by Kenneth Fine
As the music died down, the crowd began to chant, “Only full repeal of HB 2! Only full repeal of HB 2!” As the chanting subsided, Angela Bridgman grabbed the megaphone and aimed it directly at the Executive Mansion: “Hey, ROY! I trusted you! You let me down! Can you look me in the eye? I am a transgender citizen of this state! I am a law-abiding, taxpaying, business-owning transgender citizen of this state! And you let me down! You failed me!”How so? From our editor, who called Cooper a sellout yesterday:
Here are the key takeaways of this “reset”: 1) HB 2’s prohibition on local governments and state agencies regulating bathroom access remains, although HB 2’s unenforceable requirement that people use public facilities that conform to their gender identity is gone. 2) HB 2’s preemptions of local nondiscrimination and living wage ordinances are still there, at least until December 2020, although the sixteen NDOs that existed before HB 2 will go back into effect. In addition, local governments’ ability to require their contractors to not discriminate has been restored.Nice work, governor. By the way, Roy, if you want to know why so many people are attacking you right now, give this a read. You might remember it from your inaugural address.
How is that enough? How the hell is Roy Cooper—who spent the last year campaigning on the repeal of HB 2, who wouldn’t be in office were it not for the political catastrophe HB 2 became for his predecessor—capitulating to Republican demands and selling out his LGBTQ constituents?
“When a law attempts to make any North Carolinian less in the eyes of their fellow citizens, I will fight it. I will stand up for you if the legislature cannot or will not. And I want every elected official to hear me when I say: I refuse to spend the next four years engaging in political brinkmanship—because we've got too much work to do for the people who need our help.”2) Flynn says he'll testified about Russia, but he wants immunity.
Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, has offered to be interviewed by House and Senate investigators who are examining the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution, according to his lawyer and a congressional official.3) Speaking of the Times, its editorial board took a shot at Governor Cooper over the HB 2 repeal. It's worth a read.
But the congressional official said investigators were unwilling to broker a deal with Mr. Flynn — who resigned last month for misleading White House officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States — until they are further along in their inquiries and they better understand what information Mr. Flynn might offer as part of a deal.
In a statement on Thursday evening, Mr. Flynn’s lawyer confirmed discussions with the House and Senate intelligence committees about possible testimony by his client. The lawyer, Robert Kelner, did not provide specifics about the terms under which Mr. Flynn would testify, but said that “no reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch-hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution.”
“General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should circumstances permit,” the statement said.
Getting employers and organizations to steer business and jobs to North Carolina should require more than window dressing. State officials must address the underlying problem: a law that enshrines discrimination against minorities and perpetuates harmful stereotypes about transgender people. Until they do, business as usual will represent an endorsement of bigotry and intolerance.4) Here's another local story we've been tracking: