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NC Republicans fear ‘bathroom law’ will dent ‘small government’ brand — and cost them the election

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Samantha Bee isn’t the only one feeling electoral regret after North Carolina’s conservative Republican legislature passed a buffet of bills that earned them a lot of unfavorable attention. Now the state’s own voters are having second thoughts on those people that are costing their state’s economy with the transphobic “bathroom bill” HB2.

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GOP lawmakers are frustrated as North Carolina continues to lose the PR battle over HB2, Politico reports. “The reality is that HB2 hurts,” said state Rep. Charles Jeter, the GOP leader tasked with keeping the majority in 2016. “It doesn’t matter that I’m opposed to it or that I’ve called for its repeal … because the mailer to voters [in my race] is going to say that I was a part of the Republican majority that passed the most discriminatory bill in the state. HB2 is going to have reverberations for our party no matter what we do, in November and probably beyond that.”

The party of “small government” has quickly become the annoying hall monitor who decides who gets to use a bathroom and who doesn’t. A Republican strategist thinks that the legislative majority of Republicans may have pushed the state too far, and now voters want the pendulum to swing back to normal.

“The question that will be answered in November is whether the Republicans in the General Assembly overplayed their hand, after feeling empowered by impressive gains in the last three election cycles,” the strategist said. “Republicans could lose their veto-proof majority in one or both [legislative] chambers, with a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the governor’s race.”

Small businesses in the state are already reporting a backlash, according to LGBTQ Nation. The travel and tourism industry in North Carolina brings in $21 million each year, but already the Raleigh area has reported an estimated $3.5 million in losses because four conferences canceled or scaled back their events after HB2 was passed.

Jamie Gilpin’s Asheville area bicycle tours saw a one-third drop in sales once the law was on the books. When he tried to do advertising on Facebook, he was attacked by people calling for a boycott of the state. “We started getting comments like, ‘we’ll never come your way.’ It was kind of a shock to me,” Gilpin says.

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A poll sponsored by WRAL-TV in Raleigh found that 50 percent of likely voters oppose the new law and only 38 percent support it. Similarly, 61 percent of voters think the law has hurt the state’s image and ability to attract business nationally.

Republican governor Pat McCrory, who refused to block the bill and now fights to uphold it, is in a reelection battle of his own. His opponent is Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who refuses to fight to protect the legislation. McCrory’s net approval rating is now at -4 percent where Cooper has gained 28 percent. Much of that support is coming from white conservative voters too. He already has a lock on African-American voters who are supporting him by an 8 to 1 margin.

It might take more work from Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the Justice Department to take down HB2, but in the process, it’s likely to take a lot of politicians down with it.

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Nicolle Wallace breaks down the impeachment moment ‘women will be talking about for years’

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MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace on Thursday highlighted one of the key moments from the impeachment inquiry testimony from Dr. Fiona Hill.

"Often when women show anger, it’s not fully appreciated. It’s often, you know, pushed onto emotional issues perhaps, or deflected on other people," Hill testified.

Here's Fiona Hill on why she thinks Sondland misunderstood her anger — and how women's anger is often viewed, more generally: "It's not fully appreciated. It's often pushed off onto emotional issues." pic.twitter.com/AsMR3A9InI

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Mulvaney lawyer denies Mick was ‘so heavily involved’ — despite his White House briefing room confession

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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was referenced multiple times during Dr. Fiona Hill's testimony Thursday, but Mulvaney's lawyer said he doesn't understand why.

"We have no idea why Ms. Hill believes Mr. Mulvaney was so heavily involved, especially in light of Ambassador Sondland’s contrary testimony," said Fox News reporter Chad Pergram, quoting a statement from Robert Driscoll.

https://twitter.com/ChadPergram/status/1197633921065930753

As former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance pointed out, Hill recalled during her testimony how angry she was about Sondland not briefing her. She said that after hearing his testimony Wednesday and learning he was briefing Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Mulvaney and President Donald Trump. She then decided he was correct-they had separate missions and Sondland was on a domestic political errand.

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RNC blew nearly $100,000 to help put Trump Jr’s book on the bestseller list

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A new Federal Elections Commission filing unearthed by New York Times reporter Nick Confessore shows that the Republican National Committee blew nearly $100,000 to help promote Donald Trump Jr.'s book "Triggered."

According to the filing, the RNC made a $94,800 payment to bookseller Books-a-Million on October 29th this year, which was just days before Trump Jr.'s "Triggered" was released on November 5th.

An RNC spokesman confirmed to Confessore that "the expenditure was connected to their promotion of Don Trump Jr.'s book."

The RNC had previously claimed that it didn't make a bulk purchase but had only been "ordering copies to keep up with demand" of the book. When asked by Confessore how they could claim they weren't making bulk purchases when they bought roughly $100,000 worth of books, the RNC simply replied, "We stand by our statement."

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