State Politics

Political news from around NC (and beyond).

Congressman David Price

Congressman David Price represents North Carolina's 4th District, which covers Durham, Chapel Hill, and parts of Raleigh and Cary.  The North Carolina Democrat spoke from Cairo, Egypt.  He's there as part of a bipartisan group working with the fledgling governments in Tunisia and Egypt to help set up democratic governments. 

Voters in several communities will begin casting ballots today ahead of local elections on October 11th. Durham voters will be selecting their choices for mayor and city council.

Early voting for local elections starts in many communities today. In Raleigh, voters will pick a new mayor and members of the city council and school board. But they will also vote on two bond measures dedicated to housing and transportation.

The two bonds total $56 million dollars. Of that, about $40 million would go toward building bike lanes, greenways, and new sidewalks. It is the first bond ever proposed in Raleigh for these types of projects.

John Edwards

A government watchdog group wants the charges against former North Carolina Senator John Edwards dropped. Edwards is accused of conspiring to pay the expenses of his mistress using campaign donations. Those payments were made by two of his close friends. Melanie Sloan is Executive Director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

President Obama rallies the crowd at Reynolds Coliseum
NC State

President Barack Obama was in campaign-mode during his stop at N-C State University yesterday.   His jobs speech was more like a re-election campaign speech.   There was chanting, cheering and waving – and Mr. Obama didn’t mind the attention at all.  

The mood in Reynolds Coliseum was patriotic.

State lawmakers have wrapped up their short legislative session this week.

President Barack Obama spoke to thousands of people on the North Carolina State Campus this afternoon. The president is promoting his 450-billion dollar jobs bill. He told the crowd the bill would provide money for important infrastructure projects.

President Obama:  "In North Carolina alone there are 153 structurally deficient bridges that need to be prepared. Four of them are near here, on the belt-line. Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?"

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Triangle tomorrow.   He’s drumming up support for his “American Jobs Act” plan.

President Obama will talk jobs and the economy at N-C State tomorrow afternoon.  He’ll also speak with the owners of a small business in nearby Apex.  The business is West-Star Precision.  It is a manufacturer of specialized machined components for the aerospace and medical industries.  Brenda Steen is executive director of the Apex Chamber of Commerce. She says the company is not a chamber member – but President Obama’s visit will benefit all.

Voters in North Carolina will decide next May whether to add an amendment to the state constitution that would ban gay marriage. Earlier today, the state Senate voted with a three-fifths majority in favor of a proposed amendment that recognizes marriage as being between one man and one woman. The House passed the measure yesterday. Republican Senator Buck Newton says adding such an amendment to the state constitution would make it more difficult for judges to overturn bans on same-sex marriage.

Candidates for Raleigh mayor and city council meet tonight for a candidate forum.

For the first time in 10 years, there is no incumbent running for mayor in Raleigh. In April, Charles Meeker decided not to seek a sixth term.

Three candidates are seeking to replace him and none of them are democrats. Nancy MacFarlane is running as an unaffiliated candidate, although she has been endorsed by the Wake County Democratic Party. Randall Williams and Billie Jean Redmond are running as Republicans.

Lawmakers in the North Carolina House have passed a bill to let voters decide whether to add an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. 75 legislators voted in favor of the bill, after three and a half hours of debate.

State lawmakers are back in Raleigh this week for a special session to vote on potential amendments to the state constitution.

DNC Kickoff Rally

Sep 5, 2011

The Democratic National Committee will hold a kick-off rally in Charlotte tomorrow to prepare for its national convention in 2012.

The convention is a year away, but organizers say this event will help get things started in Charlotte. Steve Kerrigan heads the group's convention committee. He says it will be great to hold the gathering in a state that helped President Obama win the White House in 2008.

It’s campaign season in cities and counties across the state. And nowhere are the races more interesting or hotly contested than in Wake County.

Governor Perdue has appointed the head of the new, restructured Department of Public Safety.

A chemical plant proposed for the city of Wilson is drawing concerns from the people in its surrounding neighborhood. The Texas-based company Pencco wants to build the plant to manufacture iron sulfates to be used as water treatment chemicals. Brian Wodetzki of Pencco says the plant will be safe. He says the company is doing its best to explain the process to concerned citizens in the neighborhood by holding public meetings with them.

Annie L. Jones Park

A public meeting in Cary will focus on expanding developer fees for parks. Parks land fees apply to single-family and townhomes but not to apartments and condominiums. Doug McRainey is the Parks Planning Manager for the town of Cary.

An artist rendering of the ATT bridge over I-40.
City of Durham

Efforts to extend a popular bike and pedestrian trail in Durham have hit a snag. City officials want to extend the American Tobacco Trail about 4 miles to the Chatham County line. That includes building a bridge across I-40. Bids for the project came in higher than expected. Ed Venable is a manager of engineering and stormwater for the City of Durham.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district has warned county commissioners and mayors that school growth could put building permits on hold.

 A local ordinance in Chapel Hill-Carrboro prevents home builders from receiving permits if schools are overcrowded. Right now schools in the district are at full capacity. When they reach 105 percent, the ordinance takes effect, says Todd LoFrese, an assistant superintendent with the district.

Triangle Transit Authority
Triangle Transit Authority

The Raleigh City Council has approved a proposal for a downtown light rail line.

City council members voted last night to support a route that goes through the west side of downtown along Harrington Avenue. It's a segment of the light rail proposal from Triangle Transit Authority that would eventually run from Chapel Hill to Garner. The council's plan breaks from a recommendation by the city's Passenger Rail Task Force. That route would have brought tracks into the heart of downtown on both sides of the Capitol building.

Victims of a forced sterilization program in North Carolina should receive compensatory damages, according to a preliminary report released today.

City Council members in Raleigh are holding a public hearing today to get feedback about a light rail line proposal.

The recommendation from Raleigh's Passenger Rail Task Force takes light rail tracks down Morgan Street to the Capitol building. There, they split in two and run north along Wilmington Street and south on Salisbury Street. It's part of Triangle Transit Authority's plan to build commuter train and light rail tracks from Chapel Hill to Garner by 2025.

A picture of a yellow NCDOT truck.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is expanding its driver assistance patrols to interstate between major cities. The Incident Management Assistance Patrol, or IMAP, has increased its number of yellow trucks on areas between Charlotte and Raleigh. That includes Davidson, Randolph, and Rowan Counties along I-85. IMAP directs traffic in the event of major accidents and helps with broken down vehicles to improve congestion. Sam Whittington is the Regional Instant Management Engineer for the Triad.

Women in North Carolina will soon be required to undergo state counseling, an ultrasound and a 24-hour waiting period before getting an abortion. That’s according to a new law passed yesterday by state legislators. The governor had vetoed the “Woman’s Right to Know Act” during the regular legislative session, but the North Carolina House overrode that veto yesterday by one vote.

North Carolina lawmakers have finalized new redistricting maps for the state senate and for 13 congressional districts. Jessica Jones reports the new boundaries are expected to benefit Republicans.

The GOP-drawn maps for the state House, state Senate and the U.S. Congress are now law. It's estimated the newly drawn Congressional map could get several more Republicans elected to Congress.

Many Democrats are opposed to the newly drawn boundaries, saying they crowd African-American voters into special districts so their vote won't have as much influence.