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Liberal group claims McCrory 'avoided' children delivering petitions

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A liberal advocacy group says McCrory was "playing catch with his chief of staff" when children attempted to deliver 16,000 signed petitions to his office. A liberal advocacy group says McCrory was "playing catch with his chief of staff" when children attempted to deliver 16,000 signed petitions to his office.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A liberal advocacy group says North Carolina's governor was "playing catch with his chief of staff" when children attempted to deliver 16,000 signed petitions to his office Monday ahead of Moral Monday demonstrations.

Students, parents, teachers and advocates were set to deliver more than 16,000 petition signatures to Gov. Pat McCrory's office at the State Capitol Monday afternoon, but the governor's staff said he was in a meeting and could not meet with them.

"Gov. McCrory was in a meeting with an elected representative when computer-driven petitions collected by Progress NC ...  [were dropped off] around 4:20 p.m.," said Kim Genardo, McCrory's communications director.

Progress NC, however, says McCrory was caught "with a baseball glove, playing catch with Chief of Staff Thomas Stith and a state trooper" at 4:30 p.m. when the children were delivering the petitions.

"McCrory's staff told the children and their parents delivering petitions that Gov. McCrory was in a meeting until 5 p.m.," said Gerrick Brenner, with Progress NC. "What he was really doing was avoiding those children, because he can't defend his proposed cuts to teacher assistants and he won't stand up to a state legislature hellbent on raising class size and spending taxpayer dollars on private school vouchers."

McCrory's office contests that the governor was indeed in a meeting and that a photo of McCrory playing catch was shot after the petitions were delivered.

Genardo said the governor is "taking the advice of first lady Michelle Obama" by attempting to exercise every day.

"Yesterday by throwing the baseball and today by walking from N.C. State's campus back to the Capitol," Genardo said. "Gov. McCrory will be back out tomorrow throwing the baseball perhaps with children, who share his All-American passion."

Progress NC says the governor's actions "continue the Republican Party's dismissive attitude towards petitioners and protestors."

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