‘North Carolina welcomes all people, and student–athletes shouldn’t be used as political pawns…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Not long ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo found a way to blame his state’s $2.3 billion budget shortfall on the federal tax-regulation overhaul supported by President Donald Trump in 2017.
Now, the king of passive–aggressive finger-pointing is back at it, voicing his disapproval of another state’s laws by punishing student–athletes from his own, reported the New York Post.
Cuomo said he would be forcing 13 State University of New York swimmers competing next week at the NCAA Division III national championships in Greensboro, N.C., to stay in Virginia due to a longstanding boycott of North Carolina over a since-amended law on transgender bathrooms.
Although North Carolina’s 2016 transgender bathroom ban, HB2, was repealed after widespread protests and boycotts, Cuomo griped that its replacement, HB142, still did not advocate to his satisfaction for LGBT potty privileges.
“It left discriminatory practices in place,” said grandstanding Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi.
“In New York, we do not support blatant discrimination, bigotry and bias,” Azzopardi crowed. “Standing up for equality is not a fad and as long as this anti-LGBTQ law remains in effect, New York tax dollars are not going to be spent there.”
The replacement bill ruled that North Carolina’s public restroom facilities would fall under the jurisdiction of the General Assembly, meaning that cities within the state could not create their own policies. HB2 was a response to efforts in left-leaning Charlotte to impose a mandatory, citywide transgender restroom policy.
Republican legislators in New York appealed to the governor’s office to reconsider for the sake of the athletes.
“It puts them at a competitive disadvantage and could have a negative impact on their performance,” said state Sen. Pat Gallivan.
The most direct route from Greensboro to Virginia would send the team approximately 40 miles away to Whitfield, Va.
According to Hotels.com, the Travel Inn located there was a “no frills motel” with rooms available for $48 per night. It has a rating of 2 stars out of 5 possible.
Fortunately for the New York delegation, it does have a swimming pool where they could practice if the two-hour round-trip commute proved too prohibitive.
More likely, the team would extend its commute even farther north to Danville, which has choices including a Marriott, Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn and Hampton Inn.
However, those options are likely to stretch the tight New York budget even farther.
One GOP congressman from North Carolina, Rep. Mark Walker, offered to pay for the SUNY athletes to stay in Greensboro.
“Maybe Governor Cuomo has been so busy trying to raise taxes, scare off businesses and limit protections for unborn babies that he did not realize the H.B. 2 debate has passed,” Walker said in a release posted to his campaign website.
In addition to the state’s budget woes and a recent decision by Amazon to withdraw from a major New York facility, Walker made reference to the governor—and possible 2020 White House contender—signing the nation’s first law to legalize partial-birth abortions in January.
Cuomo controversially celebrated/gloated the abortion law’s passage by illuminating a symbol of national unity and resilience, World Trade Center One, in pink.
Walker condemned the petty, partisan games, which did nothing but harm Cuomo’s own constituents.
“North Carolina welcomes all people, and student–athletes shouldn’t be used as political pawns,” he said. “We would be proud to have the SUNY students stay in our great state.”
But some were less ready to let the issue drop.
As North Carolina faces two special elections this year to fill open Congressional seats, Democrats said they would make the defunct transgender law a centerpiece of their campaign messaging, reported WFAE.
State Sen. Dan Bishop, one of the original sponsors of the HB2 bill, on Thursday entered into the race to replace Mark Harris in the 9th Congressional District, where a monthslong ballot-fraud investigation annulled the election results in February.
Bishop echoed Walker’s sentiments that the transgender spat was old news, reported the Charlotte Observer.
“The people of North Carolina have put that controversy behind them, and they’re ready to move on,” Bishop said. “It’s an exhausted issue. We’re on to a new campaign and new issues.”
Cuomo is not the only liberal outside of North Carolina who still harbors a grudge.
The creator of an upcoming Netflix show set in the state’s coastal Outer Banks area said in January it would refuse to shoot the series there unless North Carolina amended the law to allow municipalities to pass their own bathroom ordinances.
“OBX” creator Jonas Pate said he was “sending a message to those people who can bring these jobs and more that North Carolina still doesn’t get it.”