National and state leaders of constitutional groups are calling North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s conceded defeat to Democrat Roy Cooper the result of money poured into the state by outside “radical forces” as well as “corporate extortion” and “bullying.”
The radical left’s ability to push major sports organizations, businesses, and celebrities to boycott the state over its HB2 privacy legislation allowed the law to be viewed by even those North Carolinians who said they supported its intention as an economic issue. Gay rights organizations, however, are taking credit for Cooper’s win as a sign of acceptance of their ideology.
Boosted by President Barack Obama’s promotion of gender ideology, gay rights groups attacked McCrory this year over the state’s privacy-protecting HB2 law titled the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.” The Obama administration claims the law, passed in March, violates the civil rights of gay and transgender individuals.
McCrory signed the privacy and public safety bill into law to replace an ordinance in Charlotte that allowed any man who simply declared himself to be a woman to use women’s restrooms. The ordinance was pushed forward by registered sex offender Chad Sevearance-Turner and national gay-advocacy groups.
Subsequently, businesses, celebrities and sports entities such as the NCAA, the NBA, and the Atlantic Coast Conference pulled their entertainment and sports events out of North Carolina to support the radical agenda.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Equality NC had endorsed Cooper – the state’s attorney general – who refused to defend HB2 in court.
Referring to McCrory as “anti-LGBTQ,” the groups released a statement that said, “[I]t’s clear that HB2 cost McCrory his re-election bid.”
“Pat McCrory’s reign of discrimination is finally over,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “McCrory’s stubborn and reckless support of HB2 cost him this election, and his defeat sends a powerful warning to lawmakers across the country that targeting LGBTQ people will not be tolerated.”
“Roy Cooper is a champion of equality and for North Carolina values, and he is the right person to lead our great state moving forward,” said Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro. “This was a hard-fought election, but the people of North Carolina clearly know that Roy Cooper will be the best leader for our state. This is a proud day for especially LGBT North Carolinians, who can now celebrate a Governor who cares deeply about our community.”
However, national constitutional organization American Principles Project (APP) says McCrory was defeated because “leftists resorted to corporate extortion and bullying to damage McCrory’s image among North Carolina voters.” These radical groups were able to turn attention away from the “social” LGBT-rights issue, which would have lost in North Carolina on its own merits, to the economic issues created by the business, sports, and celebrity boycott.
“We applaud Gov. Pat McCrory for standing up for what is right,” APP president Frank Cannon said in a statement. “He refused to back down from corporate bullies and progressive lynch mobs, and because of his steadfastness, he became Public Enemy Number Two this election cycle for the Left.”
“While McCrory’s defeat is disappointing, there are several positives to take away from the North Carolina governor’s race for conservatives,” Cannon observes, adding:
McCrory came very close to winning despite being outspent by nearly $8 million. He was less than 10,000 votes away from withstanding an outright blitzkrieg of hate from corporate America, the sports-entertainment complex, and Hollywood celebrities.
Make no mistake, the Left recognized that they couldn’t defend Charlotte’s radical ordinance on its merits. Instead, they turned HB2 into an economic issue by convincing elite corporations, sports leagues, and celebrities to punish the state of North Carolina for protecting the privacy of young girls. This branding effort, which focused on the consequences of keeping HB2 amidst blackmail from corporate and entertainment elites, created a phenomenon where HB2 became toxic to a majority of voters, while voters still supported the substance of HB2. Had the Left not recognized the weakness of fighting HB2 as a social issue, instead turning it into an economic issue, Cooper would have surely lost.
McCrory didn’t lose on a “social issue.” McCrory lost because progressives rallied their base – corporate America and Hollywood celebrities – to blackmail the state of North Carolina with the loss of jobs and economic stability, and enough understandably scared voters buckled to put Cooper over the top. Let the post-mortem think pieces reflect that fact.
“Republicans must keep fighting because, while the Left was able to successfully define HB2 as an economic issue and convince elite corporations and celebrities to punish the state of North Carolina for protecting the privacy of young girls, their overreach clearly backfired in the presidential race in a big way in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and yes, even North Carolina,” Cannon said.
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of North Carolina Values Coalition, said in a statement that McCrory’s “leadership over the last four years will not be forgotten.”
“Not only has Governor McCrory created a booming economy in North Carolina where businesses and families thrive, but he has stood strong to protect the privacy, dignity, and safety of our citizens,” she added.
Fitzgerald continued that “McCrory’s defeat was orchestrated by radical forces outside North Carolina that poured millions of dollars into the state to ‘eviscerate’ our state’s leaders and fundamentally change our state’s values.”
She explained the “organized and well-funded strategy” had been “supported by left-wing, out-of-state donors like George Soros, Planned Parenthood, and the Human Rights Campaign.”
— PP South Atlantic NC (@PPSATNC) December 5, 2016
“They outspent the Governor two to one,” Fitzgerald said. “North Carolina Values Coalition will continue to work with the leaders in the House & Senate to assure grown men are never allowed access into women’s bathrooms, locker rooms or changing facilities and that businesses are free to live and work according to their deeply held religious beliefs.”
“We want to put Governor-elect Cooper on notice that the citizens of North Carolina will not stand for any attempt by out-of-state interests to fundamentally change our values or compromise the privacy and safety of our children,” she asserted.
McCrory conceded defeat Monday “despite continued questions” about the voting process.
UPI reported that Cooper earned 2,281,155 votes to McCrory’s 2,276,383 with 100 percent of precincts reporting. A recount found Cooper with 2,309,190 votes to McCrory’s 2,298,927.
McCrory’s campaign had filed protests over the discovery of “potentially fraudulent absentee ballots cast for Roy Cooper and other Democrats in 11 additional counties.”