Gov. Pat’s lawyer: McCrory AGAINST HB2 before he was FOR it

pat worriedAs one can imagine, a lot of emails get leaked to the media in the final weeks of an election. It appears The Charlotte Observer got their hands on some from the governor’s chief counsel:

Three days after Gov. Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2, his general counsel told a former legal colleague that the governor battled the legislature over the bill that limited protections for LGBT individuals, according to emails obtained by the Observer.

“Bob, here are the facts: We fought against this bill,” Bob Stephens said in a March 26 email to Bob Turner, a lawyer in Charlotte. “You have no idea how hard the Governor worked to limit it. He told the legislature that it went too far. We lobbied against it and even drafted our own version of the bill but it was not accepted.”

Stephens’ comments contrast with McCrory’s defense of the measure in recent months, even in the face of major sports boycotts of the state.[…] 

*Show of hands.  WHO is really surprised by this?*  (Not me, for what it’s worth.) 

Wait. There’s MORE: 

[…] In his email, Stephens said the governor’s office talked to a “large number of legislators,” but they passed the bill anyway.huntpat

“And don’t tell me the Governor should have vetoed the bill,” Stephens wrote. “His veto would have been overridden in a matter of days and we’d be right where we are now. If you have other ideas about what the Governor should have done, let me know.” […] 

There are two schools of thought on why these emails ended up in the hands of the drive by media.  First, this could be the work of McCrory opponents / Cooper supporters.  The email appears to show McCrory talking out of both sides of his mouth.  It also appears to show him as weak and powerless against the folks over on Jones Street.

Second, this could be a leak from McCrory partisans. Remember how McCrory lamented to that group of pastors how he and his wife have been shunned socially in the Charlotte area over HB2?  Pat McCrory is a country club Republican-in-name-only at heart.  All of the RINOs threatening to vote for Roy Cooper over HB2 are his old cocktail party pals.  This could be a way of throwing them a bone — trying to worm his way back into their fold.

The McCrory camp could be buying into all of this spin about HB2 killing his reelection effort.  (In reality, there are many other items higher on the list than HB2.  The people hottest under the collar about HB2 likely weren’t going to vote GOP anyway.) 

There was one other segment of the emails that really captured the essence of what the political and business elite inside Charlotte and Raleigh think about the rest of us outside of those cities:200_s

[…] The email exchange began when Turner, who had previously worked with Stephens at the Horack Talley law firm, sent an email to the governor’s office earlier that day criticizing HB2.

“I’m a Republican but you have completely lost my confidence,” Turner wrote. “Ask Bob Stephens my (former) law partner. You have caved to right wing, actually, redneck types. Guess how much this will make our state be affected by loss of jobs and events bringing money to the communities. Sow what you reap. You have put your political future over the state interest I feel sorry for your (sic).”

In his response, Stephens said if Turner disagreed with the bill, he should contact legislators Bob Rucho, Dan Bishop, Phil Berger or others.

“The Governor is always the lightning rod for these things,” Stephens said. “Not fair.”

Hmmm, redneck.  So, we’re hauling out that term?  And why not?  It worked soooooooooo well for Bob Jordan in the 1988 gubernatorial race.