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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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‘We will not be silenced’: Trump accuses racial justice protesters of trying to wipe out ‘our’ history at Mount Rushmore

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US President Donald Trump bemoaned protests demanding racial justice as "violent mayhem" Friday, but said little about an alarming resurgence of coronavirus cases as he attended a crowded, fireworks-studded Independence Day celebration beneath majestic Mount Rushmore.

Trump, under fire for his response to America's spiraling coronavirus caseload four months before the presidential election, spoke on the eve of the July 4th celebrations before thousands of closely-packed people -- many of whom chanted "Four more years;" few of whom were wearing masks.

In the shadow of four notable predecessors -- George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, whose likenesses are carved into a granite cliff in South Dakota's Black Hills -- the president called on supporters to defend America's "integrity".

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Trump’s message is still ‘white power’: NYT’s Michelle Goldberg

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With so many polls showing President Donald Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, some conservative pundits have been asserting that he needs a stronger message. But liberal New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg argues that Trump still has a consistent message: racism.

“Trump does indeed have a reelection message, a stark and obvious one," writes Goldberg, a frequent guest on MSNBC. “It is ‘white power.’”

Racism, Goldberg stresses, is something that Trump inevitably turns to when he wants to rally his base.

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How Donald Trump’s failures turned Dallas into a COVID-19 hotspot

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As the number of COVID-19 cases in Dallas skyrocketed, Lou Luckhardt worried about his colleagues and the public they serve.

Luckhardt, president of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9487, needs disposable coveralls, coronavirus testing and other aid to protect the hundreds of city and county workers who perform essential public services.

With local treasuries already stretched to the breaking point, he believes it’s now up to the federal government to step in and provide resources to help slow the virus’ spread.

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