Under the Dome

Orr says pro-NY ads on HB2 illegal

Robert Orr
Robert Orr N&O

Former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr has filed complaints over a TV commercial that promoted New York over North Carolina for its embrace of diversity — a slap over House Bill 2.

The ad was business-luring project by that state’s economic development agency.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Orr, a Republican, has filed complaints with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and New York’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Orr contends the TV ads violate the federal Hatch Act by interfering with the campaigns for governor and state legislature.

Earlier this month, WCNC in Charlotte reported on the ad. It isn’t clear how many markets the spot aired on but it is no longer on the air, according to the Journal.

The ad includes headlines from several states, including one from the New York Times that says “North Carolina bans local anti-discrimination policies.” Cuomo, a Democrat, earlier banned non-essential travel by state workers to North Carolina in response to HB2.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign spokesman, Ricky Diaz, saying, “despite Gov. Cuomo’s efforts to trash North Carolina with boycotts and false ads, his residents continue to move here for lower taxes and job opportunities because New York is the second worst state for business while North Carolina is one of the best.”

Cuomo’s spokesman, John P.L. Kelly, said that “the delusion of North Carolina’s leadership is boundless.” He added: “We reject their sanctimonious discrimination.”