When Pat McCrory took office as the new governor of North Carolina in January 2013, he was the first Republican governor in the Old North State in two decades.
He took over a state that was in debt to the federal government to the tune of nearly $3 billion. Jobs were hemorrhaging from every corner, and the people were overburdened with former Governor Bev Perdue’s Democrat plan of excellence – you raise broken and jobless people up by increasing taxes.
McCrory came into office promising to fix the tax code and to bring jobs back to the state.
In less than 3 years, he not only had kept those promises, but he’d slashed both personal and corporate tax rates, attracted over 300,000 new jobs to North Carolina, and had completely paid off the debt to the federal government.
In fact, North Carolina entered 2017 with over a half billion dollar surplus.
Once ranked 44th out of 50 states in job attractiveness, the state was ranked 11th by the end of McCrory’s term.
The Libertarian-leaning Cato Institute gave McCrory an “A” rating, and ranked him #2 among the nation’s fiscally successful governors.
At the end of his term, political promise keeper sites, which keep track of politicians and how well they’ve kept their campaign promises determined that McCrory kept over 80% of his campaign promises, and those he did not, most were due to procedural issues and push back from state lawmakers.
Pat McCrory was the very picture of a successful, fiscally sound, conservative governor.
So why isn’t he still governor of North Carolina?
There are several reasons, and none of them satisfactory, if you’re a conservative and you care about smaller government.
To begin, McCrory was abandoned by some of his base.
Toll roads on I-77 in Mecklenburg County, NC, as well as cuts to movie industry incentives in New Hanover County, NC caused some Republicans from those areas to revenge vote against McCrory, in spite of his successes in other areas.
Then there was HB2, better known simply as the “bathroom bill.”
The North Carolina General Assembly called an emergency session to pass a bill that would restrict bathroom and locker room access to birth gender, and Governor McCrory promptly signed it into law.
Social justice warriors across the nation lost their minds!
The bill was a response to a Charlotte, NC citywide ordinance that was due to go into effect on April 1, 2016.
The liberal Charlotte City Council were about to arbitrarily make all businesses and school bathrooms and locker rooms in the city open and accessible to any sex, at any time, based on how the individual was “feeling” that day.
It was broadly worded, and would allow for predators to gain unquestioned access to the ladies room, simply on their word that they “felt” transgender.
What the ordinance also included was a hefty fine, and/or jail time for refusing to allow this to go on.
It was madness.
McCrory and the state General Assembly crafted the bill and signed it into law mere days before the Charlotte ordinance was due to go into effect.
It began a raging controversy that saw musical acts, the NCAA, ACC, and lawmakers from other states calling for boycotts of North Carolina.
Some estimates set potential economic loss to the state at nearly $500 million.
All that, however, barely tweaked the needle on the state’s overall success, and several economists provided reports to back that up.
Heck, just before the election, McCrory’s office announced North Carolina had been selected to host a World Equestrian event, which could potentially bring $400 million in revenue to the state.
Still, when election day came and went, McCrory saw a 52,000 vote lead over his challenger, state Attorney General Roy Cooper, dwindle, and eventually succumb to a slim 10,000 vote loss.
That was mainly due to a last minute “discovery” of over 94,000 votes from the very liberal Durham County, NC.
That bit of insanity aside, McCrory left Raleigh in the capable hands of a Republican majority in the General Assembly.
It was a depressing end to a very solid and productive governorship. If anyone follows my work at RedState, at all, you’re aware of my coverage of the North Carolina gubernatorial battle throughout the election season.
McCrory has proven over and over to be a good man and an amazing governor, who deserved much better than what he got.
The fallout from a very ugly election is even worse, however.
McCrory has kept his head down, for most part, since finally conceding the race in December 2016, just before Christmas. He occasionally appears on news panels and has had several radio interviews. Through it all, he maintains HB2 was the right thing to do.
In a recent interview, he revealed the very ugly byproduct of doing the right thing in today’s world.
McCrory said in an interview with a World Radio podcast, according to the News & Observer, that the backlash following the law “has impacted me to this day, even after I left office. People are reluctant to hire me, because ‘oh my gosh, he’s a bigot’ — which is the last thing I am.”
“If you disagree with the politically correct thought police on this new definition of gender, you’re a bigot, you’re the worst of evil,” McCrory said. “It’s almost as if I broke a law.”
And he’s right.
He was pushed out of office, vilified, and now is feeling the effects of taking a principled stand, in order to protect the women and children of North Carolina from predators (and overzealous political activists in city government).
It’s not as if McCrory and the General Assembly didn’t try to fix things.
Several times they attempted to work a compromise for repeal of the bill with the Charlotte City Council, but his opponent, Cooper, and Democrat lawmakers within the state convinced the Council to refuse, in order that they might use the bill and any economic damage to the state as a campaign tool.
Yes. Democrats are fine with seeing their communities burned to the ground, as long as they’re the ones standing on the ashes, afterwards.
I feel bad for Governor McCrory. He worked hard and did amazing things for his state. He should have been rewarded with another term, but with the help of single-issue Republicans, liberals won back this jewel of the South.
I don’t believe McCrory will be jobless for long. His record is far too solid.
There have been whispers since his concession that he would be pulled by Trump’s administration into some role, and he should be. He could only serve as an asset.
Until that time, however, conservatives should use the example of McCrory in their fight against liberals and their social justice watchdogs.
The cost of the battle is sometimes high, but for the sake of principle, you should always be willing to stand.