Privacy and Safety in North Carolina: The McCrory Definition

Why did he vehemently support a company that continually endangered his state? Perhaps it was loyalty. After all, McCrory was an employee of Duke Energy for 29 years.

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Over the past few months, North Carolina has stood out in the political sideshow that is America, and has become a target of disappointment and disgust worldwide. I’ve been keeping up-to-date with HB2, the bill to suppress a progressive Charlotte city ordinance meant to help protect trans citizens and visitors. In a nutshell, it’s a mess. If you’d like to read more about it, here’s a link to the bill itself.

I’ve been conversing (chirping?) via Facebook with Mr. McCrory himself:

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And making sure those who are against it truly know what the fuck they’re talking about:

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Then, last week, this letter arrived.
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“The White House is attacking us…the liberal media is twisting reality into knots to smear us and manipulate our business community…the ACLU is suing us… Will you help us fight back?

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“Dear Friend,

‘Extreme.’ ‘Mean spirited.’ ‘Hateful.’

That’s what the White House and the ACLU think of North Carolina parents and the coalition of bipartisan support that stood up for the privacy and safety of our families and children. 

We refused to back down in the face of radical left-wing efforts to require ALL public restrooms to be opened to whoever decides to walk into them, regardless of their sex, making it perfectly legal for men to enter women’s restrooms and locker rooms if they so desire. As a result…

…the White House is attacking us…the liberal media is twisting reality into knots to smear us and manipulate our business community…the ACLU is suing us…

…and, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced he refuses to do his job and will sit idly by as the politically correct crowd attempts to strip the basic expectation of privacy and safety North Carolinians have when they or their children use any public restroom outside of their home.

Let me be 100% clear. This legislation is not about punishing anyone or demonizing certain groups. Quite the contrary, it’s about putting common sense in front of political correctness and protecting our children – And I’ve enclosed a Fact vs. Fantasy sheet so you can see the truth in our actions. 

If Attorney General Cooper won’t do his job to protect families and children, I will. And I need your help before you set this letter aside.

Your support of $50, $100, or even $250 or more will help me battle the liberal attack machine by spreading the truth on this issue as well as my entire record of accomplishment for North Carolina to every corner of the state.

We must make sure that all voters know the truth. Because of our unapologetic belief in a strong North Carolina, we are moving the state forward.

–Here follows a whole bunch of unsubstantiated numbers and statements. I looked for raw numbers and reports, but only found news articles touting the same numbers, which they got from McCrory’s office.–

  • Our policies have helped employers create more than 260,000 new jobs. 
  • We turned hundreds of millions of dollars in budget shortfalls left of our doorstep by the previous administration into a $445 million budget SURPLUS.
  • We are injecting $4.4 billion in across the board historic tax relief back into taxpayers’ budgets.
  • Countless publication and organizations have listed North Carolina as one of the best states for business and families in the nation. 
  • We are standing up for the privacy and safety of our families and children.

And we are just getting started. But I need your help to counter the radical attacks of those who want to take this opportunity to distort my true record, slander our state and take North Carolina in a radically different direction. 

Thank you for your time and consideration. May God bless you and the people of North Carolina.

Sincerely,
Pat McCrory

The letter left a lot to be desired in the grammar department, but don’t worry, he’s just a governor. Here are two fact-checked breakdowns of the governor’s Fact vs Fiction sheet. The theme throughout is evident: protect women, children, and families. Let’s see how McCrory stacks up so far when it comes to privacy and safety of North Carolinians.

Safety

Guns
North Carolina is a concealed-carry state. In 2013, there were 1201 firearm deaths in the state. 46 of those were children. The rate of Child Violent Death in NC has been steadily increasing over the past decade. McCrory, who took office in 2013, began loosening gun control laws immediately.

The NRA loves North Carolina (though they don’t regularly update their site).

“No state permit is required to purchase a rifle or shotgun.”

“It is lawful for citizens of the State to purchase rifles and shotguns and ammunition in states contiguous to this State.”

“There are no state licensing requirements to possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.”

NRAILA NC

YES you can bring your gun into a restaurant or bar where alcohol is sold. YES you can take it on public school, church, State Fair, or park property (as long as it stays locked in your glove box, or in a locked box affixed to your car, unless you feel like you need to use it). YES the “stand your ground” Castle Doctrine is enacted.

Thanks to Governor McCrory, you’re now only allowed to use the most recent five years of someone’s criminal history for the purposes of purchasing a gun. Anything beyond that is, well, just unfair. You’re purchasing a weapon, it’s not like you’re doing something as important as renting an apartment, or applying for a job, or anything. Those require your full record, which can be used against you for the protection of others.

If a city or county introduces more restrictive gun laws that you are opposed to, you are allowed to bring a lawsuit against said city or county for damages.

Policing

Police forces across the state may or may not be getting body cameras to help protect citizens and officers alike. From January 2013 to March of this year, 24 people were shot and killed by police in NC. Since the start of 2016 alone, 9 people have been shot and killed by NC police. While body cameras would give insight into these incidents, McCrory has remained oddly silent on the issue. In fact, it’s difficult to find one word about police by McCrory over the last 3 years.

