McCrory: I Won’t Sign These Bad Bills

by | Mar 31, 2015 | 2016 Elections, Carolina Strategic Analysis, Features, NC Politics, Religion | 10 comments

Pat McCrory made it very clear yesterday that he’s no fan of several bills being debated by the General Assembly. It seems like the governor has rediscovered his urban moderate philosophy. He’s gone so far as to say he “won’t sign” several of them. There is, of course, a distinction between not signing something and actually vetoing legislation. The governor lacks a pocket veto and if he takes no action on the bill, it becomes law anyway.

Some of the bills he won’t be signing include:

Sales Tax Redistribution Bill. Would change the formula for the way sales tax revenue is distributed throughout the state. Currently, the formula favors large, urban counties. It’s possible McCrory could sign the bill if it’s substantially modified. Right now, about half of the state’s municipalities would lose money and even sponsor Harry Brown says there’s going to be some changes.

NC Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This bill is almost identical to the law in Indiana which ignited a firestorm of controversy from gay activists and clickbait media sites. Progressives are warning of economic consequences should the bill pass. It’s not something McCrory wants to get tangled up in.

Wake/Greensboro Redistricting Bills. Unlike the others, McCrory won’t even have the opportunity to veto this one, as they won’t come to his desk. Being local bills, the governor lacks the power to do anything about them. But it works politically to speak out against them as even Republicans are wary about the legislature intervening into the affairs of local government.

Dix Park Renegotiation. McCrory hasn’t talked about this one but it’s very difficult to see him signing it. It’s a bill filed in the State Senate that would effectively void the state’s sale of Dix Park to the City of Raleigh, in order to sell it for a higher price. Because McCrory was a key player in the negotiation with Raleigh, going back on the contract would be bad optics, to say the least, and it’s said that the governor wants a park because it would provide yet another place to walk his dog, Moe. It’s worth noting that this bill hasn’t even passed the Senate and could well die in committee.

What these bills have in common – and why McCrory has been so vocal against them – is that they all to some extent anger voters in the state’s urban corridors. The religion bill offends their sense of justice. The tax bill offends their sense of self-preservation. And the redistricting and Dix Park bills offend their ideas of good government.

The strategy for liberal groups is obvious. Pressure McCrory incessantly to veto the bills, not just not sign them. Of course, even if he does veto them, there’s a good chance the General Assembly will be able to override him on at least some.

In related news, the new High Point University poll shows Gov. McCrory at 46/38 approval. That’s almost no change from last month, when he was at 48/38. It’s worth noting that High Point consistently shows McCrory with a higher approval rating than other pollsters. No matter which poll you look at, though, he’s at less than 50% approval, meaning he’ll have to navigate the divide between urban and rural North Carolina, moderates and conservatives, in order to win reelection.


  1. JC Honeycutt

    This makes me nostalgic for those early days when Pat McCrory still pretended to have a backbone….Now he’s slipped from being a reptile to an invertebrate.

  2. Voter

    All is simply a show. He has no concern about this state and the citizens. He’s only uttering these statements because he’s been told to not appear too like-minded with the legislature. Regardless of what he says, action means much more. He and his cronies are all the same, don’t be fooled.

  3. Pippi Edison

    We should be more concerned with the business that didn’t come. We were told they got better deals in other states, but was that really it? Did the conservative bucolic mind of our legislature keep them away?

  4. Apply Liberally

    Businesses fleeing NC due to Amendment One is news to me. A-1 happened prior to the recent “pro” swing in public and federal court opinion re: SSM, and also prior to the AZ and IN firestorms.

  5. Joshua Horn

    Is there any evidence that businesses fled North Carolina in droves after Amendment One passed, as you say in this post?

    • Thomas Mills

      John is being sarcastic.

  6. Mike L

    I like this new McCrory I’m just wary of voting for him in 2016 (I haven’t forgotten how he was his 1st two years in office)….In the above issues he is showing his more moderate self, if he continues down that path he might fare well in 2016….let’s just hope if he wins re-election he doesn’t veer off to the right again…

    • Nortley

      Given that he has not specifically said he would veto the bill I can’t say that there is much change here. He says he will not sign the bill, but is will still become law unless he specifically veto it. He’s trying to have it both ways here by playing coy, trying to make more moderate voters think he is with them while playing the wink, wink, nudge nudge game with the flat earthers who control the Republican party. Don’t fall for it.

    • TY Thompson

      No reason for him too do that as he won’t be seeking a third term.

  7. Carolina girl

    Get the popcorn ready. This is going to be fun to watch as McCrory tries to wiggle his way back to the center right with the legislature thinking he is irrelevant. As the old saying goes “you lay down with dogs you get fleas”. McCrory has the fleas. The question is whether he can get rid of them before 2016. My bet is that he will still be infected with them regardless of the flea collar he puts around his neck.

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