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In March 2015, the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe , and the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel , both sent letters to corporate heads in Indiana after controversy erupted around the passage of that state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act .

“Virginia Governor Tries to Woo Indiana Businesses,” http://www.nbcwashington.com/blogs/first-read-dmv/Virginia-Governor-Tries-to-Woo-Indiana-Businesses-298087131.html (March 14, 2016).
This bill is designed to restrict government intrusion into people’s religious beliefs unless there is a compelling state interest. It also provides individuals and businesses with the ability to sue if they feel their religious rights have been violated. However, opponents feared the law would be used as a means to discriminate against members of the LGBT community, based on business owners’ religious objections to providing services for same-sex couples.
Stephanie Wang, “What the ‘Religious Freedom’ Law Really Means for Indiana,” Indy Star , 3 April 2015. http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/29/religious-freedom-law-really-means-indiana/70601584/
In the media firestorm that followed the Indiana law’s passage, several prominent companies announced they would consider taking their business elsewhere or cancelling event contracts in the state if the bill were not amended.
James Gherardi. March 25, 2015. “Indiana Businesses Concerned Over Economic Impact of Religious Freedom Bill,” http://cbs4indy.com/2015/03/25/indiana-businesses-concerned-over-economic-impact-of-religious-freedom-bill/.
This led opportunistic leaders in the surrounding area to make appeals to these companies in the hope of luring them out of Indiana. Ultimately, the bill was clarified, likely due in part to corporate pressure on the state to do so.
Tony Cook, Tom LoBianco, and Brian Eason, “Gov. Mike Pence signs RFRA Fix,” Indy Star , 2 April 2015. http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2015/04/01/indiana-rfra-deal-sets-limited-protections-for-lgbt/70766920/.
The clarification made it clear that the law could not be used to refuse employment, housing, or service based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
German Lopez. April 2, 2015. “How Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law Sparked a Battle Over LGBT Rights,” http://www.vox.com/2015/3/31/8319493/indiana-rfra-lgbt.

Controversial legislation like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is only one of the many environmental factors that can make or break a governor’s reputation and popularity. Other challenges and crises that may face governors include severe weather, terrorist attacks, immigration challenges, and budget shortfalls.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie gained national attention in 2012 over his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which caused an estimated $65 billion worth of damage and cost the lives of over 150 individuals along the East Coast of the United States.

29 October 2014. “These Images Show Just How Much Some Neighborhoods Were Changed by Hurricane Sandy,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/29/hurricane-sandy-second-anniversary-images_n_6054274.html.
Christie was famously photographed with President Obama during their joint tour of the damaged areas, and the governor subsequently praised the president for his response ( [link] ). Some later criticized Christie for his remarks because of the close proximity between the president’s visit and Election Day, along with the fact that the Republican governor and Democratic president were from opposite sides of the political aisle. Critics felt the governor had betrayed his party and that the publicity helped the president win reelection.
Michael Barbaro, “After Obama, Christie Wants a G.O.P. Hug,” New York Times , 19 November 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/us/politics/after-embrace-of-obama-chris-christie-woos-a-wary-gop.html?_r=0.
Others praised the governor for cooperating with the president and reaching across the partisan divide to secure federal support for his state in a time of crisis.
Teresa Welsh, “Is Chris Christie a GOP Traitor for His Obama Hurricane Praise?” U.S. News and World Report , 1 November 2012. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/11/01/is-chris-christie-a-gop-traitor-for-praising-obamas-response-to-hurricane-sandy

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