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NC Politics Review: Stealth Voting, A Bellwether Election & A Judge Who Fought For Innocence

Lake sits at his desk.
(AP Photo/Karen Tam, File)
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In this Jan. 10, 2006, file photo, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake sits at this desk in Raleigh, N.C., as he talks about his years as Chief Justice. Lake, a conservative North Carolina chief justice who led the way for the state

Former North Carolina State Supreme Court Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. died Thursday at age 85. Known as a law and order conservative who sometimes wore his pistol in court, Lake spearheaded the Actual Innoncence Commission which gave birth to North Carolina’s Innocence Inquiry Commission and helped make the state a leader in overturning wrongful convictions.

WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii joins host Frank Stasio to talk about Lake’s legacy. Political scientist Michael Bitzer joins the conversation to share analysis of Lake’s impact on the state’s criminal justice system. Bitzer is a professor of politics and history at Catawba College.

They also share their analysis of a tumultuous week North Carolina politics.Tasked with completely redrawing state legislative maps in two weeks, legislators reportedly used a lottery machine to decide which maps to work from, and the spectacle was live streamed. But things got even stranger on Wednesday when House Republicans held a stealth and unexpected vote to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto. Democrats were told there would be no morning voting, so many were at 9/11 commemoration events. This trickery has prompted an outcry by Democrats with one national news outlet declaring democracy dead in North Carolina.

The state also wrapped up special elections in the 3rd and 9th Congressional Districts resulting in two new Republican legislators. Tiberii and Bitzer break down these stories and analyze voter turnout.

Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.