Cost in taxpayer funds to renovate bathrooms in the residence of North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory at the state’s Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh, according to the Associated Press. Reacting to the news, North Carolina Democratic Party spokesman Ben Ray said, “This is an administration and a legislature that rejected health care for 500,000 North Carolinians [referring to the GOP-controlled state government’s refusal to expand Medicaid, mostly with federal funds, under the Affordable Care Act]. So to drop $230,000 on a bathroom renovation just shows that Pat McCrory’s priority is not North Carolina, but himself.”
We’re stepping on the toes of a lot of the establishment that’s been controlling this state government for a long, long time, on both the left and the right.
— North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R), quoted by the Washington Post.
North Carolina’s tea party governor admitted on Friday that he has not read the voter suppression bill he’s about to sign into law:
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said Friday he would sign a bill passed by the North Carolina legislature that would become the most suppressive voting law in the nation. But when asked to speak about a provision in the bill that would prohibit 17-year-olds from registering in advance of their 18th birthday, McCrory admitted he “did not know enough” and had not read that portion of the bill.
The bill, passed just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act and paved the way for new suppressive state laws, imposes a laundry list of new restrictions on access to the ballot, including eliminating same-day registration, cutting early voting, easing campaign contribution limits, and expanding the mechanisms for alleging voter fraud. In remarks saying he would sign the bill, McCrory focused on his support for the bill’s voter ID requirement — a particularly suppressive and discriminatory policy that McCrory has long supported. But when asked by an Associated Press reporter about another provision in the bill to limit new voter registration opportunities, McCrory said, “I don’t know enough. I’m sorry. I haven’t read that portion of the bill.”
I go out in the crowd all of the time. Frankly, yesterday I went out and talked to several of them and they were not very respectful. They did not represent the majority of those who call themselves moral by cussing me out. But that’s the way things go some times.
— North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R), quoted by the Wilson Times, on the “Moral Monday” protests at the state capitol every week.
A new law taking effect in North Carolina over the weekend will cut unemployment benefits for new claims and disqualify the state from receiving federal funds for the long-term jobless.
According the The Associated Press, lawmakers passed the bill in February to accelerate the repayment of $2.5 billion federal debt by cutting jobless benefits and increasing taxes on businesses. Because the bill cuts benefits to those who are newly unemployed, the state also disqualified itself from receiving federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC).
The U.S. Labor Department has estimated that about 170,000 out-of-work North Carolinians stand to lose $700 million in EUC payments.