My interview with Pat McCrory

This piece appeared this morning in the pages of Charlotte's Creative Loafing:

As we draw closer to Election Day in November, it is becoming increasing likely that Charlotte's own Pat McCrory will become the next governor of North Carolina. Yes, McCrory, the same man who often played the role of authoritarian villain in these pages during his 14-year career as mayor of the Queen City. He is caught in a dogfight against the Democratic candidate, Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton, and has been taking a beating on the airwaves. So it's fitting that McCrory sat down with an old adversary to tell his side of the story. (It's also fitting that the man often accused of peddling to corporate giants in Charlotte chose Bank of America's headquarters in Uptown as the backdrop for our interview.)

CL: A lot of North Carolinians are very disengaged. We have low voter participation levels. People are not voting or volunteering, or taking part in local democracy. What do we do to get them back into the process?

That's a million-dollar question. It is very discouraging for me to especially see young people not voting. And young people means 35 and under, but we're not seeing the voter turnout, while the age group of 60 and over has the highest. Political officials who depend upon the votes will concentrate the policy on the people who vote, not on the people who don't. It's easy, accessible and now spread out over two or three weeks. So there's no excuse not to vote.

CL: Well, some people have said you want to make it tougher to vote. And that has been a criticism of your support for a voter ID bill. Do you think we should be trying to make it tougher to vote?

I don't think that makes it tougher to vote. It's tougher to get Sudafed too, or to get on an airplane. But you're doing it for the right reasons. I'm even willing to not just require an ID, but a utility bill to prove that you live at the place that you say.

CL: (pulls out driver's license) The address on my driver's license is an apartment that I've moved out of. I don't live there anymore. Under your proposal I'd have to get a new ID or not be able to vote.

There are guys fighting overseas right now, losing their life, and you're complaining about having to change your license?

You can read the rest at the link: