McCrory’s office drafted own version of House Bill 2, emails from lawyer say

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP/WNCN) — Emails sent to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s office complained that he didn’t call for a special session after the Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance targeting transgender rights, and they suggested that he would lose votes in his re-election bid if he didn’t react.

The Charlotte Observer reported thousands of emails were provided to it more than a week after the newspaper filed a lawsuit against McCrory for failing to meet a request made under North Carolina’s public records law six months earlier.

Some emailers to the governor’s office called McCrory an “idiot” for signing the law.

Others used the term “idiot” to describe supporters of the Charlotte measure, which allowed transgender individuals to use bathrooms in government-run facilities that matched their gender identity.

Among the thousands of emails, which have since been obtained by CBS North Carolina, McCrory’s general counsel wrote to another lawyer that McCrory “fought against” House Bill 2 before it was approved by the General Assembly.

“Bob, here are the facts: We fought against this bill,” the Governor’s Chief Counsel Bob Stephens said in a March 26 email to Charlotte attorney Bob Turner.

“You have no idea how hard the Governor worked to limit it. He told the legislature that it went too far. We lobbied against it and even drafted our own version of the bill but it was not accepted.”

In the same email, Stephens said that McCrory’s office spoke to many legislators before the bill was approved and that vetoing House Bill 2 would have not mattered.

“And don’t tell me the Governor should have vetoed the bill,” Stephens also said in an email. “His veto would have been overridden in a matter of days and we’d be right where we are now. If you have other ideas about what the Governor should have done, let me know.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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