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New York Times editorial slams North Carolina

**FILE** In this July 22, 2008 file photo, traffic passes in front of The New York Times building in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file) (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
July 10, 2013 3:21:11 PM PDT
Legislation coming from Republicans now in control in North Carolina is apparently not sitting well with the editorial board at The New York Times.

The paper published a blistering editorial piece Wednesday slamming state government for what it calls "grotesque damage" by the Republican majority.

Controversial legislation and mounting protests at the General Assembly have put the state in the national spotlight.

For years, North Carolina has prided itself as a middle-of-the road state politically that's good for business, but the NYT editorial claims state government has become a "demolition derby, tearing down years of progress."

The paper cites legislation such as the repeal of the racial justice act, a slash in public school spending, and the cruelest decision of all - they say - the end of federal unemployment benefits for 170,000 North Carolinians because leaders didn't want to pay back federal debt.

Business owner and former Democrat politician Erv Portman told ABC11 it's not the kind of publicity North Carolina wants or needs.

"Any logical thinking person that looks at the progress North Carolina has made since the great depression. It's stunning. It's incredible. We've become a beacon, an economic engine in the country, in the Southeast. And to talk that way, and then to act this way is the reason that's being written," he offered.

Conservatives don't seem to care about what the national media thinks - pointing out blatant errors in the editorial.

"They call it the cruelest decision because they say North Carolina didn't want to pay the debt back. No, the issue is North Carolina wanted to pay the debt back, pay it more quickly without putting an additional burden on the employers who are going to create the jobs," said Mitch Kokai with the John Locke Foundation.

Governor McCrory's office also criticized the accuracy of the piece.

"The New York Times editorial is riddled with errors, and maybe if they came to North Carolina, they would understand that Governor McCrory remains 100% focused on the economy, education, and government efficiency as he has been for the first six months in office," said Ryan Tronovitch, Deputy Communications Director.

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