Politics & Government

Politics & Government
4:46 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Republican U.S. Senatorial Primary Candidates Face A Tough Race

This evening, four of the Republican candidates in the U.s. Senate race will square off in their first televised debate, held at Davidson College just outside Charlotte. They are:

  • state Speaker of the House Thom Tillis,
  • Baptist Pastor Mark Harris
  • Tea Party-backed obstetrician, Greg Brannon
  • Army veteran Heather Grant.

The crowded field in this race could make for a complicated election.

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Politics & Government
1:44 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Six Democrats Seeking Nomination To Replace Watt In Gerrymandered 12th District

(From left to right): Marcus Brandon, Curtis Osborne, Alma Adams, Malcolm Graham, Rajiv Patel and George Battle are seeking the Democratic nomination in the 12th Congressional District.
Credit Jeff Tiberii

The primary is now two weeks away. In the 12th Congressional District, half a dozen democratic candidates are campaigning to replace Mel Watt. He was appointed head of the Federal Housing authority in January, leaving an open seat in the U.S. House.

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The State of Things
11:55 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Meet The Candidates: North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District

District 2 in North Carolina

As the primary election draws near, Host Frank Stasio leads a series of conversations with candidates running to unseat Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in North Carolina's 2nd District. Ellmers declined to come on the program.

Conservative radio talk show host Frank Roche is challenging Ellmers in the Republican primary. Roche opposes Ellmers' views on immigration, which include a legal path to citizenship. He also hopes to buckle down on federal debt by repealing the Affordable Care Act and limiting other entitlement programs. 

Republican congressional candidate Frank Roche

And on the other side of the aisle, candidates Clay AikenKeith Crisco and Toni Morris compete in the Democratic primary.

Aiken is best known for his appearance on American Idol and subsequent singing career, but he is also an advocate for special needs children. Frustrated with political gridlock, Aiken pledges to use his status as an independent outsider to encourage legislators to reach across party lines.

Democratic congressional candidate Clay Aiken

Democrat Keith Crisco is a retired businessman who spent most of his career as the president and chairman of Asheboro Elastics Corporation. He also served as North Carolina's commerce secretary for four years under Governor Bev Perdue. He hopes to focus attention on addressing issues of unemployment and the state of the North Carolina economy.





Democratic Congressional candidate Keith Crisco

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Politics & Government
10:13 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Food Deserts: NC Lawmakers Want More People To Know About Healthful Eating, Take More Action

State lawmakers want to bring better access to fresh foods to areas known as food deserts
Credit Deep Roots Coop

A committee from the North Carolina House of Representatives spent four months looking into how to address food deserts across the state.  Monday afternoon they made their proposals: to expand education about healthy eating and exercising habits across the state and to start a joint committee with members of the senate to continue looking at how to address the problem.

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Politics & Government
5:01 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

The Race To Replace Coble: 'It's A Wonderful Chance For A Republican' Says One Analyst

It was a small audience at a forum for 6th Congressional candidates at UNC-Greensboro last week.
Credit Jeff Tiberi

Early voting for begins this Thursday and candidates for federal, state and local offices are making a final push leading up to the May 6th primary. In the 6th Congressional District a crowded field of conservative hopefuls is vying for the republican nomination.

Early voting for begins this Thursday and candidates for federal, state and local offices are making a final push leading up to the May 6th primary.

In the Republican leaning 6th Congressional District a crowded field of conservative hopefuls is vying for the republican nomination to replace 83-year-old Howard Coble, who is retiring later this year.

When Coble was first elected to the US Congress, North Carolina had about 60 percent fewer residents. That's about four million people. You could still smoke on planes. Michael Jordan was a rookie with the Chicago Bulls.

The long-time incumbent is stepping aside leaving a significant vacancy. 

"This is a wonderful chance, the seat is open - well it's a wonderful chance for a Republican at least. It's a good year for Republicans. If you get the nomination for your party you're going to be in Congress. And once you're in Congress there is a good chance you can stay there," said Charles Prysby is a Political Science Professor at UNC-Greensboro.

Meeting the public

Some of the men campaigning for the 6th Congressional seat were in an old lecture hall on campus at UNCG last week. At the start of the forum there were fewer than 20 people in the audience. The forum featured four Republicans and a Democrat,.

Students asked questions and the conversation flowed from education to climate change, the war on drugs to minimum wage and touched briefly on foreign policy.

"It's surprising that you don't have more what I would call high quality Republican candidates," Prysby said.

He says a common path to Congress is first working as a state legislator. None of the candidates in the 6th have any experience in the General Assembly. By comparison, three candidates in the race for the open 12th congressional seat are current state legislators.

"Experienced candidates, people who have had elected office. So this is not a reflection on the inherent quality of some of the people - they may be absolutely wonderfully people. But of the nine Republicans I think only three have held elected office," added Prysby. 

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The State of Things
1:00 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Political Junkie Ken Rudin On May Primaries

Ken Rudin
Credit kenrudinpolitics.com

Outside money continues to flow into the Senate race in the Tarheel State. Republican Thom Tillis faces challenges on the airwaves as  incumbent Kay Hagan runs ads linking Tillis to sexual scandal. And the field for the 12th congressional district is large. The race for the seat long held by Mel Watt includes six democrats and two republicans. Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the House and Senate races. 

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Politics & Government
5:24 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

State Health Officials Predict Medicaid Shortfall Smaller Than Previous Years

Credit Credit NC General Assembly

Officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services say they still expect a Medicaid shortfall of between $120- and $140-million this year. They spoke before state lawmakers today in a committee meeting at the General Assembly.

They first predicted a shortfall of this size about three weeks ago, and it's less than budget overruns of previous years. Republican Representative Nelson Dollar of Cary says that's good news.

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Politics & Government
1:56 am
Thu April 17, 2014

John Edwards Resumes Career As Trial Attorney

John Edwards leaves a federal courthouse during his trial on charges of campaign corruption in 2012.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 9:27 am

Former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has returned to a North Carolina courtroom to help represent a 4-year-old Virginia boy in a medical malpractice case.

Edwards is one of three attorneys representing the parents and guardians of a boy with brain damage and physical injuries they say occurred in December 2009.

In 2012, Edwards faced six felony charges in a case involving nearly $1 million provided by two wealthy political donors to help hide his pregnant mistress Rielle Hunter as he sought the White House in 2008.

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Politics & Government
5:20 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

NC Governor Lauds State's Tax Overhaul To 'Build North Carolina's Future'

Credit NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory held a press conference today to celebrate a new report suggesting the state's economy is benefiting from tax cuts enacted last year.

The conservative American Legislative Exchange Council's "Rich States, Poor States" report ranks North Carolina sixth in the nation for its economic outlook.

McCrory says lowering corporate income taxes in particular has encouraged companies to move to the state.

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Politics & Government
3:51 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

'Nobody Should Die In North Carolina Because Race Played A Role In Getting The Death Sentence'

Credit Flickr.com

Monday afternoon, the state Supreme Court heard the cases of four former death row prisoners whose sentences were commuted to life in prison under the Racial Justice Act.

State lawmakers repealed the Racial Justice Act last year. That act allowed death row inmates to use statistical evidence of racial bias to challenge their sentences. The cases heard today are still pending.

Attorney Danielle Elder represented the state in court this morning. She and other prosecutors argue that a previous ruling was based on jury selection statistics that were too broad.

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