Wednesday News: NC GOP meltdown continues


GOP GROUP SAYS IT WILL SEEK CRIMINAL CHARGES (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- A Republican group on Tuesday announced it would begin the process of seeking criminal charges against a party member it says was involved in a hacking scheme against the North Carolina GOP website.

WEBSITE HACKING CLAIMS ARE AT CENTER OF NC GOP FEUD (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The North Carolina Republican Party’s dirty laundry has become national news in the middle of an election year.

SEVERAL HIGH-PROFILE REPUBLICANS MIGHT SKIP GOP CONVENTION (Newsy) -- Several GOP lawmakers are reportedly planning to skip the Republican National Convention this summer. North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr said he's considering skipping the convention to campaign in his own district instead. He told CNN, "I’m more valuable outside of Cleveland than inside of Cleveland."

HB2 COULD HAVE IMPACT ON FALL CAMPAIGNS (WRAL-TV) -- More than 80 percent of voters say a politician's position on House Bill 2, which creates a statewide discrimination policy, will "strongly" or "somewhat" impact their vote on the gubernatorial campaign and other races.

RESIDENTS SPEAK OUT ABOUT RACIALLY PACKED STATE HOUSE AND SENATE DISTRICTS (Greensboro News & Record) -- Residents testify that compacting African Americans into their own districts reduces opportunities for candidates and voters.

DEUTSCHE BANK FREEZES N.C. EXPANSION, CITING HB2 (Wall Street Journal) -- In the latest sign of fallout over a controversial North Carolina law that eliminates anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people, Deutsche Bank AG said Tuesday it is halting plans to add 250 new jobs outside Raleigh.

CITING HB2, DEUTSCHE BANK FREEZES 250-JOB EXPANSION IN CARY (WRAL-TV) -- Deutsche Bank on Tuesday announced that it will freeze plans to create 250 jobs at its Cary location due to House Bill 2, which sets statewide discrimination policy.

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF HB2 MUSHROOMS IN THE TRIANGLE (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The economic impact of the state’s controversial House Bill 2 continued to mushroom Tuesday, as Deutsche Bank announced it was freezing plans to create 250 jobs in Cary and a top Wake County economic development official said that five companies since early last week have canceled or postponed efforts to bring jobs to the county.

N.C. GOVERNOR TRIES TO STEP BACK FROM BIAS LAW (New York Times) -- — Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina, whose state has been the subject of withering criticism since he signed legislation limiting bathroom access for transgender people and eliminating anti-discrimination ordinances based on sexual orientation, announced Tuesday that he would strengthen workplace protections for state employees and urge the General Assembly to modify part of the law. But he stopped short of opposing limits on which bathrooms transgender people could use, and the law will be left largely intact. Critics said his action was more cosmetic than real.

GOV. TRIES TO DEFUSE OUTRAGE OVER NC "BATHROOM BILL" (CBS News) -- North Carolina's governor slightly altered a new state law Tuesday that limits protections for gay and lesbians. But he left intact a provision that requires transgender people to use public bathrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate.

MCCRORY SEEKS TO ROLL BACK LIMITS (Wall Street Journal) -- Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday that he will seek to roll back some provisions of a new state law that limits antidiscrimination protections for lesbians, gays and transgender people in an attempt to “affirm and improve” the state’s commitment to equality after weeks of protest, including some corporations dropping plans to invest in North Carolina.

N.C. GOV. TWEAKS TRANSGENDER LAW AFTER BACKLASH (Reuters) –Gov. Pat McCrory slightly altered a new state law denounced as discriminatory with an executive order on Tuesday, but the Republican stood firm on a controversial provision restricting transgender bathroom access.

N.C. GOVERNOR SAYS HE WANTS GENDER IDENTITY LAW PARTIALLY CHANGED (Washington Post) – Gov. Pat McCrory, responding to a backlash against the state’s new law banning antidiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people, on Tuesday signed an executive order he said expanded the state’s employment policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

NC GOV'S ORDER BACKS SOME CHANGES TO TRANSGENDER LAW (USA Today/Asheville Citizen-Times) -- In the face of travel bans from at least five states, 10 cities and two counties, North Carolina's governor issued an executive order Tuesday that he said restores some protections to gays in the state.

