UPDATE: 7:30 pm 3/22/17:
Having claimed Governor Cooper told him he supported Ford's Frankenstein-meets-Republican HB2 repeal bill, Joel Ford is now blaming an LGBT rights group for the Governor's saying he wants a clean repeal, not one that just pretends to give local government back its rights:
"Governor Cooper spoke with Senator Ford and encouraged him to keep working on a bill that would bring back jobs and sporting events and begin to repair our reputation,” Cooper’s Press Secretary Ford Porter said in an email. “The Governor remains concerned that this cannot be accomplished without a fixed end-date on a moratorium and urges legislators to continue working on a compromise that will get the job done."
Following the clarification from Cooper’s office, Ford issued a statement about his call with Cooper that accused the Governor of changing his position on the bill amid pressure from special interest groups aligned with the pro-LGBT movement.
“I spoke with the Governor this morning and he assured me this was legislation he could support. Then apparently, the Governor, after speaking with Equality NC, marginalized his original position – thus moving the goal post, signaling ambivalence on getting HB-2 repealed,” Ford said.Governor Cooper wants an HB2 repeal that won't leave LGBT North Carolinians as badly off as HB2 does.
All Joel Ford wants is something to ride into the Charlotte mayor's office.
My state senator, Joel Ford, is in his third term taking up space in the General Assembly, and now he wants to be Mayor of Charlotte.
He is keen to change the subject line starting with "State Senator Joel Ford" in the news after last week, when he got irked by a gay journalist "coming after him" with a critique of Ford's tepid, passive LGBT rights record and posted a GIF of a dog taking a dump.
It was an interesting choice for a man who made his career in waste management. WFAE headlined the wannbe mayor's fit,
Joel Ford's Campaign Manager Will Limit Ford's GIF Use After He Tweets Out Defecating DogOnce the blowback began spattering, Ford apologized, and his campaign manager assured the public he would give the senator a child-proofed set of GIFs to fuel his future tantrums.
So now Ford is demonstrating his keen strategic insight to break HB2's Gordian Knot in Raleigh.
He dusted off Senate GOP boss Phil Berger's December "repeal that wasn't a repeal" bill, tweaked the HB2 life support clause, the "cooling off period" and introduced it as his own yesterday: after voting against it in December. As The Charlotte Observer reported,
Ford’s bill is essentially the same as a proposal made in December by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, an Eden Republican. That failed when 16 Senate Republicans joined Ford and other Democrats in defeating it.
Ford's GOP-drafted bill has only one GOP co-sponsor, Tamara Barringer, who came within an inch of losing her seat over her vote for HB2 in 2016 (her winning margin fell ten points from 2014 and she "squeaked in"- as Phil Berger likes to diss the Governor- by 1022 votes of 122,000) and saved herself by becoming the first Republican to call for its repeal.
After showing absolutely no leadership on the issue herself, Barringer bleated,
It's a good, bi-partisan bill and we need to find a solution to repeal HB2. I appreciate Senator Ford's leadership on this.Ford's is the tenth repeal bill filed this session. None have gone anywhere. The Republicans miss having a bloody shirt to wave, and the trannies- as some legislators like to call them (Franklin Graham prefers"perverts") have provided one.
In February, Ford straddled the fence in support of Son of HB2, House Bill 186- which would guarantee a referendum on any local ordinance, with the gnomic comment,
What I would encourage the House to do is look at repeal with some type of referendum that would empower the people of the state to make decisions like this, on their own.Repeal, of course, leaves LGBT North Carolinians devoid of legal protection against discrimination. And for that, Joel Ford remains The Man With No Plan. He's not homophobic. He just doesn't care.