The Future of Social Conservatives Is on the Line in North Carolina

Photo credit: Mr. TinDC via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The future of religious liberty for traditional religious believers hangs on what happens to North Carolina governor Pat McCrory’s bid for re-election this November, and he is down six points in the latest CNN poll.

The Atlanta Constitution Journal just acknowledged as much in a story on the decision to hold more public debates on the need for laws to protect the conscience rights of gay-marriage dissenters in Georgia (where Republican governor Nathan Deal vetoed such legislation in 2015):

The re-introduction of ‘religious liberty’ legislation may be a given, but its prospects could largely depend on what happens in North Carolina on Election Day.

Shortly before Deal’s veto, Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina signed into law a measure that barred transgender individuals from using public restrooms associated with their present identity rather than their birth gender.

McCrory is now locked in a tight re-election bid, and Democrat Hillary Clinton is now leading North Carolina polls in the presidential contest.

The Republican party institutionally is already desperately seeking some way to stand down on any issue the Left defines as “anti-gay.” The Chambers of Commerce in Indiana and Georgia have emerged as among the chief opponents of conscience protections for gay-marriage dissenters, and even Target’s unexpected losses after it proudly announced the opening of its women’s bathrooms and dressing rooms to transgender biological males hasn’t deterred the Chamber of Commerce from continuing to support the Left’s interpretation that people with penises can be women, too.

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N.C. Governor’s Race Heats Up with New Ad About “Bathroom Bill”

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (photo credit: NCDOTcommunications via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

North Carolina’s Republican Governor Pat McCrory is in the fight of his political life right now against State Attorney General Roy Cooper. Unfortunately, recent polling has not looked good:

  • CNN/ORC (8/18-8/23): Cooper 52, McCrory 46 (Cooper +6)
  • Monmouth (8/20-8/23): Cooper 52, McCrory 43 (Cooper +9)

McCrory, of course, is known nationally because he signed HB 2, the so-called “bathroom bill.” For a refresher on HB 2, be sure to check out Jane Robbins’ helpful write-up from back in May. HB 2 was passed in response to a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed biological men to join women in public showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms.

Sexual zealots on the left have coordinated with corporations and media elites to slander McCrory over this bill. And to be honest, judging by the polling so far, it has worked.

But McCrory is not going down without a fight. McCrory released two campaign ads this week. One of them, discussing “teacher pay,” was released publicly on his YouTube channel. The other ad, which has not been posted online, addresses HB 2 and is now airing on television in North Carolina.

WRAL has the video:

The campaign rolled out a second ad with no announcement or discernable social media push. That ad features a sexual abuse survivor and slams Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is running against McCrory, for not defending House Bill 2, a measure which, among other things, requires transgender individuals to use the bathroom corresponding with their birth gender.

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Tim Kaine Joins the Fray as Democrats Attack GOP on LGBT Issues

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Yesterday, The Pulse covered a shift in certain state-level Democrats’ campaign style toward a more aggressive stance on social issues. The left hopes to put incumbent conservatives on the defensive and set the tone for the election in terms favorable to their social agenda.

Now, Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine is joining in the attacks on GOP leaders like North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.

“Now, I know in North Carolina, there’s been some pain over this issue. They snuck through in the legislature this HB 2, and they tried to introduce it kind of in the dead of night,” Kaine said. “You all have stood up in a major way and you’ve said this is not who we are. This is not who North Carolina is. These are not our values. And that’s one of the reasons why North Carolina is so intensely focused on this race.”

“We’ve just been making progress and overcoming our imperfections and becoming that more perfect union and one of the most recent battles that’s been really powerful is the battle for LGBT equality,” Kaine added. “It’s just been one more wall that we had to knock down to be all we can be.”

Of course, as has been stated elsewhere, Tim Kaine’s statements on social issues have been hypocritical and often incoherent. Upon a candid assessment of the man’s record, he has little ground to stand on when discussing these issues. Continue Reading

Democrats Renew Efforts to Push LGBT Agenda in State-Level Races

Democratic candidates for state-level offices across the country think they have found the wedge issue that will win them the election: the LGBT agenda.