N.C. GOVERNOR BACKS DOWN -- A BIT -- ON CONTROVERSIAL LGBT LAW (LA Times) -- Conventions have been canceled, rock concerts scrubbed, and corporations have yanked their business from North Carolina to protest a state law that critics say discriminates against gay, lesbian and transgender people. Even the porn site is confronting users

BATHROOM LAW JUST KEEPS ON BACKFIRING ON PAT MCCRORY (Washington Post-The Fix) -- When Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed into law one of this year's most controversial and heated bathroom bills last month, we predicted that it could backfire on him. And so far, that's exactly what seems to be happening.

MCCRORY SIGNS ORDER CLARIFYING GENDER IDENTITY LAW (NPR) -- The controversial law excluded LGBT people from protection against discrimination. It also required transgender individuals to use bathrooms based on the gender listed on their birth certificate.

MCCRORY ROLLS BACK PART OF HB2 (Outer Banks Sentinel) -- Will his action stem the backlash? After a growing backlash that is beginning to take an economic toll, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory responded with an April 12 executive order modifying some of the provisions of HB2—the so-called

AMID FIRESTORM, MCCRORY SEEKS TO WALK BACK PART OF HB2 (Charlotte Observer) -- Executive order expands state employment policy to cover sexual orientation and gender identity; Governor asks lawmakers to restore the right to sue in state court for discrimination; Order doesn’t change controversial ‘bathroom’ provision; critics say it still doesn’t go far enough

MCCRORY WANTS LAWMAKERS TO REVERSE PART OF HB2 (WRAL-TV) -- Gov. Pat McCrory says parts of a recently passed law governing restroom usage should be left in place. But he says lawmakers should reverse part of the measure that prevents people from suing for wrongful termination in state courts.

MCCRORY SIGNS ORDER THAT 'CLARIFIES' CONTROVERSIAL HB2 (WUNC-FM) -- Responding to criticisms over his state's controversial new law that voids cities' anti-discrimination rules protecting members of the LGBT community, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has issued an executive order that "seeks legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination."The law, HB2, spawned a lawsuit by the ACLU and brought cancellations of high-profile events that were planned to take place in North Carolina

GOVERNOR WANTS TO CHANGE, BUT NOT SCRAP, N.C. LAW (AP) -- North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued an executive order expanding anti-discrimination rules for state employees and asking lawmakers to eliminate a provision in a law limiting LGBT protections he signed three weeks ago.

MCCRORY WANTS PART OF RIGHTS LAW CHANGED BUT MOST INTACT (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday that he wants to change part of a new law that prevents people from suing over employment discrimination in state court, and he officially extended LGBT employment protections to many state workers.

A LOOK AT GOVERNOR'S ORDER ON RIGHTS LAW (AP) -- North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has filed an executive order that extends further protections to state employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but leaves intact the bulk of a new state law regarding rights for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

EXPLAINER: WHAT EXECUTIVE ORDER DOES AND DOESN’T DO (Charlotte Agenda) -- As pressure from the business community continued to mount over a new state law that repealed Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance, Gov. Pat McCrory issued an executive order Tuesday that seeks to take some of the heat off. Here’s a guide to what actually happened.

WHAT EXECUTIVE HB2 ORDER DOES AND DOESN’T DO (Charlotte Observer) -- Gov. Pat McCrory issued an executive order on Tuesday that extends new protections for state workers based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 93 TO PROTECT PRIVACY AND EQUALITY (Office of the governor) – Here is the text of Executive Order 93.

MCCRORY TALKS ABOUT EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HB2 (TWCN-TV) – Gov. Pat McCrory sat down with Capital Tonight anchor Tim Boyum to talk in a exclusive interview about his executive order, which clarifies House Bill 2, the state's new non-discrimination law

FILMMAKER MICHAEL MOORE PULLS MOVIES FROM NC FOLLOWING HB2 (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore announced Tuesday that he’s pulling his current movie from North Carolina theaters because of the state’s new LGBT law.

