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Washington Post: “Far-right politics could hurt business in North Carolina, some fear. Again.”

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Washington Post: “Far-right politics could hurt business in North Carolina, some fear. Again.”

Robinson’s dangerous agenda and rhetoric frightens North Carolina’s business community

New reporting from the Washington Post underscores the risk to North Carolina’s economy posed by Lt. Governor Mark Robinson’s dangerous and divisive agenda.

For the second year in a row, North Carolina was ranked the number-one statein the nation to do business by CNBC, but an economist told the Washington Post that “rhetoric widely condemned as discriminatory could remind executives of the HB2 chaos and chill recruitment efforts,” once again costing the state thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment.

“Republican leaders, business owners, and top economic experts all agree: North Carolina cannot afford Mark Robinson’s extremism,” said DGA National Press Secretary Devon Cruz. “Robinson would gladly drag North Carolina back to the dark days of HB2, driving investment out of the state and leaving business owners and working families to pay the price for his dangerous agenda.”

Read key excerpts from today’s warning in the Washington Post:

  • Turnbull, a registered Independent, was alarmed when candidates she viewed as bad for business, all MAGA devotees prone to trumpeting conspiracy theories, recently clinched the Republican nominations for crucial state offices… And there was Mark Robinson for governor, who’d declared that transgender women should be arrested if they enter the ladies’ restroom.
  • As far-right contenders dominate the GOP ticket in a state known for its flourishing economy, the business community is bracing for potential fallout — the kind that stung North Carolina eight years ago when industry rebelled against America’s first “bathroom bill.”
  • Backlash to HB2 cost the state almost $4 billion, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said at the time, citing an analysis by the Associated Press that measured the impact’s 12-year tail.
  • The North Carolina Chamber of Commerce rebuked “partisan ideologues that cause division and create controversy” in an unusually biting statement last month, saying the March primary results offer a “startling warning of the looming threats to North Carolina’s business climate.”
  • Rhetoric widely condemned as discriminatory could remind executives of the HB2 chaos and chill recruitment efforts, said Michael Walden, an economist at N.C. State University, who tracked the damage in 2016.
  • “You lose jobs,” he said. “You lose construction activity. You lose an additional tax base. You lose some prestige.”
  • Robinson, the GOP gubernatorial candidate in a tight race, had especially freaked [Turnbull] out. He’d climbed from laboring in a furniture factory to serving as the current lieutenant governor, and she could see why people respected that. But why did he have to quote Adolf Hitler on Facebook and refer to homosexuality as “filth?”
  • Then at one February campaign stop, Robinson charged back into the bathroom fight, asserting he aimed to protect women.
  • “That means if you’re a man on Friday night, and all of a sudden Saturday you feel like a woman and you want to go in the women’s bathroom in the hall, you will be arrested,” he told a crowd 19 miles southeast of Turnbull’s kitchen, “or whatever we got to do to you.”
  • Turnbull recalled then-Gov. Pat McCrory (R) applauding PayPal’s decision to hire 400 workers in Charlotte — only to doom that 2016 plan weeks later by enacting the restroom restrictions.
  • “There’s a real, tangible ripple effect,” Turnbull said. “We lose our ability to recruit companies and people with the income to eat here.”