Children

Won’t someone think of the children??? McCrory says he will. Spare the rod, spoil the child, right? Corporal punishment is still allowed in North Carolina public schools. School systems can ban it, but if they don’t, as long it doesn’t require “medical attention beyond basic first aid” (cuts, bruises, scrapes), and the parents are informed in writing afterwards, physical punishment is allowed in schools. It’s not allowed in daycares, though. Unless, that is, you run a religious daycare, in which case you are immune to state laws regarding corporal punishment and religious sponsored child care facilities. It would be a conflict of church and state, which is a no no. There is an exemption written into state legislature that protects religious daycares and summer camps from state regulation beyond basic health and safety. This includes corporal punishment, orientation training, qualifications for staff (and operators), ongoing staff development, developmentally appropriate activities, the requirement to have a license, and activity area requirements. Does this mean all religious sponsored child care facilities are unlicensed? Not at all. They can choose to be licensed and fall under the same licensing rules as non-religious facilities, if they feel like it. Licensing fees are expensive though, starting at $52/year. Well, it’s expensive compared to the price of a handgun permit, which is $5/gun (once).

 

Environment

In order to allow for Duke Energy to operate its coal-fired power plants in North Carolina, Governor McCrory has had to step in and help out. In March of this year, the state disbanded the Coal Ash Management Commission, “which played a key oversight role in closing Duke Energy’s ash ponds statewide” after 13 cases of water contamination, including one of the worst coal ash spills in US history. McCrory challenged the committee on the grounds that the legislative appointment of some of the members to the commission was unconstitutional. The North Carolina Supreme Court agreed with him, and the committee was forced to stop its closure of Duke Energy’s 32 ash ponds throughout the state. Why did he vehemently support a company that continually endangered his state? Perhaps it was loyalty. After all, McCrory was an employee of Duke Energy for 29 years. In 1988, he was laid off, and a year after, he got on Charlotte’s city counsel. After nearly 3 decades with them, Duke Energy remained loyal to him also, donating a total of $98,000 to his campaign (“more than three times the amount it gave to the other current governors combined”). The rest is history.

Women

Back in 2013, when McCrory first became governor, a bill was introduced that began as a simple Motorcyclist protection bill. After a few alterations, the bill passed the house and moved on to the senate as a bill to modify certain laws pertaining to abortion. The new bill limited (forbade) abortion coverage under health insurance plans offered through the health benefits exchange, and prohibited any insurance offered to county officers and employees from covering abortion beyond what the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees allows. Guess what? The state health plan echoes the legislation. This newly altered bill was signed into law by McCrory himself.

In 2015, abortion laws were altered again, this time by increasing the waiting period for an abortion from 24 to 72 hours. It also ensured that any physician, nurse, other health care provider, or hospital who morally, ethically, or religiously opposes abortions are able to refuse to perform an abortion without repercussion.

Just for good measure, HB578, the Families’ Economic Security Act, failed to pass last year. This was an equal pay bill, that would have ensured men and women got paid equally for the same work.

Privacy

Let’s talk privacy. I’ve learned a lot about what’s considered public knowledge in North Carolina in the last 6 years.

Families

As a regular Jane, I have unrestricted access to:

  • How much you bought and sold your house for
  • The details of your home and yard (size, shape, lot number, location, sometimes blueprints)
  • How much you paid in taxes on your property

I can also find:

Policing

In order to protect its citizens from any undue harm, the police in North Carolina are allowed to:

Health Care

The rights of a hospital or doctor to make a life-alerting mistake and not have it tarnish their good reputation is important in North Carolina. While public records do include “all settlement documents in any suit, administrative proceeding or arbitration instituted against any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions”, it specifically excludes medical malpractice suits against a hospital facility.

Adult Care Homes (nursing homes or assisted living facilities), mental health facilities, hospitals, home care agencies, ambulatory surgical facilities, cardiac rehabilitation programs, and local confinement facilities (prisons and jails) are charged to protect the privacy of those residing within their walls, but not the safety of those potentially entering. Any complaints filed against such facilities with the Department of Human Resources, and all state inspection results are strictly confidential. That is, unless any of those facilities provide abortions. All complaints and state inspections regarding abortion providers are public knowledge.

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What next?

With everything that McCrory has done in the interest of protecting women, children, and families, what else is there for him to do? The North Carolina Justice Center suggests North Carolina could do the following:

  1. Pass the Caregiver Relief Act (HB 269/SB 337) – This bill would expand eligibility for unpaid, job-protected leave under the Family Medical Leave Act to include grandparents, grandchildren and step relatives, making it easier for moms and grandmothers to be there for their family members when they need them most.
  2. Pass the Healthy Families & Workplaces/Paid Sick Days Act (HB 270 and SB 339)– This bill would allow working North Carolinians to earn up to seven paid sick days annually, which could be used to go to the doctor, recover from illness, or care for a sick child.
  3. Raise the minimum wage – Various legislative proposals introduced last year would increase the minimum wage in North Carolina. Raising the wage would allow working moms to better meet the needs of their families.

 

The likelihood of any of these things happening under Pat McCrory is slim to none, especially when the reason behind his dogged determination on HB 2 becomes clear. In mid December of last year, radical conservative pundit Ann Coulter “interviewed” McCrory on her “podcast”. Afterwards, she tweeted (because this is how politics is done these days) that he’d make an excellent Vice President to, you guessed it, the one and only, Donald Trump.

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That explains a lot, like why all of the threats that the people will vote him out this election year seem to be falling on deaf ears. Today, he announced he’s suing the Department of Justice. It clearly worked as intended, as the DOJ turned around filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the entire state of North Carolina. It all seems so extreme, until you understand that he’s displaying his red plumage for Trump. McCrory pulled an, “Aww shucks, thanks Ann” and said through his campaign manager that, “[He] is flattered but committed to making North Carolina a better place to live, work and raise a family.” For whom, exactly? Welcome to North Carolina: paving the way for President Trump.

Author: Barb Machina

I write a blog prompted by my wandering idealism, and relentless pursuit of justice. At best, I write evidenced-based pieces that focus on health, medicine, human rights, politics, science, parenting, and history... At worst, it's a stream of consciousness, fueled by wine and other.

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