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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

NC businesses pledged to discriminate rises to 49; GOP state representative signs up and gets counted twice

UPDATE: the March 31, 2016 update, with new additions to the "They Don't Want Your Business" list, is here.

Amid the embarrassing rollout of its list of businesses- later amended to “business leaders”- supporting HB2, the Christian moral policing group North Carolina Values Coalition scored a win today.

This morning’s updated list of the now-49 business leaders (out of 332, 334, or 350, depending on which part of you check) making a public stand for discrimination includes North Carolina House member Carl Ford (R-Dist. 76, Rowan and Cabarrus Counties).

Ford, who owns two gospel radio stations, is listed as two business leaders by NCVC, #47 and #49. He’s a second-term house member whose core beliefs are that taxes need to be lower (“It wouldn’t bother me to do away with corporate and personal income taxes”), abortion restrictions higher, the Department of Transportation cut down to size, and education spending reduced.

Needless to say, Ford likes discriminatory legislation, too, and voted for HB 2 last week.

Ford is the first of the 76 Republican members to take action to personally carry out the discriminatory program of HB2.

Mostly, yesterday was a day of backtracking after NCVC listed a North Carolina corporate giant as a supporter.

The News & Record broke the story:
The NC Values Coalition had included HanesBrands as one of the businesses it said publicly supported the bill. 
The statewide organization worked to get Charlotte's nondiscrimination ordinance overturned by the state legislature. It said in a news release Tuesday that more than 300 North Carolina businesses support the new state law but that some are afraid of retaliation if they make that support public. It released a list of 17 businesses willing to publicly support the bill, including HanesBrands. 
"HanesBrands has not taken a position on HB 2, other than to note that it will have no effect on our company’s strong anti-discrimination policies and practices that include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity," HanesBrands chief communications officer Matt Hall said in an email to the News & Record. "We are not supporting the advocacy of NC Values Coalition on this matter, and we have asked that our company name be removed from the organization’s materials and publicity statements." 
When asked about the HanesBrands error, NC Values Coalition spokeswoman Kami Mueller said her group acknowledges the error and has removed the company from its list. 
When asked about the veracity of the rest of the list, Mueller clarified that it actually represents more than 300 individuals who signed on in support of the law, not more than 300 businesses. 
"The people on the list are business leaders who gave permission for their companies to be listed," Mueller said.  
But Keith Zimmerman, the HanesBrands employee on the NC Values Coalition list of supporters, "does not hold a leadership position in which he would speak for the company," Hall said.  
"He had no intention of speaking for the company and is not authorized to do so," Hall said. 
Mueller acknowledged the NC Values Coalition did not independently confirm the identities of everyone who signed on in support of the law and whether they are actually business leaders. 
The News & Record asked Mueller what the chance was that more names on the list might not represent business leaders authorized to speak for their companies. 
"There's a chance of everything," she said. "There's a chance I could get hit by a bus."
The blogger Joe.My.God underscored NCVC’s “we’ll list anybody, no questions asked” approach yesterday:
One very recognizable name on the list is the Winston-Salem based apparel behemoth Hanes Brands. But before anybody tears up their tagless tees, I’ve had a chat with Hanesbrands communications director Matt Hall, who assures me that the company is definitely NOT part of the NC Safe Coalition. Hall tells me that their listing apparently comes via a low-level employee who is now “mortified” – probably most of all because he’s been called on the carpet by his bosses. Hanes Brands has told NC Safe to remove their name from the list, but that has not yet happened at this writing. Hall also wisely points out that Hanes may not be the only company wrongly pushed onto the list by a zealot staffer.
Today, NCVC’s website has changed its headline to “Hundreds of Business Leaders Show Support for HB2 & Governor McCrory.” The business leaders include a variety of construction and home repair cleaning businesses, a number of multi-level marketers, several massage therapists, a piano teacher, the office manager of a swimming pool company, the production manager for a millwork manufacturer, a chiropractor and a Mary Kay saleslady who does business as “God’s Glorious Girls.”

The Press release calls the list of “hundreds (334)” demonstrates “the incredibly large outpouring of support for the passage of HB2 on the North Carolina business community.”

According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, there were just over 821,000 small businesses in the state in 2007.

NCVC will let the public see a spreadsheet “timestamped signees with industry indication for those who have signed on.” Those businesses are unwilling to go public because of “vocal threats and bullying from the LGBT community” causing “some business owners feared for the well-being of their business and families.” “Some business owners” amounts to 89% of the claimed total- a remarkable thing for a group that just stripped LGBT Tarheels of all their rights against discrimination in law and so should be feeling pretty firm in their faith.

NCVC’s spreadsheet- which cannot be independently verified as accurate- showed 332 signatories yesterday and today, not the 334 claimed, nor the revision of last night: “Update:  As of 10PM – The business support list has grown to 350 Leaders, 2 listings were removed due to errors.”

