Metro Weekly

Virginia newspaper trolls Pat McCrory with “endorsement” over HB 2

The Roanoke Times celebrates businesses fleeing from North Carolina over the state's anti-LGBT law

Pat McCrory - Photo: Hal Goodtree, via Wikimedia.

Pat McCrory – Photo: Hal Goodtree, via Wikimedia.

Poor Pat McCrory. He’s down in the polls, his social life is in the toilet, and has become the butt of jokes for defending North Carolina’s anti-LGBT HB 2 law. Even editorial boards from neighboring states are starting to pile on the beleaguered governor. 

In a masterful example of trolling, The Roanoke Times wrote an editorial endorsing McCrory’s bid for re-election by claiming that he’d be the best choice for the state economy — of the Old Dominion, not the Tar Heel State. 

“We can point to specific and multiple ways he has helped the economy — our economy,” the Virginia newspaper writes. “North Carolina panicked and made a spectacle of itself by passing HB 2, its so-called ‘bathroom bill.’ In response, various companies and even sports leagues pulled events from the state. Three of those have wound up in Salem — the NCAA Division III men’s and women’s soccer championships, as well as the Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association football championship. That’s money in the bank for us.”

The paper “praised” McCrory’s other actions that helped boost Virginia’s economy, writing: “When the University Economic Development Association recently held its national conference in Roanoke, the keynote speaker highlighted a North Carolina program to encourage partnerships between colleges and companies, as a way help recruit technology companies interested in research and development. The speaker hailed it as a model for other states to follow as they try to build a ‘knowledge economy.’ Then the speaker noted that McCrory had cancelled it. The pro-business audience groaned.”

The Times also cited the influx of 730 jobs into the commonwealth after the real estate data and analytics company CoStar Group announced it would open a new research operations office in Richmond. The paper’s editorial board noted that the company had chosen Richmond over Charlotte specifically because of concerns over the HB 2 law.

The fallout from the law, which eliminates various nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people and requires that transgender people be relegated to the bathroom of their biological sex at birth, has led to multiple concert and convention cancellations, and the loss of the NBA All-Star Game and several college sports championships. The Human Rights Campaign, which opposes HB 2, has estimated that the law has cost the state approximately $698 million in lost revenue and legal fees to defend the measure in court.

“Feel free to argue all you want which presidential candidate would be best, but it’s clear that Virginia would be best served if North Carolina re-elected McCrory,” the Times‘ editorial board concluded.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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