State Politics

Political news from around NC (and beyond).

President Obama brought his message of affordable education for all to the Tar Heel State as part of a day-long college tour.

Gurnal Scott: University of North Carolina juniors Maria Rodriguez, Emalyn Penn and Mariella Albarado sat together at UNC's Carmichael Arena hoping for specific words to come from the President.

Maria Rodriguez: I want to hear him say that there are going to be cheap student loans. That's exactly what I want to hear him say.

A proposed amendment to the North Carolina constitution would define marriage between one man and one woman as the only valid or recognized domestic legal union in the state. Opponents of the amendment claim its wording would put certain protections and benefits at risk for all unmarried couples and their children. Among them: child custody and visitation rights.

Bob Etheridge
bobetheridgeforgovernor.com

There are three main Democratic candidates in the race to become North Carolina’s governor. Yesterday we heard from State House Representative Bill Faison, who says his priority is jobs. But the subject of today’s story is focused on education. Bob Etheridge is a former U.S. Congressman who also served as the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction for seven years.

Jessica Jones: Bob Etheridge was born at home in Turkey, North Carolina, as the first of five children. He says neither his mother nor his father finished high school.

John Edwards
Photo: Jeff Tiberii

The testimony of a former John Edwards aide is expected to continue today at the Federal Courthouse in Greensboro.

Opponents of a proposed amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage and civil unions say the measure is written too broadly. Among the effects they claim it could have is the invalidation of domestic violence protections for unmarried couples. Amendment supporters call that a scare tactic.

Bill Faison
billfaison.com

There are three main candidates vying to become the state’s Democratic nominee for governor. For the next three days, WUNC will profile each of those candidates seeking to hold the state’s highest office. Today we hear from Bill Faison, a state representative who’s a successful plaintiffs’ attorney.

John Edwards
Jeff Tiberii

The final phase of jury selection as well as opening arguments are expected today in the John Edwards Trial.

Shirley Sherrod
Leoneda Inge

There is still a long way to go to make up for all the home foreclosures that besieged the country during the past five years.  But there is one home delivery model that has beaten the odds.  Reports show Community Land Trusts across the United States continue to have substantially lower delinquency and foreclosure rates than home owners in the conventional market.  A national gathering of community development leaders met in Durham this week to take a closer look at Community Land Trusts. 

North Carolina’s 13th congressional district is shaping up as one of the most contentious races on the May 8 primary ballot. Two of the candidates, Paul Coble and George Holding, are fighting over who is more conservative.

Dave DeWitt: Paul Coble is no stranger to running for elected office. The one-term mayor of Raleigh and current chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners has run nine times. He says his experience should count.

State Democratic Party chairman David Parker addressed allegation of sexual harassment against the party's former Executive Director. Parker won't resign but is calling for an early election of a new chair.

A final debate between the leading Democrats seeking to become Governor was held last night. Gurnal Scott reports a question about the marriage amendment on the ballot gave voters a clearer picture of where they stand on this divisive issue.

Paul Coble and George Holding are waging a fierce battle for the Republican nod in the 13th Congressional District. The District extends from North Raleigh through the rural counties north of the Triangle. It was re-drawn by the State Legislature and went from a safe Democratic seat to one that is likely to become Republican. The two men leading the race for the seat are very similar.

Dave DeWitt: Coble and Holding are so alike, in fact, they even share the exact same three political heroes.

The three top Democrats in the race for Governor squared off again last night. UNC TV hosted the second of three nights of debates. Gurnal Scott reports on the issue that two of the candidates hoped would separate them from the third.

John Edwards
Jeff Tiberii

The judge in the John Edwards case questioned potential jurors today.

North Carolina’s 13th congressional district is up for grabs this election season. Incumbent democrat Brad Miller was re-districted out of the 13th by Republicans in the State Legislature. The district now leans Republican and that has created a contentious battle in advance of the primary.

Official Amendment Language And Explanation

Apr 17, 2012

Official language and explanation of the proposed amendment to the North Carolina Constitution from the State Board of Elections:

The 2011 General Assembly approved a measure (Session Law 2011-409) that would put language into the North Carolina Constitution related to legally recognized marriages in the state.

The proposed amendment to Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution would add a new section, to be called Section 6. It would read as follows:

The Democratic frontrunners for Governor are working to distinguish themselves from one another before early voting begins later this week. Gurnal Scott looks at one issue where these men stood apart in last night's debate.

Yesterday we heard from a volunteer who belongs to the main advocacy group working to pass a constitutional amendment barring gay marriage and civil unions on the May 8th ballot. Yesterday’s profile focused on one man’s belief that the state constitution should follow the Bible when it comes to same-sex marriage. Today’s profile features a middle-aged mother of two who says she opposes the measure because she understands how discrimination feels.

The three main Democratic candidates for governor will debate each other on television for the next three nights.

Kevin Daniels
Jessica Jones

A few weeks from now, North Carolinians will go to the polls to decide whether to add an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and banning civil unions. State law already defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, but proponents of the measure called Amendment One, saying it would be an additional safeguard to protect traditional unions. In the first of a two-part series profiling volunteers for and against the amendment, Jessica Jones introduces us to one who's for it.

A proposed amendment to the North Carolina constitution banning gay marriage and civil unions is just two sentences. But opponents of the measure say if voters approve it on May 8th, protections and benefits for unmarried couples and their children could be jeopardized. As part of our series examining the arguments over Amendment One, Isaac-Davy Aronson looks at whether a few words could change so much.

John Edwards
Jeff Tiberii

Jury selection has begun in the criminal trial of former North Carolina senator John Edwards.

Tomorrow is the deadline for voter registration for the May eighth primary election here in North Carolina. It's also the last day for voters to change their party affiliation.

Jury Selection begins today in the trial of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

A national non-profit group called Americans Elect is working across the country to gain ballot access for the 2012 presidential election. Today the group filed a petition of more than 120-thousand signatures with North Carolina's State Election Board. If certified, Americans Elect will get a line on the November ballot. Dagny Leonard is a spokeswoman for the group.

Four Republicans hope to do with the office of Lieutenant Governor what their party did for both houses of the General Assembly two years ago: take it away from the Democrats. Gurnal Scott reports as part of our series on the primary election campaigns.

Voter Information for the May 8 Primary

Apr 10, 2012

April 13 is the deadline to register to vote in the May 8 Primary. Check your voter registration status and register to vote here.

One-stop absentee voting for the May 8 Primary begins April 19. Find one-stop voting sites here.

Find the State Board of Elections' Primary Voter Guide here.

State officials say they have a plan to close a huge shortfall in North Carolina's Medicaid budget.

The United States is home to 21 Canadian consular and trade offices. That doesn’t include the embassy in Washington, DC.  But budget talks are underway in Ottawa to trim that number.  And the casualties could be the smaller, satellite trade offices in cities like Raleigh.  North Carolina officials and business leaders are frowning at the idea of losing the Raleigh office at a time when federal and state governments are pushing to expand exports and create jobs. 

Three North Carolina courthouses could be closed as a cost cutting measure.

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