MCCRORY: SPRINGSTEEN’S LOST PULSE OF WORKING CLASS’ (AP) -- Rock 'n' roll fan Gov. Pat McCrory says he loves Bruce Springsteen's music but he says the Boss is wrong in opposing a law that overturned a city ordinance on gender discrimination and barred such ordinances statewide. McCrory said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press he thinks Springsteen and Van Zandt have "lost the pulse of the working-class men and women" who "agree with common-sense restroom and bathroom regulations" with the law.

GOVERNOR'S SUPPORTERS HOLD PRAYER VIGIL IN GREENSBORO (Greensboro News & Record) -- The event, held in the governmental plaza, was organized to respond to criticism the governor and legislators received after passage of House Bill 2.

ASHEVILLE CITY COUNCIL CALLS FOR HB2 REPEAL (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- The Asheville City Council on Tuesday took a strong stance on recent state legislation and released a revised proclamation opposing House Bill 2, the measure that limits LGBT discrimination protection in North Carolina. The new resolution surprised the more than 100 people who gathered at the meeting. Mayor Esther Manheimer said the proclamation was developed Tuesday to replace a proclamation released on Friday with softer language.

WINSTON-SALEM GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE OPPOSES HB2 (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The Winston-Salem City Council’s general government committee voted Tuesday to ask state lawmakers to undo “damaging legislative changes” it sees in House Bill 2, setting up an April 18 vote by the full city council on the controversial law.

GROUPS CANCEL EVENTS, CONVENTIONS AMID HOUSE BILL 2 CONCERNS (TWCN-TV) -- A new report from the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau reveals the county has lost more than $700,000 in response to House Bill 2.

BULLISH ECONOMIC SIGNS AS VISITOR SEASON LOOMS AMID HB2 WORRIES (Outer Banks Sentinel) -- By many measures, 2015 was a very good year for the Outer Banks economy. Occupancy revenues continued to climb, bars and restaurants were filled during the summer, construction was strong and real estate recorded the best year since 2007. And according to a number of observers, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about 2016.

CONCERT OPPOSING HB2 TO BE HELD IN SAXAPAHAW (Greensboro News & Record) -- 100 percent of the ticket sales going toward supporting the group, EqualityNC.

AFTER MCCRORY’S ORDER, LITTLE REAL CHANGE (Charlotte Observer) -- Governor issues order to, he says, protect equality; But it leaves House Bill 2 untouched; LGBT individuals in Charlotte still don’t have the protection that legislators took away

KATHLEEN PARKER: BIGOTRY RAISES ITS HIDEOUS HEAD IN N.C. (Washington Post column) -- It’s been a long while since South Carolina could look down upon its neighbor to the North. Thanks to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT legislation (HB2), also referred to as the “bathroom bill,” the state effectively has begun redefining itself from its long-popular characterization as a “vale of humility between two mountains of conceit” (South Carolina and Virginia).

MCCRORY SPINS ON HB2 WHEN HE SHOULD BACK ITS REPEAL (Raleigh News & Observer editorial) -- To borrow a phrase from Bruce Springsteen, Gov. Pat McCrory must have sensed some “darkness on the edge of town” in his re-election campaign. That is the only reason the governor is running for political cover in pretending to correct HB2, the disastrous bill passed by Republican leaders in the legislature.

MCCRORY'S NEAR-MEANINGLESS HB2 ORDER (Charlotte Magazine column) -- What’s most notable about Governor Pat McCrory’s Executive Order No. 93 To Protect Privacy and Equality, which he signed Tuesday afternoon, is what it doesn’t do: change anything of substance in House Bill 2, which continues to cost North Carolina jobs, events, prestige, and Springsteen.

WHY IT’S FRUSTRATING TO TALK ABOUT HB2 (Charlotte Agenda column) -- As the fallout over HB2 continues, advocates on both sides continue a passionate debate. Actually, there are two debates, which is the problem. And few people seem to notice. Pro-HB2ers talk about bathrooms. Anti-HB2ers talk about discrimination. Different issues, different arguments.

