The Democratic National Committee helped push a national narrative opposing the controversial North Carolina transgender bathroom law and officials seemingly celebrated the potential for economic struggles to hit the state following the law's passage earlier this year, emails leaked by WikiLeaks last weekend show.
After North Carolina passed a law in March that allows places of public accommodation to enforce their own bathroom policies and requires people to use state-run bathrooms consistent with their biological sex, LGBT rights groups, transgender advocates and many left-wing media outlets were quick to call foul in the name of discrimination and make North Carolina the front and center of a national debate about transgender bathroom use.
As national attention quickly focused on protests, boycotts and various corporate efforts to get the state to repeal the "discriminatory" law, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory maintained that it wasn't North Carolina that brought the transgender debate to the nation but rather "it was strategically brought to North Carolina" by the "best political machine" and best "media machine" that he has ever seen.
That machine, headed by national pro-LGBT organizations like Human Rights Campaign, also included the DNC, emails from top DNC officials that were stolen by hackers and published online by WikiLeaks last weekend indicate.
While controversy has stirred around emails showing that the DNC worked to undermine the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders and maintained an unabashed partiality toward Hillary Clinton throughout the primary election, the email leak also uncovered a number of other truths about the DNC's concentrated effort in combating the North Carolina transgender bathroom law and the organization's unprofessional bias toward conservative news outlets.
As companies like PayPal and Deutsche Bank nixed plans to expand to North Carolina and a number of performers like Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and the band Pearl Jam canceled shows in protest of the law, officials from the DNC helped push the narrative to the press that the cancellation of corporate plans, shows and conventions would cost the state economy millions of dollars in revenue.
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."
DNC did not respond to the The Christian Post's request for comment before press time. However, Miranda told WSOCTV that the DNC officials were not celebrating the economic struggles that the canceling of concerts and expansion plans would have cost the state.
"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 said.
After the Obama administration sent an ultimatum to McCrory in May urging the state to repeal the law or face the consequences, the state Democratic Party pushed the narrative to the press that the state would lose billions of dollars in federal funding because of violations of Title IX law.
In a press release dated May 9, the same day the state filed a lawsuit against the Obama's Justice Department, Miranda stated that transgender law and McCrory's refusal to repeal the legislation has created a "$4.8 billion mess."
Citing a report by the pro-LGBT Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles, the press release argued that he HB 2 "will cause the state to lose" $35 million to $65 million in federal contracts to local government entities, $108 million in federal funds to support NCWorks, about $5 million in federal grants authorized by the Violence Against Women Act, funding from the Department of Health and Human Services granted through Affordable Care Act and funding from Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"The loss of $4.8 billion as a result of HB2 would severely impact North Carolina's already-underfunded public schools, and would risk the reputation and success of the University of North Carolina system, the state's greatest resource and a key economic driver for the region," the press release contends. "The $4.8 billion McCrory's illegal bill will cost North Carolina does not include more than half a billion dollars in lost economic activity as a result of businesses canceling expansion plans or leaving the state, or the potential loss of $1 billion in federal highway funds from the Department of Transportation."
Other emails from late April show that DNC officials tracked McCrory's media appearances and monitored other conservatives speaking out about North Carolina's HB 2.
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.
While many working with the DNC or the North Carolina Democratic Party do not have kind words to say about McCrory, Pablo Manriquez, the DNC director of Hispanic media, labeled McCrory a "moronic little bigot of a tarheel governor" in one email conversation with DNC video research associate Akshai Bhatnagar.
In the email, Manriquez was seeking information in order to craft "a decent hit piece on the pro-prejudice backwater of the NC state house."
"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," Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of North Carolina's Republican Party, told WSOCTV
The Charlotte Observer reports that other emails also show that the DNC tried to get Vice President Joe Biden to come to the state and speak out against HB2. But for whatever reason, that plan did not come to fruition.
HB 2 and McCrory were mentioned in the emails leaked by WikiLeaks a total of 147 times, while North Carolina was mentioned 505 times, WSOCTV reports.
Other emails uncovered by WikiLeaks show that some officials within the DNC held little respect for reporters from conservative news organizations seeking comments or other information for projects they were working on, while they actively gave quotes and organized coverage with liberal news organizations like Politico.