Politics & Government

Political news

An image of author Willie Drye
Doward Jones

Florida is the third largest state in the U.S. and gets millions of tourists each year. But back in the early 1900s, the state was mostly undeveloped swampland and had quite a different reputation.

During the Roaring ‘20s, the Sunshine State experienced a huge land boom due to the work of entrepreneurs, movie stars and scoundrels, and began to attract wealthy entrepreneurs and eager vacationers. 

Allen County Public Library via Flickr

The U.S. Department of Justice has notified Governor Pat McCrory that House Bill 2 violates Title IX of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, potentially jeopardizing millions in federal funding for public schools.

The department, in a letter signed Wednesday, gave state officials until Monday to respond confirming whether or not they will comply with their advisory. If the department’s opinion is upheld by the courts, North Carolina could lose federal school funding for violation of Title IX, which bars discrimination in education based on gender.

Greensboro skyline
creative commons

North Carolina's House Bill 2 eliminates local anti-discrimination ordinances for the LGBT community. One municipality that lost its protections is Greensboro.

The city council passed a measure last year that included sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as categories of protection in its fair housing and city services ordinance, but the new and controversial law known as HB2 preempts such measures, and does not include LGBT people in the statewide anti-discrimination policy. 

On this episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast we look at the political will and strategizing surrounding HB2. Will voters get a chance to vote on an HB2 referendum this fall? And a conversation about how North Carolina’s “hybrid” General Assembly – made up of part-time lawmakers - compares to other states, and how that drives who serves as legislators and what kinds of issues they are most likely to take up.

NC General Assembly
Jorge Valencia

A powerful Senate Republican floated the idea of letting voters decide the fate of House Bill 2, while lawmakers began the protracted budget debate in Raleigh on Wednesday.

General Assembly
Dave DeWitt

A federal district court judge upheld North Carolina's voter identification measures in a 485 page decision issued yesterday.

sembly building as the House and Senate adjourned.
Jess Clark

It was a bustling first day back at the General Assembly with multiple protests, a national media presence, and legislative efforts to reverse a controversial measure that was passed last month during a special session.

Lawmakers from across the state convened in Raleigh Monday for the start of the short legislative session. Policymakers are tasked primarily with reworking the budget during odd-year sessions, however, with the spotlight on the state's new so called "bathroom bill" the fiscal agenda is not the top story on Jones St.

Flickr/Washington State House


Governor Pat McCrory announced his $22.3 billion proposed budget plan this morning, which represents a 2.8 percent increase in total state spending. He shared key provisions of his proposal, like an average 5 percent pay increase for teachers, but he will not release his full, detailed budget proposal until next week.

Donald Trump
Greg Richter / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has weighed in against North Carolina's controversial discrimination law.

Photo: Senate Leader Phil Berger, a Republican from Rockingham County
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) stood by North Carolina’s new controversial law on Wednesday, brushing aside any serious consideration to the governor’s request to reverse one of the legislation’s key provisions.

Welcome to the first-ever WUNC Politics podcast. It's a freeform roundtable conversation devoted to the political happenings inside the hallways of the Legislature and around the state.

Managing Editor Dave DeWitt leads the conversation, which includes insight and analysis from Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii, Capitol Reporter Jorge Valencia, and Jess Clark, Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie

The backlash over House Bill 2 continues as Governor Pat McCrory signs an executive order purported to modify the law. Opponents say the measure remains discriminatory and must be repealed.

Will the legislature act in the short session to change the law? And what effect will the controversy have on the campaign cycle?

Plus, Clinton and Sanders get heated in a CNN debate. The democrats continue to battle for the nomination as Cruz and Trump maintain their leads in the GOP race.

Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest.


Gov. Pat McCrory nominated retiered Charlotte Police officer Rob Schurmeir to lead the State Bureau of Investigation.
Jorge Valencia

Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday nominated a 30-year veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to head the State Bureau of Investigation, seeking to fill the position after the former director abruptly resigned early this year.

An image of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton
AP images

The presidential election campaign is littered with claims from candidates about the economy, health care and immigration.

Claims on topics like climate change continue to be politicized, yet candidates are talking about these issues more. But with an increase in discussion comes a need to check facts.

Photo: Hundreds of supporters of the controversial House Bill 2 gathered outside the state capitol building on Monday.
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Hundreds of supporters of the controversial North Carolina law that prevents cities from expanding rights for gay and transgender people gathered outside the state capitol building on Monday, cheering Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican legislators who wrote the law.

Bruce Springsteen
Shore Fire Media - Antonio Rossi

Rock legend Bruce Springsteen canceled his Sunday show in Greensboro, citing his opposition to House Bill 2, the controversial new North Carolina law that bars LGBT people from discrimination protections.

In Our Son's Name

When Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez lost their son Greg on September 11, 2001, they felt extreme sadness, grief, and fear for the future of their family.

But they also felt a lot of dread about how the U.S. government might react and what kind of international upheaval would occur in light of the attacks.


Gov. McCrory Office

Two weeks after announcing plans to open a new global operations center in Charlotte, PayPal has announced it will move the facility to another state.

Greensboro skyline
Scott Moore, Flickr, Creative Commons

Approximately 1,000 people gathered in Greensboro on Sunday to protest a controversial new law passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.

Participants voiced their opposition to HB2. Gov. McCrory signed the bill into law immediately following its passage. The measure addresses a bathroom ordinance passed by the Charlotte City Council, but it has other provisions that hinder the ability of municipalities to prevent discrimination.

NC General Assembly
Jorge Valencia

North Carolina has been the epicenter of a national controversy for more than a week, after state lawmakers convened a special session to undo a Charlotte ordinance aimed at providing protections to people who are transgender. The General Assembly enacted legislation that superseded that local ordinance, and also went further in scope.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie

The backlash against North Carolina's House Bill 2 continues.

Protesters in Chapel Hill shut down Franklin St. this week in opposition of the law that leaves LGBT people out of the state's non-discrimination policy.

Gov. Pat McCrory has taken the lead in defending the law, claiming it protects public safety.

Meanwhile, the chair of the North Carolina Republican Party, Hasan Harnett, says the rift between himself and the state party's leadership could cause chaos in the GOP primary. 

Hope Mills Dam after the replacement failed in 2010.
gerrydincher / Wikipedia

Hope Mills began work on a new dam this week. It's been 13 years since the original earthen dam washed out, taking Hope Mills Lake with it.

Mayor Jackie Warner called Thursday's groundbreaking "very exciting."

"It's been a determined and sort of a impatient wait just to get to where we are today because everybody wanted water sooner."

Under past leadership, the town hired inexperienced contractors to build a replacement dam in 2008, and it failed just two years later. Hope Mills won $9.4 million in a settlement.

Anthony Foxx
Bz3rk, Creative Commons

U.S. Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx is pushing for a federal highway policy that meets the country's transportation needs while considering the impacts on communities.

Demonstrators gathered on Franklin Street to protest House Bill 2.
Jessa O'Connor

Amid national criticism over the law that restricts anti-discrimination protection, McCrory says he's willing to "make this bill better."

Theresa Thompson / Creative Commons/Flickr

Young people are voting in record numbers, and they're getting encouragement from school systems and voter advocacy organizations.

More than 3,600 Wake County high school students have registered to vote this school year. The school district's voter registration coordinator Abby Stotsenberg says that's three times as many students as registered last year.