The Democratic National Committee’s emails that were released by WikiLeaks last weekend don’t just show that the scales were tipped in Hillary Clinton’s favor over Sen. Bernie Sanders—they also reveal that members of the DNC were actively wading into the debate in North Carolina over HB2.
As companies like PayPal backed away from plans to expand their operations in the state, and entertainers like Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam canceled shows in protest over the law, which requires people use public bathrooms or locker rooms that corresponds to their biological gender, DNC staffers pushed a narrative about the cost these type of protestations would have on the state’s economy.
The Christian Post reports:
In response to the news that Pearl Jam had cancelled an April show in Raleigh, North Carolina, Democratic Party communications director Dave Miranda sent an email on April 25 to undisclosed recipients that cited an estimate from The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau that claims that cancellation of the Pearl Jam show would cost the local hotel industry about $60,000.
Additionally, Miranda claimed in the email that HB 2 had already cost the state 1,750 jobs and over $77 million in economic activity in just over a month since it passed.
One of the recipients of Miranda's email was DNC's deputy director of regional media T.J. Helmstetter, who forwarded the email to DNC communications strategist Deshundra Jefferson and pushed for approval to have the email forwarded to the DNC national email list.
"This is great," Helmstetter wrote in his email. "can we forward to our LGBT and National lists?"
Jefferson forwarded the email and received a reply from another DNC official, who wrote a one word response: "Awesome."
Miranda insists, however, that the comments were not celebrating the economic impact to North Carolina.
"They're basically saying, 'Good work, good work, North Carolina Democratic Party, getting the word out there about the damage that this bill is doing,'" Miranda told wsoctv.com.
Dallas Woodhouse, the Executive Director of North Carolina's Republican Party, isn’t buying it, however. He believes the DNC was trying to bring about economic pain on North Carolina by urging businesses to pull out and events to be cancelled in the state.
“They orchestrated it. They inflicted pain on the people of NC and they celebrated it,” Woodhouse told wsoctv.com.
Other emails show that staffers were keeping tabs on conservative opposition to HB2 as well.
DNC Staffers compiled footage of conservative pundits such as Juan Williams, Hugh Hewitt, Kathleen Parker and Chris Wallace speaking out against the law to proclaim that "it's not only Democrats who are opposing the Republican-backed HB 2 in North Carolina."
In response to the video, Helmstetter shared a Towleroad blog post saying the video attack on HB 2 is "delicious" in an email dated April 27.
And Pablo Manriquez, the DNC’s director of Hispanic media, reached out to the committee’s video research associate for information that would help craft “a decent hit piece on the pro-prejudice backwater of the NC state house,” while also referring to NC Gov. Pat McCrory as a "moronic little bigot of a tarheel governor."
Woodhouse believes the emails show that Democrats actively sought to make HB2 a controversy from the start.
"I think some of the information coming out of the WikiLeaks shows that the other side was determined for there not to be a resolution of this issue because they thought it was good for them politically. No matter the harm," he said.