Politics & Government

Political news

Image of special agent Rosalynde Fenner
Rosalynde Fenner

Rosalynde Fenner has always been fearless. As a young kid growing up in Durham, she called cabs for herself and took them alone wherever she wanted to go. In high school, she spent a week doing ride-alongs with an officer in the Durham Police Department. And at the age of 22, she embarked on a 25 year career as a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, including stints in Guatemala, Bolivia, New York City, and Puerto Rico. 

An image of a CSX train
Flickr upload bot / Wiki Creative Commons

Opposition to a proposed CSX transportation hub in Johnston County is growing. CSX announced plans for an intermodal cargo center last week.

Val Kerry / Flickr Creative Commons

President Obama has repeatedly called for the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, but this month marks 14 years since the first detainees landed on Cuban shores.

Several detainees have participated in hunger strikes in protest of their imprisonment. A federal judge has ordered the release of videos showing guards force-feeding detainees but the government has until Friday to appeal the ruling.

Host Frank Stasio talks with VICE News reporter Jason Leopold about the latest.

Ballot Box
Wikipedia

Whether it is the local elections or the race to the White House, each vote counts. But what is driving voters as they cast their ballots in 2016?

 The State of Things is taking a look at the political mood of the state and wants to hear from you. 
As a North Carolinian, are you more or less politically engaged this year than in the past? Why? Send your response to sot@wunc.org with “politics” in the subject line.

The North Carolina Association of Educators is endorsed Democratic candidate Roy Cooper for governor in early December.
Jess Clark

Attorney General Roy Cooper's bid to be Governor has significant labor support. The North Carolina chapter of the AFL-CIO is throwing its endorsement behind the current Attorney General.

Meet Robert Brown

Jan 18, 2016
Image of Robert Brown (second from right) meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his assistant Bernard Lee and Rev. L.V. Booth.
Robert Brown

Note: This is a rebroadcast from last year. To hear a follow up to this interview with Robert Brown, click here

Robert Brown is one of the most influential North Carolinians you’ve never heard of.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

The North Carolina primary is just two months from today and the campaigns are in full swing.

Republican hopefuls met in another presidential debate last night in South Carolina and Democratic contenders face-off on Sunday.

The President's State of the Union address could affect the race for the White House. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the debates, the President’s address and the latest in political news. 

Retelling The Story Of The Wilmington Ten

Jan 15, 2016
The Wilmington Ten held a press conference at Central Prison in Raleigh to denounce Governor Jim Hunt’s decision not to pardon them.
Steve Murray / News and Observer

Despite court-mandated integration in 1968,the relationship between black and white students grew more hostile in New Hanover County, North Carolina. 

In early 1971, a group of black students boycotted and demanded changes in the school system. They faced harassment and eventually violence from white supremacist groups. Law enforcement intervened after the interactions escalated into a fire and a death.

Image of US Capitol
ttarasiuk / Flickr Creative Commons

President Obama gave his final State of the Union address last night. He outlined his vision for the coming year and detailed what he sees as the biggest challenges for the nation moving forward.

Host Frank Stasio gets a recap and analysis from Geoff Bennett, Washington reporter for Time Warner Cable News, and Political Junkie Ken Rudin.

This food was on the back of the Grocers on Wheels truck one recent Saturday
Carol Jackson

Some North Carolina residents who receive food assistance must now prove that they're working, volunteering or taking classes. The change was implemented in urban counties with the New Year.

Election placards placed near a polling location in Apex, N.C.
Magnus manske / Wikipedia

A new study from High Point University questions the effectiveness of political lawn signs. 

Researchers say millions of dollars are spent on the signs across the country each election cycle.  Brandon Lenoir  is an assistant professor of Political Communication and Campaigns at the university.

"We actually found that unless the race is, is within only a percentage or two point spread between the two candidates, lawn signs have no effect on the outcome of the election."

Rubio addressed a crowd at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on Saturday. He has received endorsements from about a dozen state lawmakers.
Jeff Tiberii

With just three weeks until the Iowa Caucuses, Presidential candidates are hop-scotching across the United States making their political pitch. Donald Trump is in Windham, New Hampshire Monday morning. Ted Cruz has a Monday afternoon event scheduled in Baton Rouge. And Republican hopeful Marco Rubio is in Sarasota, Florida to deliver an economic address on taxes and spending. This past weekend Rubio rallied in Raleigh.

The debate over gun control continues after President Obama's executive action this week designed to curb gun violence.
Peretz Partensky / Flickr Creative Commons

President Obama issued an executive action this week designed to curb gun violence. The president said this country's routine mass shootings compelled him to act.

