July 31, 2020
For Immediate Release
Raleigh NC - The North Carolina Republican Party held a press conference today to announce that we are filing a public records request to discover where Governor Cooper has actually been these last few months instead of listening to North Carolinians.
To watch the video of the press conference click here.
Here are NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley’s Open Remarks.
Good Morning- thank you all for coming out today. My name is Michael Whatley and I am the Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. Today, we want to discuss the fact that Governor Cooper has been completely missing in action across the state during the COVID-19 crisis and refused to listen to the concerns of North Carolina citizens affected by his unilateral decision making, failure to provide any certainty and lack of transparency regarding his lockdown.
Governor Cooper has not left his mansion since early March has not been seen in public since early march and has not be seen in public since he instituted his lockdown of North Carolina. In fact, the last public event outside of Raleigh that we a find any evidence of was a ribbon-cutting in Greensboro on February 27- 154 days ago. The last time he traveled to Charlotte was February 13- 168 days ago. We did see that he spoke at a party celebrating his primary victory on March 3rd and went to Florida for a fundraiser on March 5th- 147 days ago.
Of course, the Governor did leave his mansion to march with protestors to show his support for the riots that were tearing the state on June 3. Since then, we have not seen him leave the Governor’s mansion.
Cooper has also previously claimed that he doesn’t like emails and prefers face to face visits. However, since the beginning of March, the Governor has pulled one fantastic disappearing act. He has not visited any of the 100 counties across the state to hold public events or meet with local officials. He has refused to meet with mall business owners affected by his lockdown and the riots last month. And he has refused to release his schedule to the media- so the public has no idea what he has been doing while he has been holing up in his bunker at the Governo’s Mansion. On top of failing to come out of his bunker, Governor Cooper has refused to hold press conferences that comply with First Amendment best practices.
Instead of holding closed-press press conference where his staff and political vendors carefully screen questions, Governor Cooper should allow in-person socially distant event and allow reporters to ask questions in person with follow-ups.
The Trump administration has been consistently visiting North Carolina to talk with North Carolinians about issues in North Carolinians.
- May 21, 2020: Secretary Azar visited Charlotte.
- June 16, 2020: Secretary Euguene Scalia visited Charlotte and Gaston County.
- July 13, 2020: CDC Direct Redfield visited Charlotte to discuss issues there.
- July 27, 2020: Secretary Sonny Perdue visited Western North Carolina.
- July 27, 2020: President Donald Trump visited Morrisville
- July 29, 2020: Vice President Mike Pence visited Apex
It truly says something that President Trump and top members of his administration can safely visit North Carolina to talk with North Carolinians about the problems they are facing while Governor Cooper cannot be bothered to leave his basement.
Because of Governor Cooper’s previous refusal to disclose his schedule and let the public know what he has been up to, we have filed a Broad Public Records request to make sure we get what we need to hold Governor Cooper accountable. The Governor obviously keeps a schedule, and he’s obviously trying to prevent North Carolinians from finding out what he is actually doing.
As we try to navigate the health and economic issuing surrounding the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina needs a leader in the Governor’s mansion.
Governor Cooper has been missing in action and this public records request is the starting point to holding him accountable.