Turns out there may actually be something Pat McCrory is worse at than governing the state of North Carolina: stand up comedy. The governor tested his comic chops when he spoke at a Trump rally in Winston-Salem Monday night and attempted to make light of his notorious House Bill 2: “If any of you need to use the restrooms and if you have any questions, go to the Philadelphia convention where all the Democrats are.”
McCrory’s problematic punchline comes a week after the NBA announced plans to pull the 2017 All Star game from Charlotte, costing the city a cool $100 million in projected revenue and joining a growing list of companies that have yanked operations out of North Carolina in response to HB2.
“Governor McCrory may be making jokes, but his discriminatory law is no laughing matter,” says Jamal Little, campaign spokesman for McCrory's gubernatorial challenger Roy Cooper. “It has already cost us jobs, hurt our economy and damaged our reputation.”
The ill-advised joke came hours after Cooper released an online ad comparing the Trump and McCrory campaigns:
One organization that isn’t abandoning the Queen City in light of HB2 is the National League of Cities (yes, that’s a real thing). The group of 4,000 city leaders meets annually to discuss the goings-on of running cities (no, Sim City doesn’t count), and had made plans to convene in Charlotte in 2017. In a statement Monday, the NLC confirmed that they intend to keep that engagement and continue to support Charlotte.
“We stand with the City of Charlotte, and we will oppose any actions that preempt local control or discriminate against members of our communities,” said CEO Clarence E. Anthony. “Changing the location of City Summit would effectively penalize the City of Charlotte for the state’s action. We will continue our efforts to combat North Carolina’s HB2 and similar state laws across the country.”
Though the Atlantic Ocean has dodged a bullet when it comes to offshore drilling, conservation activists with Oceana say a stretch of ocean along the east coast is still at risk. According to the organization, an area “twice the size of California” between Delaware and Florida is the target of a process called seismic airgun blasting, which is used to detect oil deposits in the ocean floor. State officials in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia banded together to address the White House today in opposition of the process.
“If seismic airgun blasting is allowed to move forward, it would undoubtedly put at risk marine life, coastal communities and local economies along the entire East Coast,” Oceana said in a statement. “With offshore drilling off the table in the Atlantic, there is absolutely no reason to risk the damage that would be caused by seismic airgun blasting in the region.”