State Politics

Political news from around NC (and beyond).

An image of the book cover for 'We Hold These Truths'
Project Z Books

In 2008, writer David Mitchell watched with the rest of the country as Barack Obama became the first African-American elected president. While Mitchell’s friends were optimistic, he was skeptical. He saw the election as a historic movement but was wary of how it would change American politics.
 

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

In his first five days in office, President Donald Trump has signed several executive orders, including a directive to build a wall on the Mexican border and a measure designed to begin the repeal of Obamacare. 

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Legislators filed  dozens of bills on the first day back since session officially opened, including a proposal to develop a plan to change how the state funds public schools.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

On this episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, Host Jeff Tiberii speaks with NPR Political Reporter Asma Khalid.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

As Donald Trump prepares to take his oath of office, he’ll preside over a divided nation. A recent Gallup poll found three-fourths of Americans believe the country is split over the most important values – the highest percentage ever.

WUNC and NPR host "A Nation Engaged: A Pre-Inuguration Conversation.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Phil Berger and Tim Moore were formally elected to leadership roles on a ceremonial opening day of the long legislative session at the General Assembly in Raleigh. Berger (R-Rockingham) has served as the Senate Pro Tem since 2011 while Moore (R-Cleveland) gets a second two-year term as Speaker of the House.

Composite photo of House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham).
NC General Assembly

State lawmakers return to Raleigh Wednesday for the ceremonial start of the long session.

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily halted special legislative elections in North Carolina.

A federal three-judge panel ruled last summer that 28 state legislative districts in North Carolina are unconstitutional. That ruling declared the seats illegal racial gerrymanders and ordered state lawmakers to redraw boundaries by March 15th, with special state elections to take place in November.

stack of money
Flickr user 401(K)2013

State legislatures are filled with white collar professionals – attorneys, business owners or career politicians – and fewer working-class professionals like teachers, laborers or service industry workers. This has led some reformers to suggest that if legislatures increased leaders' salaries, political office would become more accessible to middle- and working-class candidates.

Democratic governor-elect Roy Cooper
Logan Ulrich / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper will have one of the toughest jobs in politics in 2017, governing one of the most divided states in the country.

Democratic governor-elect Roy Cooper
Logan Ulrich / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper laid out his vision for North Carolina in an inaugural address Saturday morning.

He said he wants to expand Medicaid, focus on economic problems instead of social issues, and called on lawmakers and residents to rise above partisan politics.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Outside of the nation’s capitol, the epicenter for partisan bickering may just be Raleigh in 2017.

Courtesy of Dawn Sinclair Shapiro

For more than 70 years, programs around the United States forcibly sterilized tens of thousands of American citizens.

 Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Members of the Senate Armed Services committee met this morning to address cybersecurity and threats to the United States. President-elect Donald Trump denies any interference by Russians in his election. 

And new members of Congress took their oaths. What are the legislative goals for 2017?

Host Frank Stasio talks with Time Warner Cable News Washington Reporter Geoff Bennett talks about the inquiry and the latest political news from Capitol Hill.

Voting sign
Wikipedia Commons

A new report from the Electoral Integrity Project, based at Harvard University and the University of Sydney, indicates that North Carolina can no longer be considered a functioning democracy. 

Headshot of Roy Cooper
Courtesy of Roy Cooper

Governor Roy Cooper has made cabinet picks for the department of environmental quality and the department of transportation.

The new Democratic governor tapped Michael Regan to lead the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. Regan was most recently the Southeast regional coordinator for the Environmental Defense Fund. Before that, he worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under presidents Clinton and Bush from 1998 to 2008.

Ken Rudin
kenrudinpolitics.com

It has been a wild year in American politics. A crowded field of presidential hopefuls whittled to two candidates: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

After months on the campaign trail, Clinton won the popular vote by the largest margin in history but Trump received more Electoral College votes. Meanwhile, President Obama finishes his eight-year stint in the White House. What legacy will he leave? Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the year in politics.

