Ex-Gov. Pat McCrory calls anti-amendments ad ‘deceptive’

When he was governor, Pat McCrory appointed Michael Jacobs to be chairman of the N.C. Coal Ash Management Commission.
When he was governor, Pat McCrory appointed Michael Jacobs to be chairman of the N.C. Coal Ash Management Commission. File photo

A TV ad for a group called “Stop Deceptive Amendments” is itself deceptive, former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday.

McCrory and four other former governors as well as former chief justices of both parties opposed two of the six proposed amendments on the ballot. Those dealt with the governor’s appointment powers.

But the ad cites no particular amendment, and instead urges voters to oppose “misleading” amendments.

“Every former chief justice and every former governor — Democrats and Republicans — recommend voting no,” the ad says. “The closer you look at these misleading amendments, the worst they get. Vote no.”

“The ad gives the clear false impression that myself and others who spoke against the two amendments are also against the other four amendments,” McCrory told the Observer. “It’s a deceptive ad to try to trick the voters and it’s shameful.”

McCrory said former Republican Gov. Jim Martin also agreed the ad is misleading. Martin could not be reached.

In addition to the two amendments involving the governor’s appointment powers, the ballot includes proposed amendments on voter ID, victims rights, hunting and fishing and a cap on income taxes.

Justin Guillory, a spokesman for the anti-amendments group, said the group stands by the ad.

“Lawmakers chose to exclude titles, numbers, or any other identifiers from the constitutional amendments making it harder for referendum campaigns to reference specific amendments,” he said. “Our ad clearly references the two amendments giving additional appointment powers to the state legislature. . . . We appreciate Gov. McCrory’s bi-partisan leadership in opposing these two amendments and that’s why we chose to feature the five former governors in our ads.”

It’s unclear exactly where the ad is airing. The group signed agreements with WRAL-TV in Raleigh and Charlotte’s WSOC-TV.

Signing the agreement as campaign manager for the Stop Deceptive Amendments committee was Michael Weisel, who has run similar campaigns for Democrats.

It’s unclear who’s funding the organization. No donors were listed with filings at the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.

Jim Morrill, 704-358-5059; @jimmorrill