MCCRORY'S SMALL STEP (Greensboro News & Record) -- Gov. Pat McCrory sounded conciliatory — a little — in his latest video message about House Bill 2 Tuesday.

N.C. SUPREME COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS ON RETENTION (AP) -- When is an election not an election? Lawyers heading to the North Carolina Supreme Court are debating that question with a new law designed to give the court's justices a new option when seeking another term.

DHHS CLAIMS MEDICAID PROVIDER OVERPAYMENTS IS NOT CHRONIC CONCERN (Winston-Salem Journal) -- State health officials dispute a state audit report that claims the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services allowed an estimated $835 million in Medicaid overpayments to doctors and hospitals in 2015.

INDEX-BASED PROCESS MOVES FORWARD IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Kinston Free Press) -- The way the state tries to help economically struggling counties may be about to change.

TILLIS JAMS TO DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, QUEEN ON SPOTIFY PLAYLIST (Raleigh News & Observer) -- North Carolina’s junior senator was among 20 members of Congress who agreed to make a playlist of their favorite songs on the music streaming service Spotify.

BREASTFEEDING MOTHER ORDERED TO LEAVE COURTROOM (AP) -- A Forest City mother is hoping to raise public awareness about breastfeeding after she says she was tossed from a Henderson County courtroom for breastfeeding her infant son.

FAMILY TO SEEK CIVIL ACTION IN FATAL DEPUTY-INVOLVED SHOOTING (Fayetteville Observer) -- The family of a man who was shot and killed by a Harnett County deputy says it plans to pursue a civil case after a grand jury on Monday failed to indict the lawman.

JOE FREEMAN BRITT, CALLE AMERICA’S ‘DEADLIEST D.A.,’ DIES AT 80 (New York Times) -- Joe Freeman Britt, a brash North Carolina prosecutor who was called the nation’s “deadliest D.A.” for his success at winning death sentences, died on April 6 in Lumberton, N.C. He was 80. His family confirmed his death but did not specify the cause.


FEDERAL RULE REQUIRES INVESTMENT ADVISERS TO PUT YOU FIRST (Public News Service) -- Until now, not all financial advisers in North Carolina and the rest of the country were required to put their clients first, before any investment funds they represent. This month, that's expected to change after the U.S. Department of Labor issued a fiduciary rule.

NEWS & RECORD EDITOR AND PUBLISHER JEFF GAUGER RESIGNS (Greensboro News & Record) -- News & Record Editor and Publisher Jeff Gauger resigned Tuesday, effective immediately.


ANNE LAMOTT VISITS HICKORY (EdNC) -- Noted author Anne Lamott’s words rang out in the P.E. Monroe Auditorium on an unseasonably cool spring night. Lamott was in town as part of the 25th Anniversary of the Lenoir Rhyne University Visiting Writers Series, which brings world class authors to the small university in the mid-sized town of Hickory.

DUKE: HUMAN RESOURCES REVIEWING WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PROGRAM (AP) — Duke says its human resources department is reviewing the women's basketball program. Two players left the team after this season, and one left in the middle of last season.


NEW STUDY REVEALS QUESTIONABLE SCIENCE OF COAL ASH (Renewables Biz) -- Duke Energy’s risk assessments of its coal ash storage sites across North Carolina are riddled with scientific deficiencies, according to a new study by the non-profit data analysis firm, Insightus.

WELL OWNERS SAY NEW GUIDANCE RAISES OLD COAL ASH CONCERNS (WRAL-TV) – Residents near Duke coal ash ponds say the state's reversal of do-not-drink recommendations for their wells has prompted confusion and distrust over the safety of their water.


HEARING FOR AMAZON WIND FARM CHALLENGE SET FOR WEDNESDAY (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The future of the $400 million Amazon Wind Farm in northeastern North Carolina may hinge on the legal interpretation of “grandfather,” to be debated by lawyers Wednesday at the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings.

NC ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY SEEKS RECORDS FROM UNC PROFESSORS (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is asking UNC-Chapel Hill to turn over extensive records after some UNC professors sided against the agency in a lawsuit by environmentalists.

