News Tip: NC Gender Legislation is ‘Big Brother state government,’ Expert Says

Legislation in response to Charlotte ordinance on transgender use of public restrooms 

A North Carolina House committee on Wednesday approved legislation that would prevent local governments from passing ordinances allowing transgender people to use restrooms aligned with their gender identity.  • Quotes: "This legislation strikes me as one of the strangest mixtures imaginable of Big Brother state government -- reactionary cultural politics and a boon for lawyers due to the new lawsuits that will be generated," says Pope "Mac" McCorkle, an associate professor of the practice in public policy at Duke University.  “I think that lots of people across the political spectrum in North Carolina and the nation are going to be scratching their heads and asking again what the heck is now going on in North Carolina if this General Assembly rushes ahead with passage.” “And what Gov. McCrory does will be a litmus test regarding his leadership capacity. In refusing to call the special session himself, the governor clearly seemed to grasp that this session goes way over the top in multiple directions and is not anywhere ready for prime time as an actual law,” says McCorkle, who has worked as an issues consultant to political candidates and state governments, including former North Carolina Democratic Govs. Mike Easley and Bev Perdue. “If he does not veto it, the passage of this new law will strongly reinforce the double narrative about him and this GOP legislature, that their actions are mean-spirited and they have no idea how to govern responsibly.” “But if he shows the kind of backbone that he should have already exhibited as governor of the state, McCrory's action could certainly deepen the bad fissures in the Republican Party now being highlighted in the ugly fight over its chairman's status.” “So the decision to veto should be clear and simple from a policy perspective, but still could be politically hard for a governor who has put a premium on avoiding ideological confrontation within the Republican Party.”       • Bio:Pope “Mac” McCorkle has served as an issues consultant to political candidates, state governments, and various organizations for the last two decades. Since starting McCorkle Policy Consulting in 1994, he has worked for state and federal candidates in North Carolina as well as 28 other states.http://sanford.duke.edu/people/faculty/mccorkle-iii-pope • Archive video interview (different subject): (1:43 mark)http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/n-c-voters-consider-clashing-messages-high-stakes-senate-race/ • For additional comment, contact McCorkle at:mac.mccorkle@duke.edu