In fact, NCVC has removed three listings from its posting yesterday: a counseling service, a Coldwell Banker realtor’s office, and Hanes Brands, the only big “get” NCVC got, aside from the Benham Brothers and, now, Rep. Ford. Given the error rate of 7.9% on NCVC’s public list,  as many as 28 of the secret signers may be wrongly added or made up as well.

But today they have added nine more businesses, and we’re pleased to add them to the list of places opponents of HB2 will not wish to business with. Here’s the March 29 list:

Sallie Caldwell, S & S Cleaning Service, LLC,  Charlotte NC 28212
Reese Cao, XG Technologies, Inc., Charlotte NC 28277
Jennifer Champion, Total Life Changes
Sam Cowles, Main Street Investments, LLC, Concord NC 28025
Mark & Lora Godwin, Mark Godwin Family Farms Inc., Newton Grove, NC 28366
David Griffin, Griffin Tile & Marble Inc., Mint Hill, NC 28227
David & Judith Hale, Lighthouse Electric of Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28278
Marilyn Harding, Marilyn H. Harding, LPC, PLLC, Cary, NC 27511
James Hartsell, Edifice Inc., Charlotte, NC 20208
Dusten Harward, D Harward Marketing, Davidson, NC 28036
Debra Hasty, Hasty Home Resources
H. Ralph Henderson, Omnichannel Productions, Charlotte, NC 28213
Tim Herlihy, Occupational Health Concepts, Charlotte, NC 28269
Rebekah Hopkins, Beethoven's Piano Revelers Studio
Jana Huffstetler, Collision Center of Stanley County, Albemarle, NC 28001
Gregory Humphrey, Heaven’s Best Carpet Cleaning, Charlotte NC
Cheryl Jones, ICI Lamp Company, Charlotte, NC 28212
Sergey Kholod, Serglandscape Company, Indian Trail, NC 28079
Tony Mazzone, Comfort Security, Pineville, NC 28134
Adam and Michelle Mills, Mills Inc., Boone, NC
Bill Montross, Christian Business Men Connections, Charlotte, NC
Jesse Newton, Green Branch Construction, Inc., Charlotte, NC 28213
Kristina Nieshalla, CB HPW Realtors, Raleigh, NC 28615
Ronald Obie, WCRG- Wood Coatings Research Group, Greensboro, NC 29407
James Potts, Overhead Door Co. of Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 29269
Justin Reeder, Superior Wash Southeast, Charlotte, NC
David Benham, Benham Real Estate Group, Concord, NC 28027
Lila Sanacore, Prayerful Touch Massage, Matthews, NC 28105
Doug Schmeuszer, Sunbelt Packaging LLC, Charlotte, NC
Tim Steele, Thermal Services, Inc. Charlotte, NC 28270
Gretchen, Tate, God’s Glamorous Girls, Charlotte, NC
Lisa Todd, Todd Group, Raleigh, NC 27615
Keith Vance, Vance Resource LLC, Charlotte, NC 28211
Maria Vari, Strategic Resource Development, Statesville, NC 28677
Elizabeth Walker, Oexning Silversmiths, Inc., Bakersville NC 28705
Paul, Weaver, AWPC, Inc., Matthews, NC 28106
Michael Wolff, KC Solutions Group, Charlotte, NC
Keith Zimmerman, Hanes Brands, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC 27105

The March 30 add-ons are:

Charles O’Connor, Advanced Enclosure Consulting, Charlotte, NC 282144
Tracey Sellers, The Balanced Body Center, Matthews, NC 28105
Richard Gavin, Riverside Millwork, Charlotte, NC 28206
Angela Smith, Lombardo Swimming Pools, Matthews, NC 28105
Shar’Dae White, Personal Catering, LLC, Charlotte, NC
Carl Ford, South Rowan Broadcasting Inc., Kannapolis, NC 28082
Carl Ford, Ford Broadcasting Inc., Kannapolis, NC 28082
Alva Yandle, Melatex, Inc, Charlotte, NC 28205
David Snyder, Snyder Packaging, Inc., Concord, NC 28025

NOTE: This list is taken, verbatim, from the press release of the North Carolina Values Coalition, as amended by them. City locations are taken from public records, in order to aid readers in avoiding doing business with companies who support the discriminatory House Bill 2, passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in March, 2016, and to aid readers in not confusing them with other, similarly named businesses that might exist in or out of North Carolina.

It is also intended to spare customers unexpected denials of service should they happen into a business that has declared its support of HB 2 without making it public otherwise.

The list is not intended to advocate for, or encourage, any form of rude behavior toward any business. They and their owners are entitled to their views, and they have the law on their side. If anything, this list will assist them in their desire to let North Carolinians know that the support HB 2, as the North Carolina Values Coalition press release states. If any business has been omitted that wishes to be added, please contact us. If any business listed wishes to support HB 2's legalization of minority group discrimination and still seeks the trade of any group the law allows discrimination against, kindly forward an explanation of how you get to that juxtaposition of ideas and we will gladly append it.

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