The anti-HB2 hysteria was flaming out. The concert boycott announcements were dwindling down to nothing. All the NCGOPe had to do was keep sticking to its guns and stay focused on November. But, no, John Hood, Art Pope and the uptown Charlotte crowd had to breathe new life into this charlie foxtrot.
We already told you about the insiders huddling to water down HB2 — on behalf of the National Basketball Association. The water-down included supposed tougher penalties for trespassing in the wrong locker room or restroom, and something called a ”certificate of gender reassignment.”
Gov. McCrory huddled with the Republican legislators this week to try and sell them on the watering-down. The House leadership showed some interest. From what we’re told, the governor was received in a rather lukewarm fashion by the Senate leadership.
THAT likely explains what all of those Senate Democrats were doing at the governor’s mansion today. It’s straight out of the McCrory playbook to work around Republican opposition by wheeling-and-dealing with Democrats. Charlotte conservatives have told me stories about being burned by then-mayor McCrory on tax increases and new regulations he pushed through with the enthusiastic support of Democrats.
Apparently, the McCrory reelection campaign is going all-in on “compromise” with HB2:
[…]And Republicans are ready to blame anybody who doesn’t support a compromise.
“Any Democrat standing with the Human Rights Campaign and other out-of-state liberal interest groups by refusing any compromise is attempting to drive the NBA All-Star Game from North Carolina,” said GOP spokesman Ricky Diaz.[…]
McCrory won in 2012 by aggressively going after Democrat base voters. He won a lot of precincts in 2008 that were also won by Hagan and Obama, and in 2012 in a lot of places won by Obama.
To add some O. Henry-style irony to this story, the NBA has strongly denounced the proposed watered-down HB2. Remember those guys? The ones the GOPe has bent over and grabbed their ankles to please?
We survived George Shinn moving the original Hornets to New Orleans. We survived Bob Johnson and Michael Jordan’s awful Bobcats. If they want to yank the all-star game and move the Hornets, I say knock themselves out. (Give me the ACC’s Big Four any day of the week over that pro nonsense. )
The NBA All-Star game doesn’t mean diddly to the average person in North Carolina. (Me? I won’t even watch it on TV.) Ol’ Pat’s uptown friends and the Charlotte Chamber care deeply about it. Is ONE game worth ticking off the conservative base, dramatically changing our state’s culture, and sacrificing the privacy of our mothers, wives, and daughters?