Talk-show host and former-Republican Montell Williams seems like an unlikely person to call out Governor Pat McCrory, but his open letter opposing HB2 hits all the right notes.
You may be surprised to hear this, but I used to admire your work as mayor of Charlotte. You struck me as a middle of the road Republican — focused on fiscal discipline, jobs, roads and education. You were instrumental in bringing business to Charlotte and creating an environment that encouraged and nurtured small business. I remember going to events and hearing fellow Republicans speak highly of your record. They said it was a record of success that conservatives could be proud of.
That’s who the voters elected: a Republican focused on issues that matter, who’d accomplished great results for Charlotte and promised to deliver those same results to the state.
I barely recognize you these days, Governor. You’ve caved to a legislative supermajority more interested in bickering over social issues than managing government. Certainly, you tried to hold them back on many occasions, only to see your vetoes overridden. But at some point, you gave up the fight.
I’m not a legislator. But I know something about caving to pressure. As a talk show host for 17 years, I can say without question there were instances when I lost a little bit of who I was in the name of ratings and forgot, in a sense, what it was about me that caused people to invite me into their living rooms each day.
We both know you think HB2 is a bad idea. In fact, I suspect you support equality for LGBTQ North Carolinians in your heart. I suspect you agree — with the overwhelming majority of North Carolina’s business community — that HB2 jeopardizes the state’s competitiveness.