Pat McCrory became only the third Republican to become governor of North Carolina since Reconstruction in large part by portraying himself as a moderate. To be sure, his actions in office have proven otherwise. For instance, a study by Nate Silver reveals that based in large part on his policy statements since taking office, McCrory is actually to the right of people like Sam Brownback, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Jan Brewer, Rick Scott and Nikki Haley. It takes a lot of effort to be to the right of that crew.
And now that we find out that the Civitas Institute, a right-wing think tank run by McCrory's budget director, Art Pope, has set up a database of Moral Monday protesters whose sole purpose seems to be to intimidate people opposing McCrory and the Republican-controlled legislature. The information in this database is horribly invasive, including such information as phone numbers, interest group affiliations, whether the arrestee is employed in the public or private sector. Even worse, it allows visitors to play a "game" in which they're asked to guess the identity of a protestor based on questions asked about them.
The intent of this database is obvious--to intimidate and harass Moral Monday protesters. Indeed, we have at least one documented instance where a protester has been threatened. Yesterday, BlueNC Webmaster and fellow Kossack James Protzman revealed that a thug from Americans for Prosperity had called to threaten him. One threat is too many.
Last week, McCrory harrumphed that the protesters were "outsiders." Whatever you may think of them, Governor, this behavior by your budget director is unacceptable. Show some leadership and fire him. Now.