North Carolina’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate has a really unusual strategy for winning the state’s 2016 election — he’s recruiting allies in Washington, New York and Silicon Valley to sabotage his state’s economy, civic society and bathroom privacy.
To Americans outside the state, North Carolina politics in 2016 seem to be all about bathroom rights for transgenders, high-tech boycotts and Hollywood cancellations.
But behind closed doors, state Democrats and their outside allies are using that transgender bathroom fight to raise funds from gay advocates in New York and to paint Gov. Pat. McCrory as an economy-wrecking hick.
The chief architect of this job-destroying, voter-smearing campaign strategy is the Democratic candidate for governor, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Back in November of 2015, Cooper refused McCrory’s request to represent North Carolina in a multi-state lawsuit against President Barack Obama attempt to open all single-sex bathrooms in K-12 schools to the other sex. Cooper’s refusal was delivered via a staffer who called Governor McCrory a “bully” for asking the Attorney General to do his job of defending the sexual privacy North Carolina children. It likely comes to the surprise of no one that the staffer has an LGBT activism history.
That fight exploded in February when Charlotte City Council established an ordinance effectively ending singe-sex privacy in public bathrooms. In March, the state’s legislature quickly enacted a very popular law that balances the privacy and safety of people using public facilities. The legislature’s law, dubbed House Bill 2 or HB2, restored single-sex bathrooms in the city while also allowing the very few transgender people in the state to use opposite-sex bathrooms once they switched their apparent sex via medical procedures. The law also allowed private businesses to adopt their own bathroom policies.
That’s when Cooper’s progressive and business allies started stomping on the state’s voters.
Companies began threatening to pull jobs out of the state unless the legislators and voters agreed to end privacy in bathrooms. Obama and his progressive allies jumped in too, and filed a federal lawsuit against what he described as the “hateful” idea of single-sex, single-gender bathrooms.
This ‘War on Bathrooms’ did not just suddenly materialize — the gender-hating concept has been in the works since the end of the last election cycle. The gay-advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, pushed for the Charlotte Ordinance and is coordinating the businesses boycotts to help remove what they call “the gender binary” of different-and-equal male and female needs enshrined in many laws.
The progressive effort to kill the “gender binary” is a huge power-grab. If enacted, it would gradually impact sports, welfare, mental health, civic rules, children, sex-education, culture, K-12 education and much else. Can sports leagues for girls survive if young men get to declare themselves female? What happens to scholarships for girls, shelters for battered women, or children’s understanding of male and female preferences and physiques?
The NY Times exposed the Human Rights Council’s closed-door cooperation with the Obama administration, as far as 2013 and coming to a head in March and April of 2016. That same NY Times article mentions a letter written to Obama by the same group of LGBT activist leaders, in which North Carolina is singled out as a target.
Local media in the state has been echoing the LGBT spin when covering the dispute. As previously reported by Breitbart, Governor McCrory had to correct the record;
It was brought up by more of a national group bringing this to North Carolina than North Carolina bringing this to the nation … In fact, the [D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign] told me they were going to make North Carolina the epicenter of the transgender movement for the United States of America, so it was strategically brought to North Carolina by a very powerful, national organization, which they’ve got the best political machine I’ve ever seen, and [the best] media machine I’ve ever seen …it’s extremely quick how this came up through the coordinated campaign.
So what was Cooper doing amid the uproar?
He was trying to get companies to do as much economic damage as they could to his state and his voters.
The Wall Street Journal article revealed in May that Cooper called Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com, to talk about the transgender dispute. The call then led to an early April meeting between Benioff and one of Salesforce.com‘s customers, Deutsche Bank AG. On April 12, Deutsche Bank AG then announced it’s decision to stop an expansion that would have brought 250 jobs to North Carolina. The Wall Street Journal also reported that Benioff contacted the CEO of the Charlotte-based Bank of America to bring economic pressure to bear on HB2.
The Obama administration, businesses and gay-friendly entertainers also threatened the livelihood of people in North Carolina, for example, by cancelling concerts. As the DNC leaked emails recently showed, Democrats cheered concert cancellations in North Carolina, calling it “awesome”.
By far, the biggest economic blackmail threat to North Carolina came from the National Basketball Association (NBA). For months, the NBA threatened to pull the very lucrative 2017 All Star Game out of the state. McCrory and various members of the General Assembly met with NBA officials and Commissioner Adam Silver in the attempt to hammer out a deal and keep the game in the state.