Newsmax is reporting that Democrats in North Carolina and Indiana are targeting GOP lawmakers in tough campaigns by charging them with “bigotry.”

“An unprecedented number of North Carolinians are fed up with Gov. McCrory’s partisan political agenda, and voters are ready for a leader who will put the interests of all North Carolinians first,” North Carolina gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said recently.

Photo credit: Intel Free Press via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Cooper has also repeatedly lambasted incumbent Governor Pat McCrory over North Carolina’s law regarding transgender bathroom access.

In Indiana, it is much the same story. Democratic candidate John Gregg is attacking Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb’s positions on social issues, tying him to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“You really can’t distinguish on paper between Holcomb and Pence. They both support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and discrimination against the LGBT community,” Gregg told The Wall Street Journal last week.

It is likely the Republican establishment response would be to implement a “truce strategy” of deflecting or ignoring the Democrats’ criticism. But instead of buckling to pressure from the social left and running away from social issues, Republican candidates like McCrory and Holcomb ought to fight to frame the debate in a way that favors their positions.

When Alexander Hamilton and James Madison were fighting to implement the U.S. Constitution in 1787, they were quick to claim the label “federalist” for themselves. Continue Reading

McCrory Stands Tall in North Carolina Against the Entertainment World

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (photo credit: NCDOTcommunications via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The governor of North Carolina fights back against the NBA’s vile decision to relocate its All-Star Game:

The sports and entertainment elite, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the liberal media have for months misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina simply because most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present. Twenty-one other states have joined North Carolina to challenge the federal overreach by the Obama administration mandating their bathroom policies in all businesses and schools instead of allowing accommodations for unique circumstances. Left-wing special interest groups have no moral authority to try and intimidate the large majority of American parents who agree in common-sense bathroom and shower privacy for our children. American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, thus bypassing the democratic and legal process.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

Help Wanted: Leaders Willing to Stand Up to Washington Bullies

Photo credit: Mr. TinDC via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Attorney General Loretta Lynch proclaims that moms and dads who don’t want their little girls forced to share restrooms with grown men are just reincarnated Bull Connors. Presumably Lynch speaks for the man she worships — or rather works for — who is blowing past all constitutional and statutory boundaries to complete his fundamental transformation of America before he assumes the title of Emperor Emeritus.

But perhaps to their surprise, Obama and Lynch are facing some pushback. First, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory failed to roll over under the federal threats and instead challenged the lawless intimidation tactics in court. Now a group of students from the University of North Carolina, which is also in the Justice Department’s crosshairs, have filed their own lawsuit claiming that the federal government may not force them to sacrifice their personal privacy in order to pursue their education.

Our federal overlords can be forgiven for assuming that all state and local officials would simply surrender to their dictates rather than assume a standing position and fight back. After all, the education wars of the last few years have proven that too many elected officials are frightened of the feds — and especially terrified that exercising any constitutional autonomy will endanger federal money. We can’t ditch the Common Core national standards or the tests or anything else the feds want, this argument goes, because they might cut our funding. In a battle between our children’s education and the almighty dollar, the kids will always come in a distant second. Continue Reading

Gov. McCrory Refuses to Submit to Left’s War on Reality

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (photo credit: Hal Goodtree via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

While other Republican governors, such as Nathan Deal of Georgia, shrink from doing anything to annoy the federal government or mega-corporations, Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina seems to be made of sterner stuff. The Obama administration’s Department of Justice demanded on May 4 that the N.C. state government drop its law (HB-2) reserving public restrooms for members of the designated biological sex. McCrory was given four days — including a weekend — to knuckle under.

The Governor’s response? We’ll see you in court.

On Monday (deadline day), McCrory filed a lawsuit in federal court in North Carolina challenging the Justice Department’s lawless attempt at intimidation. The clear message to an out-of-control Justice Department is that although the denizens of faculty lounges may see nothing wrong with men’s using restrooms and locker rooms with little girls, the vast majority of North Carolinians (and other Americans) still inhabit planet earth and will stand for common sense, decency, and reality.

