The Charlotte Business Journal reports that MillerCoors will close its brewery in Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s hometown of Eden. This is from the CBJ story:

“The closure will affect 520 workers at the brewery, which opened in 1978 and is one of Rockingham County’s largest employers.

Rockingham County Manager Lance Metzger said after the company made the announcement to its employees, they were allowed to go home for the day to spend time with family.

MillerCoors expanded its Eden plant just four years ago with the addition of about 70,000 square feet of warehousing space, and at that time employed about 600 at the plant.”

Meanwhile, Senator Berger will hold a presser this afternoon at 3:00 to tout his latest austerity state budget — you know, like the last two, which were supposed to have turned North Carolina into a job-creating juggernaut. One wonders if he’ll take the opportunity to highlight the new state law (which started in the Senate) that makes unemployment insurance even harder to collect.

Meanwhile, Governor McCrory is on top of things at this critical juncture in state policy debates. His office has distributed one press release today — an announcement that the Guv and First Lady will host an “adopt a pet” event next month at the Governor’s Mansion.


In case you missed it, the North Carolina Justice Center is calling on North Carolinians to celebrate Labor Day this year by adding their names to a petition that calls for policies that promote quality jobs. Here’s the specific language:

“We, the undersigned, call on Governor McCrory to support policies that create quality jobs that boost the economy in our communities. And given that many jobs no longer provide workers with all the necessary aspects of quality employment, the Governor must recognize the necessity of policies that provide workers with the supports they are no longer receiving through work.

Specifically, we urge Governor McCrory to support the following policies aimed at creating quality jobs capable of boosting our state’s economy:

  • Raise the minimum wage to allow workers to afford the basics, make ends meet and provide for their families.
  • Allow workers to earn paid sick days and paid family medical leave so they can recover from illness, welcome the birth or adoption of a new child or care for a sick family member.
  • Promote retirement security, including access to sufficient income to retire with dignity, by establishing universal access to private retirement accounts.
  • Provide access to affordable health insurance through the expansion of Medicaid.
  • Allow workers to collectively bargain with their employers for better wages and benefits.
  • Adequately fund the pathways for skill development and career mobility in our community college system.

Let’s build a North Carolina economy that works for everyone.”

For more information and to add your name, click here.

[This post has been updated.] This is really strange and a little disconcerting: A Charlotte-based, for-profit political fundraising firm called Harrington Forward Thinking briefly featured a video ad on YouTube today in which the Governor of North Carolina endorsed the firm. The video identified McCrory as Governor, though it appeared that the ad was recorded back before the Guv was elected in 2012. As you can see below, the ad was taken down after a few hours on YouTube. A version of the ad — apparently the original — also appears on the firm’s website here.

YouTube Preview Image



7-27-15 NCPW CARTOONAs notes this morning, it’s been two months and ten days since Governor McCrory announced that the “time is right” for the state to stop distributing license plates bearing the confederate flag. Since that time, here is what the Guv has done to make that change a reality: zip, zero, bupkis.

The reason for this is obvious. The Governor has placed a wet finger in the wind and determined that much of his conservative base likes the flag. As was explained back in July in a column:

“Of course, the actual reason behind the paralysis of the state’s conservative political leadership when it comes to confederate symbols is not hard to divine and has nothing to do with ‘legal authority.’ Rather, these politicians are simply bowing to the wishes of a large and noisy segment of their political base.

As NC Policy Watch editorial cartoonist John Cole neatly conveyed yesterday, the simple truth is that neither McCrory nor the leadership of General Assembly want (or feel they have the political muscle) to take on the far right on the issue. Once the modest national momentum that arose in the aftermath of the horror in Charleston subsided somewhat, McCrory et. al. quickly realized that a large segment of the conservative base actually likes confederate symbols and what they perceive them to stand for. Add to this the widespread resentfulness that any policy change at all attributable to progressives and civil rights activists is sure to provoke on Fox News and other dark corners of the conservative echo chamber and it’s easy to see why McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have disappeared into their shells.”

And so here’s the bottom line, hard truth about the confederate flag on the North Carolina license plate: it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It would be nice if the Governor had the courage to be straight with the citizens about this fact.


As reported in this space yesterday, Governor Pat McCrory will speak in Charlotte later this month at an event organized by a far right activist group that wants the United States to be a “Christian nation.” And though he is now distancing himself from it, a full-page ad in Monday’s Charlotte Observer indicated that the Governor was actually inviting people to attend the event to join him for “a time of worship, prayer, fasting and repentance.”

Now, the First Amendment experts at the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina want  to know more about what the heck all of this all about. This is from a press statement the group released this morning:

RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation is asking whether Governor Pat McCrory’s office is using any taxpayer dollars or other public resources to promote religion at an upcoming prayer rally in Charlotte. In a public records request filed yesterday, the civil liberties group asked for information regarding the governor’s participation in The Response: North Carolina on September 26 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The event’s website says the focus of the rally is ‘unashamedly Christian’ and ‘the only name that will be lifted up will be the name of Jesus Christ.’ Gov. McCrory is being advertised as the event’s main speaker.

‘North Carolinians deserve to know whether Governor McCrory is spending their tax dollars to promote religion,’ said Chris Brook, Legal Director for the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation. ‘Elected officials have every right to practice and discuss their faith, but they shouldn’t use taxpayer resources to promote their own religious views over others.’

The ACLU-NC Legal Foundation’s public records request to Gov. McCrory’s office is available at

We’ll keep readers apprised as the story develops.