State Politics

Political news from around NC (and beyond).

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.

The City of Raleigh has agreed to begin a pilot program to focus on the growing “Walk Raleigh” movement.

Leoneda Inge:  Yesterday, the Raleigh City Council “sanctioned” nearly 30 street signs secretly posted by Matt Tomasulo.  Tomasulo and his “Walk Raleigh” campaign was featured last month on a special segment aired on the BBC.

Matt Tomasulo:  The general idea is to help people discover how many minutes it is to walk somewhere by foot as opposed to how many miles it might be for somebody to drive.

First Lady Michelle Obama
First Lady's Office

The Obamas are spending a lot of time in North Carolina as the Democratic National Convention draws near. 

Leoneda Inge:  First Lady Michelle Obama was in the state for several events yesterday, mixed with Democratic fundraisers. Yesterday, Mrs. Obama met with active military personnel and their families in Raleigh.  The First Lady ended the day in Charlotte meeting with school children to promote her “Let’s Move” fitness campaign.  She also helped celebrate the 100th anniversary of the CIAA, the oldest African American athletic conference in the country.

A judge has permanently removed Durham's district attorney from her post.

After several delays the criminal trial against former North Carolina Senator John Edwards is expected to begin in April.

State lawmakers are continuing a series of committee meetings on immigration. Representatives of the home building, construction and farming industries spoke to lawmakers today.

Residents along the coast are getting a reprieve from ferry toll increases. Governor Bev Perdue has issued an executive order to delay the new tolls that were set to go into effect in April.

Dave DeWitt: The State Legislature last year told the Department of Transportation to generate $5 million in new revenue by increasing or charging new tolls on ferries. People who live in and around the ferries at Bayview, Cedar Island, Cherry Branch, Southport and Swan Quarter spoke out against the tolls.

As the ad wars escalate in the GOP primary race, North Carolina congressman David Price is proposing a requirement that Super PAC donors be identified in the political ads they fund.

The Triangle Democrat says the Supreme Court made a terrible decision in the "Citizens United" case, which allows unlimited corporate and union money to flow into political ads. Price says a new Supreme Court or a constitutional amendment will be needed to overturn that decision.

Joe Biden
Jeff Tiberii

Vice President Joe Biden stopped in the Triad today to stress the importance of community colleges.

Jeff Tiberii: Inside the gymnasium at Davidson County Community College Vice President Biden spoke to about 500 people in front of a Blue banner reading “An America Built To Last”. The Vice President spoke as part of a tour highlighting President Barack Obama's budget pitch to fund community colleges and local businesses working together. He said completing a two-year program has cumulative benefits.

Lavonza Holliman
Leoneda Inge

Young adults came out in droves to support President Barack Obama in 2008. But early poll numbers show the youth vote is not as strong this time around. To help get young voters to the polls, the Obama re-election campaign hosted a national HBCU Student Summit last night at North Carolina Central University in Durham. The “Greater Together” initiative uses social media to try to get young voters to volunteer and register to vote.

Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton has officially announced his campaign for governor.

Jessica Jones: Dalton kicked off his campaign in a refurbished warehouse in downtown Durham. Mayor Bill Bell introduced Dalton before an enthusiastic crowd of supporters and some state lawmakers. The lieutenant governor says the city's drive to restore old buildings to make space for new businesses and industries symbolizes what the state needs to do to succeed.

Staff members from President Barak Obama’s re-election campaign are in Durham today. They’re meeting with hundreds of students for a national summit at North Carolina Central University.

Leoneda Inge:  The “Greater Together” National HBCU Student Summit will kick-off like a pep rally. But it will soon get down to business.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to endorse the upcoming statewide ballot measure to ban gay marriage. Dave DeWitt reports that the vote was along party lines.

Dave DeWitt: Board Chair Paul Coble spearheaded the Wake Commissioners’ effort to support the amendment that would ban gay marriage. Three of his Republican colleagues also voted yes. The three democrats voted no.

About 20 people spoke out before the vote was taken, just one was in favor of the ban. The majority of speakers called it heavy-handed and an intrusion of privacy.

A Triangle non-profit is being honored at the White House today.  MCNC has been named a “Champion of Change” for its work in providing broadband to rural North Carolina.  Joe Freddoso is the President and CEO of MCNC.  He says the first of their two major projects is almost complete.

Former Senate leader Marc Basnight has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.

Jessica Jones: 64-year-old Marc Basnight stepped down after 26 years of service as a state senator last January, citing health reasons. At the time he said doctors hadn't figured out why he was having speech and balance problems. Basnight acknowledged the diagnosis in an interview with the North Carolina Coastal Federation. Manteo mayor Jamie Daniels says it's heartbreaking to know the former Democratic Senate leader has the neuromuscular disease.

It was feared there would be a dramatic rise in home-grown terrorism in the United States post 9-11.   But a North Carolina-based report shows that didn’t happen. 

A three-judge panel is allowing two lawsuits against the Republican-drawn redistricting maps to go forward.

The former president of the UNC system, Erskine Bowles, says he will not run for governor. Meanwhile, Democratic Representative Heath Shuler and state House Representative Joe Hackney will not seek another term in office.

Republican leaders in the state legislature are considering measures that could end the estate tax for North Carolinians. The Revenue Laws Study Committee met today to discuss taxes in the state. The committee plans to hold a full discussion on repealing the estate tax at its next meeting. Republican Senator Robert Rucho is a co-chair of the committee.

North Carolina's farm economy is one of the biggest industries in the state. That's one of the reasons for a forum today on trends that affect the agriculture economy. State officials say farm safety, exports and drought will be some of the topics. Brian Long is with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He says there's another problem that doesn't get as much attention.

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