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Charlotte Observer: NC Gov. McCrory Fed 'Planted Questions' on Bathroom Law at Event

Image: Charlotte Observer: NC Gov. McCrory Fed 'Planted Questions' on Bathroom Law at Event

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (AP)

By    |   Monday, 19 Sep 2016 03:43 PM

The Charlotte Observer says North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory was asked "planted questions" on the state's House Bill 2, also known as the "bathroom bill," at a lunch event last week and told the audience they came from the newspaper.

At the event in South Park on Thursday, McCrory took questions that the audience thought were from the media or other attendees. The moderator, an audience member who volunteered, said three questions were from the Observer, but according to an event organizer, they were written by the governor's staff.

McCrory apologized to Taylor Batten, the paper's Editorial Page Editor, saying he thought all of the questions on one of his sheets came from the Observer.

Speakers at the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club, where the event took place, usually take questions from the audience. McCrory asked that the questions be submitted ahead of time.

The moderator asked McCrory how to begin, to which the governor replied "Anything you like. No filter here."

When Batten attempted to ask a question, McCrory refused it, saying, "We've got three Observer questions answered already. I think you guys dominate the news enough."

After the event, McCrory exited the building through a back exit rather than meet with reporters. Batten attempted to follow to ask about HB2, but was blocked by the governor's staff.

McCrory's campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz admitted that the campaign provided the questions, but claimed "we were asked to in order to keep the conversation format going."

According to Jenn Snyder, the club's executive director, that's false. She claims that she expected McCrory to take questions from the audience and that the governor's campaign had insisted on including questions of their own along with the audience's.

About an hour after the event, McCrory called Batten and answered some questions about the law. He defended HB2, but claims he "strongly disagree with anyone being fired or not hired based on sexual orientation." Under the language in HB2, according to the Observer, North Carolina is an "at will" employment state and there are no protections from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation or identity.

According to McCrory, who the Observer notes almost exclusively talks about the rules regarding the use of bathrooms by transgender people, he could not limit the law to only bathrooms.

"Our lawyers at the time didn't know a way to separate it," he said.

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The Charlotte Observer says North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory was asked "planted questions" on the state's House Bill 2, also known as the "bathroom bill," at a lunch event last week and told the audience they came from the newspaper.
charlotte observer, north carolina, bathroom, law, questions, pat mccrory
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2016-43-19
Monday, 19 Sep 2016 03:43 PM
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