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News In Brief

NC NAACP Calls For Economic Boycott Of NC; State Lawmakers Point Fingers On HB2 Impasse

The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, held a fiery press conference Thursday morning during which he condemned two recent laws that dilute the power of the incoming governor, and in retaliation, called for possible legal action and for the National NAACP to approve an economic boycott of the state.

"It's not just about robbing a candidate or a governor," he said, "it's about robbing the people of their power."

The two pieces of legislation Barber referenced were both signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory. They merge the State Board of Elections and the State Ethics Commission into one panel and prevents incoming governor Roy Cooper from putting a Democratic majority on the state elections board. The laws also slash the number of political appointments the incoming governor can make from 1,500 to less than 500, and forces the governor's cabinet picks to face Senate confirmation.

The legislation sparked protests in Raleigh. More than 50 protesters were arrested on Thursday and Friday of last week as legislators simultaneously passed the bills inside the legislative building. 

"We must draw the line in the sand right here in North Carolina," Barber said, "and let it be known to other state legislators that if they try this, the people will resist."

State Lawmakers Point Fingers Over Failure To Repeal HB2

Legislators from both sides of the aisle are fighting over who's to blame in Wednesday's night's collapse of an effort to repeal House Bill 2.

In an interview with WFAE's Morning Edition, Republican Senator Jeff Tarte said some blame should lie with the Democrats.

"Had enough Democrats voted with the half of the senate GOP members, HB2 would be repealed today," he said.

But senate Democrats were unnerved by one section of the repeal that placed a six month moratorium on local governments from passing local ordinances similar to Charlotte's.

"The deal was simple, Charlotte repeals its ordinance and we fully repeal HB2 without any strings," said Democratic Senator Jeff Jackson, "This bill breaks that deal. Charlotte would not have repealed its ordinance if this had been the deal."

Speaking to reporters after the special session Wednesday, Republican senate leader Phil Berger said the City of Charlotte should bear some responsibility.

"We did not renege on any deal with Charlotte because the understanding was Charlotte was gonna repeal its ordinance," he said, "They did not repeal their ordinance until, apparently, this morning."

The Charlotte City Council did repeal its ordinance in full, but only after reports surfaced late Tuesday night revealing that when the council first repealed the ordinance on Monday, it left some parts intact.