Republican members of Congress swiftly responded with promises to defend Americans' constitutional right to bear arms. But it's not yet clear whether the president's action will change the culture of gun ownership in the United States or where it fits into the national conversation about gun laws. 

(Left to right) Lyons Gray, Jeff Epstein, Governor Pat McCrory, Lee Roberts. Gray is the outgoing Secretary of Revenue; Epstein will take over in February; Roberts is returning to the private sector after 18 months in the McCrory administration.
Jeff Tiberii

Governor Pat McCory is welcoming a new secretary and budget director to his administration.

At the Executive Mansion on Thursday afternoon, McCrory appointed Secretary of Revenue Lyons Gray to serve on the North Carolina Utilities Commission.  Replacing Gray as Secretary of Revenue is Jeff Epstein, the current chief operating officer of that department.

Veteran journalist Chuck Lewis says investigative journalism has declined over the years as newsrooms shrink and costs of longer, in-depth reporting grow.
Roger H. Goun / Flickr Creative Commons

Note: This is a rebroadcast from earlier this year.

Chuck Lewis has had a long career as an investigative journalist. He has worked for national news shows, including CBS News' "60 Minutes," and he helped to create the Center for Public Integrity. 

But in the decades since he started digging for the truth, the reporting industry has suffered a serious decline in investigative reporting.

Photo: North Carolina Supreme Court
Giant Sloth / Flickr

The North Carolina Supreme Court has upheld the state’s congressional and legislative maps for a second time, ruling that Republican state lawmakers did not illegally consider race when they drew voting districts.

The high state court, divided along party lines in a 4-to-3 decision, found that Republican lawmakers used race as one of several factors in drawing the maps after they took control of the General Assembly in 2011.

Some polls show Ted Cruz leading in Iowa, but Donald Trump continues to do well nationally.
Marc Nozell / Flickr Creative Commons

The Republican presidential candidates met again this week in their fifth debate. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is leading the field of GOP contenders in Iowa but Donald Trump is still polling strong nationally. 

The democratic candidates will meet for another debate on Saturday.

Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the race for the White House and other recent political news. 

Four Men Who Shaped The CIA

Dec 18, 2015

There were many firsts for the United States during World War II, but the formation of the first international foreign intelligence collection service is one that still affects the country today.

The precursor to the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), ran covert operations in Europe and used espionage and saboteur tactics to advance the Allies’ mission.

Photo: A voting ballot
Flickr Creative Commons/ Ken Zirkel

A federal judge in Raleigh is hearing arguments this week on a case that challenges the legality of new electoral maps for the Wake County boards of commissioners and education. While several lawsuits have challenged the constitutionality of districts drawn by the Republican-majority General Assembly since 2011, this one focuses on the maps in only one county.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

A recently released memo from a deputy commissioner of corrections says that Governor Pat McCrory spoke twice with Secretary of Public Safety Frank Perry about expiring prison contracts.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez speaks to a group of concerned citizens during a community meeting in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 18, 2008.
AP Photo/Gerry Broome / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Durham is launching a national search for a new chief of police.

City Manager Tom Bonfield asked current Chief Jose Lopez to step down after residents and City Council members reported deep dissatisfaction with the police department. The 59-year-old Lopez will retire at the end of the month.

Durham spokeswoman Beverly Thompson said it will be crucial that the new police chief be experienced and prioritize communication with the public.

Chad Biggs (left), 35, and Chris Creech, 46, were the first gay couple to be wed in Wake County.
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Three North Carolina couples have filed a suit challenging a state law that allows court officials to opt out of same-sex weddings for religious reasons, arguing the legislation illegally uses taxpayer money to favor a religious point of view and is intended to discriminate against a group.

A picture of a highway traffic jam.
Simon Forsyth / Flickr

Wake County Officials have unveiled a 10-year Recommended Wake County Transit Plan. It would expand bus service, create a Bus Rapid Transit system, and build a 37-mile rail line from Garner to Durham.

Donald Trump held a captive audience Friday night in Raleigh.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

The leading Republican presidential candidate says he will improve national security, put an end to Hillary Clinton and make America great again. Last night Donald Trump made his first visit to North Carolina since announcing his candidacy in June.

For six months the billionaire mogul has delivered a relentless stream of putdowns, personality and promises that have propelled him comfortably atop the Republican presidential race. For 52 minutes Friday night he was center-stage in Dorton Arena on the State Fairgrounds.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

Governor Pat McCrory made his re-election bid official this week as candidate filing began.

And Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump will be in Raleigh tonight to convince North Carolinians to send him to the White House.

Meanwhile, the country's 355th mass shooting this year prompts renewed debate about the political influence of the NRA. 

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

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