NC students Miguel Rodriguez and Hunter Schafer at the North Carolina General Assembly urging lawmakers to repeal #HB2 on December 21, 2016.
Jess Clark / WUNC

A day after state officials failed to repeal North Carolina's House Bill 2, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts tells WUNC city officials do not have immediate plans to reinstate the city ordinance that led the General Assembly to pass the law in the first place.

The State of Things host Frank Stasio, NPR Political Correspondent Don Gonyea, and The State of Things managing editor Laura Lee
Anita Rao

As 2016 comes to a close, The State of Things staff go “behind the glass” and join host Frank Stasio to discuss their favorite shows of the year.

One of managing editor Laura Lee’s favorite segments was a conversation with Bill Leuchtenberg, professor emeritus at UNC-Chapel Hill, about his book on the U.S. presidency. She also highlights a conversation with UNC System President Margaret Spellings recorded on her first day in office.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

   Lawmakers are back in Raleigh for yet another special session​the fifth of the year.This time they reconvened to consider repeal of the controversial House Bill 2, commonly called “the bathroom bill.” The Charlotte City Council voted to repeal its non-discrimination ordinance on the condition that the legislature repeal HB2. Now it appears the House may not have the votes needed for a repeal. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii.​ 

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This week the General Assembly passed legislation to strip powers from the executive branch. Democratic lawmakers, and hundreds of angry protesters, said this was simply a power grab as a Republican governor is about to be replaced by a Democrat.

WUNC reporters Jeff Tiberii and Jess Clark spent many hours on Jones Street this week covering all the action. They got together in this week's WUNCPolitics Podcast to recap a wild week.

Protesters descended on the N.C. General Assembly Thursday evening.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

After an acrimonious day that led to protests and arrests, lawmakers are likely to give final approval Friday to bills that would remove executive powers.

On Thursday, hundreds of protesters gathered at the N.C. General Assembly to voice their opposition to these Republican policy proposals and chanted in unison, "Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame! Forward together, not one step back!"

Protests erupted Thursday at the N.C. General Assembly
Jess Clark / WUNC

Hundreds of protesters swamped the top floor of the General Assembly and interrupted House lawmakers during a special session Wednesday night. They were there to protest the surprise fourth special session called so late in the year by Republicans, as well as legislation that seeks to weaken incoming Democratic governor Roy Cooper.

Democratic governor-elect Roy Cooper
Logan Ulrich / WUNC

Governor-elect Roy Cooper fired back at Republican lawmakers Thursday in response to their attempts to limit his powers before he even enters office.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

A wild day at the North Carolina General Assembly began with bipartisan support for a $200 million disaster relief bill and ended with an unscheduled special session, dozens of new bills, and an effort to remove some authority from Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper.

In a chaotic scene of political theater, Republicans flexed their legislative muscles and proposed a series of provisions that would remove certain powers from the Executive Branch, including the Secretary of State and Governor. 

NC Legislative Building
Dave DeWitt

The North Carolina General Assembly meets this week in a special short session. Lame duck Governor Pat McCrory called the session to address disaster relief funding for victims of both Hurricane Matthew and the wildfires in the western part of the state.  
 

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State lawmakers will convene for yet another special session Wednesday afternoon. The fourth extra legislative gathering of 2016 follows a two-day effort to pass the Disaster Relief Act, a $201 million dollar funding bill to help victims of hurricane flooding and mountain wildfires.

protesters inside the General Assembly
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

UPDATED Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 7:05 p.m. The state House voted unanimously Tuesday night to pass their version of a disaster relief measure. The bill goes onto the Senate for further debate Wednesday.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State lawmakers will convene in Raleigh Tuesday to deal with disaster relief, but the agenda is open-ended.

Lame duck Republican Governor Pat McCrory called this gathering to deal with disaster relief stemming from Hurricane Matthew and mountain wildfires in western North Carolina, as well as “for the purpose of addressing any other matters the General Assembly elects to consider.”

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