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Democrats question cost of McCrory travel for HB2

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Records show how much the governor's office spent on trips to defend HB2.

Two and a half months after Gov. Pat McCrory first appeared on a Sunday morning news show defending House Bill 2, newly obtained documents show the price tag for those trips. But for critics, it's not as much about the cost as it is the cause.

McCrory appeared on Meet the Press (4/17/16) and Fox News (5/8/16) to make the case for House Bill 2 in the face of overwhelming opposition from major companies and the NBA. But where McCrory spokesperson Josh Ellis maintains that made the trips "official state business," critics see them more like campaign stops.

"Governor McCrory shouldn't be using taxpayer money to campaign," said NC Democratic Party spokesperson Dave Miranda. "He spent $7,500 of taxpayer money and these interviews were beneficial to his campaign."

Read all ABC11 stories about HB2 here

Documents released Wednesday show the networks gave McCrory the opportunity to do satellite interviews, which Miranda pointed out would have saved taxpayers the expense of using the state plane. Miranda also questioned a tweet sent out by a key McCrory strategist during one of the interviews and a fundraising email that went out just after.

"Governor McCrory, who used this state-funded plane, spent $7,500 to go to what were basically interviews for his campaign," Miranda said. "He should reimburse that money to the taxpayers of North Carolina."

Asked to respond to the Democratic allegations, McCrory spokesperson Josh Ellis offered this statement: "The governor will continue to proudly do his job in fulfilling the role and responsibility of his oath of office. This baseless attack shows how desperate the Democratic Party is to divert attention from the fact that North Carolina has one of the fastest growing economies and our state has increased teacher pay more than any state in the nation - all while providing tax cuts for hardworking families."

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politicshb2pat mccrorystate politicsgubernatorial raceI-TeamRaleigh
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