Last week was a bad press week for the Republican legislature in North Carolina. They made the state a national laughingstock when two legislators introduced a bill, supported by Republican Majority Leader Edgar Starnes, that claimed North Carolina was exempt from the first amendment. Another series of bills introduced by Tea Party zealots claims that state laws take precedent over federal ones, an argument that was decided in a very bloody way 150 years ago. Finally, a raft of bills designed to disenfranchise various segments of the population shocked political observers for their brazen attempt to deny people the right to vote.

While this could be a blip on the radar screen, the national opinion of North Carolina is shifting from that of an enlightened state with a healthy business climate and high quality of life to that of a backwater led by narrow-minded, mean-spirited clowns. As the political columnist for Esquire asked, “Does every member of the Republican majority in your legislature all arrive at work every morning in the same tiny car?”

While all of this nonsense provided fodder for bloggers, pundits and comedians, it’s bad for business in North Carolina. To put it in marketing terms, the GOP has tarnished our brand. Gov. Pat McCrory and company claim they want to send a signal that North Carolina is open for business. The legislature, however, wants to add the caveat, “We’re open for business, as long as you are white, straight and Christian and don’t want to send your kids to state universities.”

McCrory and Speaker Thom Tillis need to reign in their wing-nuts and realize that businesses want a lot more than just lower taxes and less regulation. Under Democrats, we became one of the fastest growing states in the nation, competing with Boston and Silicon Valley for high-tech, high paying jobs. Those businesses came here and started here because of our investments in education and research, a highly skilled workforce and a high quality of life. They are not going to come if they believe their employees will face discrimination, poor schools and religious intolerance–and that’s the perception the legislature is giving the nation.



  1. Sean Haugh

    You don’t have to defend prior Democrat administrations and officials to see that our current legislature is making NC into a national laughingstock. To credit the NC GOP legislative majority for fixing the budget simply parrots campaign propaganda and does not square with their actual record.

  2. Nogui (@Nogui)

    I think “community organizer” has joined the ranks of “mean spirited clowns” I mean how much of a dumbass must you be if you think that there’s nothing wrong with introducing legislation that proclaims a state religion. If the “community organizer” digs that, maybe they should move to Iran.

    • Community Organizer

      You prove my point well Nogui. Sticks and stones. I’m sure most Persians whole heartedly would back your point of view. Remember, stupid is as stupid does Forrest.

  3. Mike Dolan Fliss

    “The electorate has spoken.” With heavy gerrymandering, actually, that’s not really true.

  4. Thomas Mills

    Thanks for your comment. Democrats certainly had their problems. That said, they ruled as business-friendly moderates that made North Carolina the fastest growing state in the South and attracted businesses that paid above average salaries. We were seen as great place to live and do business. Last week, we were the butt of jokes.

  5. Community Organiser

    A utopia of Rainbows and unicorns is not the correct way you perceive our state over the past decade under Easley and Purdue as governors or with Jim Black as Speaker. Remember him? I think he is still in prison.
    It was your so called mean spirited narrow minded tea party clowns that kept this state from going bankrupt and and the liberal Kool Aid drinkers in check.
    FYI: this is the first GOP government since reconstruction, 150 years ago. The malicious vitriol comes from the emotional and miss informed left wing cry baby activists who proclaim rights, that don’t exist, and demand that government fix their perceived problems.
    Now that the electorate has spoken, I suggest you wait and see what happens rather than continue to stir the pot and and poison un informed voters with panic.

    • marciamanatee

      just who is that miss who informed leftwing cry baby activists?

    • Community Organizer

      Thanks Thomas for your genteel reply; however, I must disagree about your business friendly dems. I’ve never known a conservative GOP, or others, to be business-unfriendly. As far as North Carolina being the so called ” butt of jokes”, the South will always be one to the northern and left coast liberals, not to mention PSMSNBC and their slew of lazy reporters.

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