Udated: McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis told the
North Carolina Democratic Party chair Patsy Keever
News and Observer that taxpayers did indeed pay for McCrory's travel to Washington D.C. on two different occasions when the governor appeared on national news talk shows.
“That’s ridiculous,” Ellis said of the Democrats’ comments. “The governor will continue to proudly do his job in fulfilling the role and responsibility of his oath of office.”
His campaign spokesman, Ricky Diaz, also issued a statement defending the TV appearances.
“The governor was doing his job and defending the state, unlike (attorney general and Democratic candidate for governor) Roy Cooper, who is coordinating with his far-left allies from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco to hurt North Carolina's image and economy for their own political gain,” Diaz said in an email.
In the wake of the HB 2 debacle, Governor McCrory has been busy hitting the national media circuit
to attempt to defend the indefensible, and the North Carolina Democratic Party would like to know how he's paying for so much travel.
NCDP chairwoman Patsy Keever announced at a press conference Wednesday morning that the party is requesting records to determine how McCrory has paid for recent trips to Washington D.C. to appear on national news shows like Meet the Press
and Fox News Sunday
. The concern is, of course, that taxpayers are picking up the tab for McCrory's jet-setting-slash-campaigning.
"Two things have become very clear," said Sen. Terry Van Duyn
, D-Buncombe, who along with Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham and Granville
, also spoke at the press conference. "One, this discriminatory law is hurting our state and our economy and two, Governor McCrory would rather engage in political gamesmanship than fix the problem."
McKissick said his district alone stands to lose $93 million in education funding of the $863 million that schools will lose statewide, as well as a total loss of $1.4 billion to the UNC system. The state could lose a further billion dollars in transportation funds.
"When Governor McCrory is going on these talk shows defending HB 2, each time he does it, he further hurts the reputation and the branding of our state," McKissick said. "The national consciousness of the time is on the side of those who are opposing HB 2. Each time he doubles down he is further damaging the national reputation and our image as being one of the most progressive states in the South, and that's difficult to overcome."
Keever said that as long as taxpayers aren't funding McCrory's travel "he can do what he wants to do, but what he needs to be doing is talking to the Department of Justice while he's in Washington, and tell them 'let's get something done' while he's there, something that helps that state."
Governor McCrory's office has not yet responded to the INDY's
request for comment. We're confident the request will be fulfilled "as promptly as possible," as state law requires.