The theory of the federal threat is that HB-2 constitutes illegal sex discrimination against North Carolina public employees under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But the North Carolina lawsuit points out that “the overwhelming weight of [legal] authority has refused to expand Title VII protections to transgender status absent Congressional action.”

There is no argument — none — that the members of Congress who voted for Title VII in 1964 thought they were passing a statute allowing men to use women’s restrooms just because they feel feminine. Continue Reading

Big Business vs. Common Sense

Photo credit: Intel Free Press via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Last week, more than 100 corporate CEOs signed a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory demanding the repeal of commonsense legislation that requires individuals to use public restrooms and other facilities that coincide to the sex of their birth.

The list of signers reads like a who’s who of the business community — Apple, Bank of America, Barnes and Noble, Hyatt Hotels, Yahoo, just to name a few. In their view, the legislation upholding the public’s expectation of privacy in public bathrooms amounts to discrimination. Moreover, they insist that not allowing men to use the women’s restroom is somehow detrimental to economic development.

CNBC is piling on, too, suggesting that laws defending religious liberty and issues like transgender bathrooms will affect a state’s pro-business ranking.

When did American businesses decide that in order to be pro-business you have to embrace San Francisco values?

Of course, any U.S. corporation that thinks men should be able to use women’s bathrooms can leave North Carolina and move to high-tax New York or big government California, but I doubt its shareholders would agree with its priorities.

Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor. Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Governors

From left: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (photos via Flickr: Hal Goodtree/Public Information Office)

Here’s tale of two governors. One is a tale of courage. The other is a tale of cowardice.

Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina recently signed legislation that overturned a Charlotte city ordinance that allowed men who claimed to be women to use women’s restrooms. The new law creates a uniform policy that protects privacy rights and upholds common sense in public facilities.

It is sad that we even have to debate this issue today. But this is what happens when a culture can’t even get something as simple as marriage right.

The ACLU is vowing to sue the governor, and Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s Democrat attorney general, is refusing to defend the new law. Senate President Phil Berger is demanding Cooper resign. If he doesn’t, I suggest Senator Berger launch impeachment proceedings.

Where did Cooper get the idea that public officials in this nation of laws can pick and choose which laws they want to defend? Perhaps he got it from the Obama Administration, which routinely ignores laws it doesn’t like.

Needless to say, the left has come down on North Carolina like a ton of bricks. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo banned all non-essential state travel to North Carolina. Talk about left-wing hypocrisy! Cuomo is eager to go to Cuba, but not North Carolina!

Thankfully, Governor McCrory isn’t backing down and is boldly defending the values and common sense of the people of North Carolina. Continue Reading

North Carolina’s Governor and Common Core

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North Carolina was one of the many states to adopt the Common Core State Standards in 2010. Similar to other states, implementation in North Carolina occurred with little to no training or resources the following year.  

When Common Core first came on the scene in the state, Governor Pat McCrory had not yet been elected. Former Governor Beverly Perdue was in the Governor’s mansion at the time and it is her signature that was on the Race To The Top application a full six months before Common Core was even released, much less adopted by North Carolina.

After being elected in fall of 2011, Governor McCrory took up Perdue’s mantle on Common Core. In various engagements, McCrory praised the standards and regularly delivered some of the now familiar Common Core talking points.  

But in McCrory’s first year as Governor, the Common Core push back began as citizens began flooding the legislature with complaints. There were online petitions, many groups drew up resolutions opposing the standards, and parents were angry. The media was starting to take notice as well, but McCrory stuck to the script – Common Core is a set of ‘high standards’, it’s ‘good for business’, it has ‘rigor’.  

Echoing these sentiments was McCrory’s aide on Education, Eric Guckian.

When asked about the mounting opposition to the standards, Guckian at one point made the blanket statement that Common Core ‘would not be going anywhere’ under McCrory’s watch. Guckian has since left the McCrory administration to take a post at Teach For America’s political arm, Leadership for Educational Equity. Continue Reading