Politics

Political news from around NC and beyond.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Republican candidate for governor (and current lieutenant governor) Dan Forest claimed that Planned Parenthood was created to, "destroy the entire black race," during a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. Then on Wednesday he compared abortion to slavery. 

This week in North Carolina politics also included an allegation of illegal coordination between a senate campaign and a friendly PAC, and a new order in a decades-old lawsuit over public education funding. 

Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation and Billy Ball of the progressive NC Policy Watch review the developments. 


Adam Schiff stands at a podium holding his hands above the surface of the table.
(Senate Television via AP)

This week the U.S. Senate formally began the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump — the third such trial in American history. Democrats made their arguments this week, with the president’s lawyers making their case starting on Saturday. Political Junkie Ken Rudin shares his analysis of the trial so far with host Frank Stasio.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The state of North Carolina must pay over $102,000 to the winning side in a recent legislative redistricting case and the outside expert who helped analyze redrawn district lines, state judges have ruled.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper sits for an interview with WUNC in the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Cooper addressed the opiod crisis affecting the state.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

A North Carolina appeals court on Tuesday upheld the legality of a legislative session Republicans quickly called in December 2016 to push through laws that weakened the power of incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

WBTV reporter Nick Ochsner doesn't hesitate to confront a subject who he feels is ducking his questions. He has a reputation for being quick to file a lawsuit when it seems officials aren't following public records laws. 

On this edition of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, Ochsner explains his aggressive approach and whether being from a Gold Star family has influenced his reporting. 


WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

The North Carolina General Assembly convened for a single day this week. But no budget deal was brokered, and now we'll be without one at least until springtime. 

Meanwhile, incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis has made an unusual request to debate his Democratic opponent in the 2020 general election. 

Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation discuss all that and what concerns they have about the voting machines being booted up for the primaries.  
 


North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers met for a one-day session this week, but in the end, not much has changed. There is still no budget for the current fiscal year as lawmakers enter their longest break in four years.

Billy Dee

What does it mean for a black journalist to remain neutral when writing about police brutality? Can young reporters be objective in their coverage of climate change?  Soon after the 2016 election, while working at American Public Media’s Marketplace, Lewis Raven Wallace wrote a blogpost saying: “We must change what we are doing to adapt to a government that believes in ‘alternative facts’ and thrives on lies.”

Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson demonstrates a new touch-screen voting unit.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Michael Dickerson’s voice rippled with the excitement of someone showing off a new sports car.

"This screen will now come up with every ballot, every precinct, every ballot style on it, and I can tap that screen and that gives that person that ballot," he said, his voice trailing off to a hush full of wonderment.

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Eyes are on Iowa as the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates gather there for the seventh debate. The Iowa caucuses take place in less than three weeks. It's the first contest of the primary.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC.

State lawmakers adjourned today without taking up a vote on overriding Governor Roy Cooper's budget veto. 

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina General Assembly is back briefly in Raleigh in early 2020 with Republicans and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper facing the same impasse they had for most of 2019.

Rep. Deb Butler, a New Hanover County Democrat, yells at House Speaker Tim Moore.
Courtesy Rep. John Autry, D-Mecklenburg

The North Carolina General Assembly returns to Raleigh briefly on Tuesday with a short to-do list, topped by another Republican attempt to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the budget more than six months ago.

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer talked with a potential voter before going on stage at North Carolina Central University's law school on January 12, 2020.
Josie Taris / WUNC

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer is preparing for this week’s debate after a weekend of campaigning in North Carolina.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

The state superintendent made a $928,000 emergency purchase that stoked the fight with the state board of education over what tool schools should be using to evaluate reading skills. 

A Democratic state senator who Republicans found both annoying and essential officially stepped down to join the state Utilities Commission.   

And presidential candidates Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are spending millions on ads in North Carolina as Super Tuesday looms. 

Mitch Kokai of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch —  our political observers on the right and the left — assess the week's news. 