In June, McCrory sent a letter to Silver with a compromise to legislatively restore the ability of state residents to sue for employment discrimination. An bipartisan agreement was nearly reached with the NBA — but Cooper made phone calls to various Democrats asking for an end to the deal.
More than 10 Democrats changed their minds and walked away from the deal after being bullied by Cooper with threats of ‘not being on his team’ when he is elected governor. Cooper’s intervention was a political success because the NBA then decided to pull out of Charlotte.
McCrory and Lt. Governor Forest responded to the NBA’s pullout. The Lt. Governor’s statement blasted the decision and closed with a reality check for the NBA,“We will never value a dollar over a woman’s or child’s safety and security.”
The Governor’s statement was similar, but took aim at Cooper, who was instrumental in the NBA’s departure:
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.
McCrory went a step further, telling reporters on camera that;
We have to call this what it is and it is P.C. BS. And it has nothing to do with discrimination because if it had to do with discrimination, the NBA would be canceling their games in China right now.
In short, Cooper killed the compromise deal to preserve his political ambitions, even though it cost his own state of North Carolina millions of dollars. Meanwhile, his allies in the Obama administration threatened to cut of Title IX funds which support low-income and at risk children.
The strategy was explained by Chris Cooper, a professor at Western Carolina University: “The average voter is going to think this seems messy … The more this is in the courts, the more it’s a question about what’s going to happen going forward, the worse people feel about their state government in general, regardless of party.”
Cooper’s campaign declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Cooper is also raising funds from Obama’s political allies.
He raised more than $2 million more dollars than McCrory over the second fundraising quarter. Interestingly, of the 21,654 recorded receipts for Cooper in the second quarter, 5,677 of them were from out of state, including two $5,100 donations from two far-left progressives, George Soros and his son, Alexander.
Equality NC, one of the leading LGBT opponents of HB2, gave Cooper $1000 while Democratic activist and major fundraiser, Tom Steyer, dropped $5,100. Another $5,100 donation came from David Stern, the influential former National Basketball Association commissioner. Stern held the position for 30 years. This June donation by Stern would turn out to be more interesting when the NBA pulled their 2017 All Star game out of Charlotte a month later.
Two co-chairs of the Goldman Sachs Global Mergers and Acquisitions group also donated. According to the emails from the DNC leaked by WikiLeaks, Cooper had a meeting in New York in May with Goldman Sachs officials and a top donor to Obama’s 2012 re-election Super PAC. That top donor is William F. Little. Between April 26 and June 24, Little and his brother gave the Cooper campaign a total of $4,000.
Probably the most controversial donor was Rachel Tiven, who gave the Cooper campaign $5,100. What makes this donation controversial is that Tiven is the CEO of Lambda Legal, one of the gay advocacy groups now sueing Governor Pat McCrory and the state of North Carolina over HB 2. Tiven was named CEO of Lambda Legal on May second of this year. Yet Tiven’s donation made to Cooper on May 4th lists her occupation as ‘attorney’ with her previous employer, “Immigrant Justice Corps.”
So is this Democratic scorched-earth strategy working?
Cooper’s financial windfall is not translating to the polls. Since McCory came out actively defending HB2, he has sling-shot past Cooper and now has around a four to five point lead. That lead shift represents a 15 point swing in McCrory’s favor.
Cooper, having little positives in his record to run on, is using HB2 to invigorate the Democrat and liberal base in the state. Much to Cooper’s likely chagrin, HB2 is having the same effect of motivating voters for McCrory.
The poll-test risk of pushing transgender rights on public bathrooms and schools is obvious to national Democrats. For example, neither Obama nor Hillary Clinton mentioned HB2 while campaigning in Charlotte during July. Instead, the only one to mention HB2 at the joint Obama/Clinton event was Roy Cooper. Before Obama and Clinton delivered their remarks, Cooper beat the drum for the gay and transgender lobby;
And in the dark of night, with little debate, [McCrory] signed one of the most discriminatory laws in the country, causing our state hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs while hurting our reputation as a beacon in the South. We have to repeal House Bill 2 and return our focus—we need to return our focus to jobs and schools.
During the 2012 campaign, Democrats insisted that the GOP was waging a “war on women” to divide a nation at the polls.
But now the party is waging a political “war on ‘men and women’” to grab one governorship in just one state — even if it costs thousands of local jobs and even if it portrays all North Carolinians as supposed bigots for noticing the reality that men and women have the right to expect privacy and safety in public facilities.