REIDSVILLE APPROVES FRACKING MORATORIUM (Greensboro News & Record) - “Whether the state would come back and pre-empt it is something we don’t know,” City Attorney William McLeod Jr. said.

WIND ENERGY CONSTRUCTION REBOUNDS ACROSS U.S., TEXAS (Fuel Fix) -- More than 8,500 megawatts of wind power capacity was built last year, almost double the 2014 tally. More than 3,600 megawatts of that construction was in Texas, which now counts almost a quarter of the country’s wind energy supply.

DUKE ENERGY'S MASSIVE SOLAR INSTALLATION TO HELP POWER TOURISM AT DISNEY (Charlotte Business Journal) -- Disney and Duke Energy have flipped the switch on a huge Mickey-shaped solar energy facility.

DUKE ENERGY INAUGURATES 5 MW MICKEY MOUSE-SHAPED SOLAR FARM (PV Magazine) -- The iconic Mickey Mouse silhouette is now also a solar farm thanks to U.S. energy company Duke Energy’s collaboration with Walt Disney to build and connect a 5 MW PV installation in the shape of the world’s most famous mouse. The array is located near to Epcot on 22 acres of land, directly opposite Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida.

DUKE ENERGY CEO DISCUSSES FUTURE (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Cleaner energy production requires continued development of renewable energy sources, greater use of natural gas and continued reliance on nuclear energy, Duke Energy's CEO said.

DUKE'S LYNN GOOD LOOKS INTO THE FUTURE OF COAL (Wall Street Journal) -- Lynn Good is the chief executive of Duke Energy Corp., the U.S.’s largest power producer and one of the country’s biggest coal burners. With global leaders increasingly calling for the phaseout of coal due to environmental concerns, she sat down with Wall Street Journal energy reporter Amy Harder to discuss the extent to which that is economically feasible.

DUKE ENERGY CEO PROVIDES ROLE MODEL FOR FEMALE BUSINESS STUDENTS (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good told East Carolina University business students on Tuesday that their careers probably would not follow a straight path — a message that served as a relief to those still not sure what they want to do with their lives as their college days near an end..

REPORT CRITICAL OF SOLARBEES GOES ONLINE, THEN DISAPPEARS (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Some environmentalists fear state officials are suppressing information about efforts to clean Jordan Lake after the state Department of Environmental Quality published and then retracted a report critical of the “SolarBees,” water-churning devices designed to reduce the impact of algae in the lake.

A JOURNEY THOUGH HISTORY AND CULTURE (Coastal Review) -- More than a decade in the making, the Outer Banks Scenic Byway is finally a reality. The road links the history, culture and natural beauty of the coast’s Outer Banks and the Down East communities in Carteret County.


N.C. 'MEDICAID REFORM' IS CODE FOR PRIVATIZATION (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing from 2-4 p.m. Thursday in the Emerald Ballroom of the Greenville Convention Center on its proposed plan for Medicaid reform.

THOM TILLIS: NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN A MISTAKE (Fayetteville Observer column) -- Earlier this month, I traveled to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt as part of a congressional delegation to discuss the deteriorating security situation in the most volatile region on the planet. I met with national leaders and visited one of the dozens of refugee camps along the Turkish-Syrian border. I came away with two inescapable conclusions: Arabs and Jews have been drawn together by a common enemy - Iran and terrorism; and we are on the cusp of a historic strategic failure because of the ineptitude of President Obama's foreign policy.

FEWER BUSINESS LICENSING RULES COULD MEAN MORE NC JOBS FOR YOUNG WORKERS (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- Occupational licenses can purposefully skew the playing field against young people; Many of the state boards that set the standards and requirements for licenses count industry representatives as members; Usually older and more experienced, these professionals decide the terms by which their competition can get a foot in the door

OVERDOSE PREVENTION AND ZIKA HIT THE GOVERNOR'S LIST (Fayetteville Observer) -- Gov. Pat McCrory unveiled some potentially lifesaving budget initiatives for the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday. We welcome both.