Protesters hold signs that read 'NO IRAN WAR.'
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The U.S. House of Representatives approves a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump’s power and require authorization from Congress before taking any additional military action against Iran. While Trump tries to calm the nation’s fears, the FBI and national security leaders believe Iran and its proxies still pose a threat.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

North Carolina state Rep. Holly Grange is competing against the sitting lieutenant governor, Dan Forest, to be the Republican nominee for governor in 2020. 

She says she is a "sensible" alternative —  one who can bring the fight to Democratic incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper. 

On this edition of the WUNC Politics Podcast, the military veteran, former lawyer, and current lawmaker discusses rising tensions with Iran, her chances against Forest and Cooper, and how she'd get Democrats and Republicans to agree on a state budget. 
 


Vote Here sign
Erik Hersman / Creative Commons https://bit.ly/1ezRl1S

The State Board of Elections has told county boards to stop issuing voter ID cards immediately.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

A judge put North Carolina's requirement that voters show photo ID on hold for now. 

Duke Energy agreed to excavate millions of tons residue from burning coal - which will cost billions. 

And it's officially 2020!

Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation catch up with the first big political stories of the new year.
 


Democratic presidential hopeful and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg campaigned in North Carolina on January 3, 2020
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Having declared his candidacy in November, Democratic presidential hopeful and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg campaigned in North Carolina today. He spoke in Raleigh and Fayetteville, where he is opening field offices.

In Raleigh, he said he chose the location of his office based on its proximity to a local pizzeria, Poole'side Pies.

Trump at the rally in Michigan.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

2020 is more than a presidential election year — it is also the beginning of a new decade. Does this mean a new era of politics?

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

North Carolina will appeal a federal judge's ruling that blocks the state's photo identification voting law but not before the March 3 primary, the state Department of Justice said Thursday.

Photo: The North Carolina General Assembly's Legislative Building
Jorge Valencia

State lawmakers will reconvene later this month in Raleigh, though it’s unclear how much will get accomplished. If last year was any indication divided state government will mean plenty of inaction.

City council members.
Max Cooper / Courtesy of the Asheville Blade

The people of Asheville successfully fought against an effort from the North Carolina state legislature to change how the city’s local elections were run.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

There was a flurry of political retirements (some spawned by redistricting), followed by a rush of candidate filings as the year came to a close in North Carolina. 

2019 was busy for the General Assembly, though the number of bills that became law won't show it. Republican lawmakers lost their supermajorities and the governor's veto got teeth. 

As for the decade: Republicans took full control of the Legislature, North Carolina emerged as a swing state, and there were court battles, court battles, court battles... 

Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation look back. 


Yang, Buttigieg and Warren at the debate.
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The House of Representatives voted mostly along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The next step would send impeachment papers to the Senate, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is delaying that action until Senate leaders reach an agreement on the ground rules of the trial.

Book cover that reads 'Speaking of Feminism: Today's Activists On The Past, Present, And Future of The US Women's Movement.'
UNC Press

Why is feminism imagined as waves? These ocean waves, crashing then retreating, can make it appear like ideas come out of nowhere and eclipse everything that came before.

Oral history provides different frameworks for understanding the history of feminist activism.  Personal narratives of the movement capture the constant push and pull of ideology and action — how the definition "feminist" is constantly evolving and sometimes is irrelevant to real social progress. 

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Seven Democratic presidential candidates are debating tonight, the smallest group yet.

The December debate, hosted by Politico and PBS NewsHour, is taking place at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. NPR reporters are providing live analysis of the candidates' remarks. The debate starts at 8 p.m. ET.

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Pat McCrory
Catie Ball / WUNC

Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday that he won't try to recapture his old office in 2020, but will continue to consider a U.S. Senate bid in 2022.

NC legislative building
Jayron32 http://bit.ly/2Mcy7DJ

Historians will know 2019 as a year in which not a lot happened in the North Carolina legislature. Lawmakers did not pass a new state budget, despite holding the second-longest legislative session in state history. Gov. Roy Cooper was not able to expand Medicaid in the state, and the legislature did not pass any large social policies.

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