Politics

Political news from around NC and beyond.

an eviction notice on a front door
Steve Rhodes / Creative Commons/http://bit.ly/2HmJ9nV

North Carolina is a hotspot in the nation’s eviction crisis. As of 2016, the state’s rate of evictions and eviction filings were nearly double national rates. New reporting shines a light on the specific problems in Durham County, where gentrification is pushing out long-time residents and advocates say the city is in a time of crisis.

Dan Bishop with a microphone in his hand
Chuck Burton / AP

State Sen. Dan Bishop of Mecklenburg County won Tuesday’s Republican primary election for the 9th Congressional District. Bishop beat out nine other candidates with 47.7 percent of the vote.

 In this May 7, 2019, photo, Dan Bishop answers a question during a debate among Republican candidates for the 9th Congressional District, in Monroe, N.C.
Chuck Burton / AP

State Sen. Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) beat out nine other candidates in Tuesday's Republican primary in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Republicans are deciding who should carry their party's banner in a high-profile special election Tuesday for a North Carolina congressional seat that has remained vacant since last year's election was deemed tainted by fraud.

The State Board of Elections has chosen Karen Brinson Bell as the next executive director starting June 1.
Courtesy of the State Board of Elections

North Carolina's Democratic-led elections board will have a new chief administrator.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch discuss what policy did, and did not, move this week at the General Assembly.

In February, Senator Thom Tillis wrote an op-ed saying that he would vote against President Trump’s planned emergency declaration for money to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. 

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

Thursday marked the crossover deadline in the North Carolina General Assembly: a moment at which bills must receive approval from either chamber or likely remain dormant until the next cycle.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

It was a relatively anticlimactic, non-controversial week at the General Assembly where lawmakers completed the biennial self-imposed exercise of crossover.

The Bladen County Board of Elections
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Bladen County was ground zero for the vote tampering scandal that led to a new election in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

A 3-2 majority of the state elections board ruled in favor of Republican Jody Greene on Monday, ordering the Columbus County Board of Elections to certify Greene's 37-vote victory in the 2018 county sheriff's race over Democratic incumbent Lewis Hatcher.

The chambers of the NC State House
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

State lawmakers engaged in some self-induced chaos as part of the biennial exercise of ‘crossover’ this week.

The legislative deadline known as crossover is an arbitrary parliamentary deadline during which bills must receive approval from one chamber and have crossed over to the other chamber, or be relegated to the legislative dumpster.

President Trump escalated the trade fight with China this week, saying he will steeply increase tariffs on Chinese products this Friday.

But while the White House projects a unified front in favor of wielding tariffs as a weapon against China, it wasn't always this way.

Early in Trump's presidency, close advisers fought bitterly over whether tariffs would help — or devastate — the U.S. economy, those advisers told NPR and the PBS show Frontline.

Updated at 2:59 p.m. ET

The House Judiciary Committee signaled Monday morning that it would begin contempt proceedings against Attorney General William Barr this week.

The committee is planning to emphasize the attorney general's refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena demanding the full, unredacted Mueller report.

A vote on whether to hold Barr in contempt will be scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, but the committee said that it could postpone the proceedings if the Justice Department responded to its subpoena.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Education was top of mind in Raleigh this week. There was a major teacher rally, as well as the passage of a House spending plan.

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch discuss highlights - and lowlights - from this budget proposal, while also offering reactions to the educators who demonstrated at the legislature.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Republicans in the House are moving forward with their version of the state budget. Teachers and supporters who took to the streets in protest over funding were disappointed that the proposal did not meet their demands. Gov. Roy Cooper was also left wanting; now questions have arisen over whether he would veto a budget that does not provide for Medicaid expansion. 

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Thousands of teachers gathered outside the General Assembly this week to call on lawmakers to improve resources, funding, and student support.

Meanwhile lawmakers inside the legislature gave approval to a House budget. WUNC politics reporter Rusty Jacobs discusses the #Red4Ed rally, some of the details from the spending plan, as well as his former life as an actor.

Motorcycle helmet
Flickr

House members have voted down another effort to make helmets optional for people 21 and over riding on motorcycles in North Carolina, with concerns and costs of head injuries winning out over arguments of choice.

Photo courtesy of Katherine Goldstein

Working mothers have a lot stacked against them. From insufficient parental leave to workplace culture that penalizes family time, moms often find it extremely challenging to get ahead professionally while raising kids. In politics, the barriers are even more daunting. Young moms on the campaign trail are routinely asked about their ability to manage family and political life and field questions about their commitment to issues beyond kids and schools. 

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Two physicians advanced Tuesday to a Republican runoff in the special election to succeed the late U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr. The last candidate standing from the 17-member GOP field ultimately will take on a former North Carolina mayor who won the Democratic primary.

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr declined to appear before a hearing scheduled on Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee following hours of sometimes tough back-and-forth on Wednesday in the Senate.

The chairman of the House panel, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said that Barr was risking a contempt of Congress citation and that he would go ahead with his planned hearing — with an empty witness chair if necessary.

At an early voting site in Pitt County, voters were greeted with signs from some of the 17 GOP candidates seeking the nomination.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Early primary voting concluded Friday in the special election for North Carolina’s Third Congressional seat, made vacant when longtime U.S. House Rep. Walter Jones died in February. More than two dozen candidates are vying to serve the district, which sprawls across much of the coastal plains region, in the upcoming Tuesday primary.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Republican voters in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District face a tall task this spring. They must select a nominee from a crowded primary field with barely any time to get to know each candidate.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This week on the podcast, our focus turns to two special congressional elections underway in the state. North Carolina's Ninth District was marred in an absentee election fraud scandal and November's apparent winner was never certified.

Joe Biden
Jeff Tiberii

With the release of the Mueller report, some Democrats are calling for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. Several Democratic presidential candidates have gone on record to say they support impeachment including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

While state lawmakers were on a spring break for most of the week, snippets of the House spending plan have started to emerge.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

After months of oscillating speculation, followed by a long ramp up that drew out uncomfortable reassessments of his long public career, former Vice President Joe Biden has announced that he will run for president in 2020.

How Would Jesus Vote?

Apr 24, 2019

For most of the last 40 years, the notion that one's Christian beliefs should guide one's voting has largely been promoted by conservative Republicans.

Two Republican presidential candidates from that period — Pat Robertson and Mike Huckabee — are former Southern Baptist preachers and one, Ted Cruz, is the son of a conservative evangelical pastor. All three on repeated occasions tied the Christian vote to the Republican cause.

A sample ballot for the 2018 midterm elections
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers has introduced a bill designed to crack down on absentee ballot fraud.

Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper issued his first veto of the calendar year, and a leading Republican figure announced he will walk away from his post. Becki Gray and Rob Schofield discuss the Governor's veto of a late-term abortion measure, as well as the departure of Dallas Woodhouse, during their weekly review of state politics.  Other topics include two new Court of Appeal judges, and a major teacher rally in the planning stages.

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