podium bearing the logos of Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign.
Roberts’ statement argues Charlotte is not to blame, despite the Charlotte Ordinance being the impetus for HB2:
“The City of Charlotte continues its commitment to be a welcoming community that honors and respects all people. We appreciate the state wanting to find a solution to the challenges we are facing and applaud the governor for recognizing the state should overturn HB2, which the state can do at any time without any action from the City of Charlotte.”
Both of organizations are alleged to have helped craft the Charlotte Ordinance and have engaged in attempts to economically blackmail the state into repealing HB2.
— Sister Toldjah ツ (@sistertoldjah) September 19, 2016
Standing just to the right of Mayor Roberts in the grey suit is Chris Sgro who was appointed to fill an empty North Carolina General Assembly seat back in April. Sgro is also the Executive Director of Equality NC.
It has been noted by this site that Sgro has engaged in fundraising activities for Equality NC despite resigning his lobbying position for Equality NC.
These fundraising efforts are to fund opposition of HB2 and represent a conflict of interest between the two positions Sgro currently holds. In August, an ethics complaint was filed against Sgro for these activities.