Politics

Political news from around NC and beyond.

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby / Flickr

Local and state officials have refused to hand over documents related to North Carolina's pursuit of tech giant Apple. And members of the state elections board have questions about the voting machines that some voters use.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she will step down as press secretary by the end of June 2019.
Evan Vucci / AP

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be stepping down at the end of June, as announced through tweets from President Donald Trump. Sanders has been in Trump’s press office since his 2016 presidential campaign.

Tamara Keith began covering the White House in 2014.
Courtesy of Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith has been covering the White House for NPR since 2014. In that time she has reported on the Obamas, spent countless hours on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton and traveled on a surprise trip to Iraq with President Donald Trump.

Maps generated by Jonathan Mattingly and Gregory Herschlag

Since the 1980s North Carolina has not seen a decade when it wasn’t fighting challenges to district maps drawn by state legislators.

Maps outlining congressional and legislative districts are usually drawn every 10 years, after each census, and are supposed to stay in place until the next census.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Many cities across the country are dealing with a housing crisis. The problems are a complex intersection of, among many issues, affordability, capacity, poverty, wage growth and eviction. In a reporting collaborative, NPR member station WFDD (Winston-Salem) recently produced three stories about the challenges facing urban centers.

Robert Mueller is the latest in a long line of Federal Prosecutors who have played critical roles in American political history.
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Robert Mueller is part of a long line of special prosecutors in American history. Scholars point to the Ulysses S. Grant administration as the first to recognize that the U.S. Department of Justice might not be the most reliable entity to investigate a sitting president.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers made impassioned speeches at the General Assembly on Wednesday over a controversial social bill.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

A test of divided government played out this week at the General Assembly, where Republicans failed to override a veto from Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers in the North Carolina House and Senate are negotiating the state budget. The primary differences in the spending plans approved by each chamber include the amounts allocated for teacher and state employee raises, cost of living adjustments for state retirees and education.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Updated 5:03 p.m.

North Carolina Republican leaders failed on Wednesday to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of legislation that would have created a new crime against doctors and nurses who fail to care for an infant delivered during an unsuccessful abortion.

Lyft already flashes its purple sign. Other ride sharing companies might soon have to follow suit.
Courtesy of Lyft

North Carolina lawmakers are interested in placing new rules upon ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft so users feel safer and know when drivers are legitimate.

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

Gov. Roy Cooper has signed into law altered rules on how student and government employee identification cards can qualify as voter IDs, which are required for casting ballots in North Carolina elections starting next year.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Republican state senators have made a habit in recent years of including notable policy within it's budget.

In our weekly review of state politics Becki Gray, of the John Locke Foundation, and Rob Schofield, of NC Policy Watch, discuss the latest Senate maneuvering as they review this week in the political world, while they also consider whether impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump should begin.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

State senators reversed course on their plan to eliminate half the staff of North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley on Friday. Lawmakers voted 46-0 to amend their own budget and restore funding to her six-member staff.

Zhou Fengsuo was a top university student when the first protests broke out in the heart of the ancient imperial city of Beijing, set off by the death of reformist leader Hu Yaobang in April 1989.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

There were plenty of political happenings in Raleigh and Washington this week.

Meredith College Political Science Professor David McLennan joins the WUNCPolitics Podcast to discuss Bob Mueller's press conference, a census citizen question, and some of the specifics from a state Senate budget proposal.

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave his first public statement Wednesday since the release of his report into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His main message: Read the report. Beyond that, he highlighted that charging a sitting president with a crime “was not an option.”

Jen Schradie's book cover
Courtesy of Harvard University Press

Online movements accompanying major protests like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street made people optimistic that digital activism could level the playing field and fuel a new generation of political activism. Some pundits thought the internet would be the great equalizer — giving all perspectives equal weight and access.

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby / Flickr

Updated May 31, 2019 | 1:37 p.m.

Negotiations between legislative budget-writers now begin in earnest after the Senate completed voting on its version of a two-year spending plan for North Carolina government.

Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) detailed some of the chamber's state budget plan on Tuesday, May. 28, 2019.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Updated at 2:38 p.m.

Senate Republicans have released a proposed North Carolina government budget that emphasizes state employee salary increases and puts more in reserves than a similar spending bill from House counterparts.

Speaker of the House Tim Moore (left) converses with Representative Nelson Dollar (right) during a break on debate of the state budget at the State Capitol on June 21, 2017.
Matt Couch / WUNC

The North Carolina General Assembly's Republican leadership has been holding up a vote on Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the "Born Alive" bill. Republican House Speaker Tim Moore said he will continue to do so until he thinks his party has rallied enough veto-override votes.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Josh Stein became the 50th attorney general of North Carolina in January 2017. The Wake County Democrat has taken a more proactive role than his predecessor, both sparring and collaborating, with the Republican led legislature.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order Thursday, extending paid parental leave to the nearly 56,000 employees at cabinet agencies, departments and boards or commissions under his authority.

a black-and-white photo of men on the Watergate Committee, including Rufus Edmisten
Associated Press / AP

Rufus Edmisten cut his teeth in the political world as counsel to former U.S. Sen. Samuel Ervin Jr. Ervin was the chairman of what is commonly known as the Watergate Committee, and Edmisten played a key role in that committee’s work as well.

Raja Sambasivan / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/tracerbullet999/5825323478/

Twenty-one states extend in-state tuition to either undocumented immigrants or beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Legislation proposed by state Democrats would make North Carolina the 22nd state to offer that tuition rate, but Republican support is an unlikely prospect.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Hurricane Matthew caused nearly $5 billion in damages across half the state's 100 counties and forced 4,000 evacuees into shelters. But missteps by an executive agency have delayed distribution of all but 3% of more than $236 million in federal Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery, or CDBG-DR, funds.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

This week, the executive director of the State Board of Elections was fired.

Becki Gray, of the John Locke Foundation, and Rob Schofield, of NC Policy Watch, discuss whether the political ousting was par for the course or an unseemly maneuver.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Significant changes are coming to the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

On Monday, the Democratic board voted to fire its executive director, a Republican appointee. The decision to oust Kim Strach - who has led successful investigations of Democrats and Republicans during her time at the board - was met with notable criticism.

It also led to the resignation of the board's General Counsel Josh Lawson, who is stepping down at the end of the month. Lawson discusses his decision to walk away on this week's episode of the WUNC Politics Podcast.

Bill Herndon / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wrherndon/4588634635

Earlier this week Alabama’s governor signed into law an effective ban on abortion in the state. Other states, like Missouri, Louisiana and Ohio are also moving in a similar direction.

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