When the NCAA put the legislature on the clock today
—demanding a repeal of HB 2 under threat of pulling all sports championships from North Carolina through 2022 should the law not be killed within forty-eight hours—nobody could have guessed (OK, some of you probably did) that the state would find itself in another boondoggle by this evening.
But it happened. And it's bizarre. So let's navigate this thing together, shall we?
It started with a press conference
—Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore agreeing "in principle" to a "deal" they say was proposed by Governor Roy Cooper. Essentially, HB 2 would be gone, but local governments wouldn't be allowed to pass nondiscrimination ordinances similar to the one passed by Charlotte that got this whole piece of garbage started in the first place. In other words, this would be no "clean repeal." But college basketball would be back in the Old North State, because that seems to be the only thing some people seem to care about
Cooper, though, then denied he had ever offered such a deal. From a statement issued by his camp, according to the N&O:
“It’s frustrating that Republican leaders are more interested in political stunts than negotiating a compromise to repeal HB2,” spokesman Ford Porter said. “While Gov. Cooper continues to work for a compromise, there are still issues to be worked out, and Republican leaders’ insistence on including an Indiana-style RFRA provision remains a deal-breaker. Any compromise must work to end discrimination, repair our reputation, and bring back jobs and sports, and a RFRA is proven to do just the opposite.”
But there's yet another twist. The GOP released a batch of emails it says proves a deal was discussed. Here they are:
Sigh. Buckle up, guys and gals. Looks like we're in for an interesting few days.