Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina have reportedly threatened local businesses with punishment, telling them the legislation they'd like to see passed will not pass if they speak out against the so-called "bathroom bill" HB2.
Local NBC affiliate WRAL spoke to a dozen industry lobbyists who've been threatened by, among other people, the House majority leader
For his part, Majority Leader Mike Hager swears there's nothing to see here.
"That's not a threat," Hager, R-Rutherford, explained to WRAL News. "We want people that'll work with us. We don't want people that'll go out there and bash us on Twitter and bash us on Facebook."
Hager wants to remove state tax breaks that currently benefit American Airlines, NASCAR, Google, Apple and Facebook, all of which have taken public positions against House Bill 2. But he said that's just a coincidence.
I'll buy that for a dollar.
I bet the business community never thought they'd see Republicans tie their tax incentives to support for discriminatory legislation. Maybe -- and this is just a thought -- businesses should halt their practice of funding both sides in every election because there's only one side threatening to punish them if they refuse to discriminate against their own customers and employees.
Unless you are a fossil fuel or gun company, the GOP is no longer the party of business.