State Politics

Political news from around NC (and beyond).

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.

Jeff Tiberii

Republican Pat McCrory is in his first full day on the campaign trail for Governor.

Jeff Tiberii: On Tuesday night in a Greensboro suburb just blocks from where he grew up McCrory made the symbolic first step of his Gubernatorial bid:

Pat McCrory: Ladies and Gentlemen I am proud to return back home to officially announce that I will run for Governor because we’re going to fix this broken government and we’re going to fix this broken economy here in North Carolina.

There are new regulations coming for the state's truckers and other commercial drivers. The federal government is setting up a database to be used by the Division of Motor Vehicles in all states. Marge Howell works for North Carolina's DMV.

Marge Howell: Most of our commercial drivers will have to certify the type of driving they do, whether its intrastate or interstate, and they will also be required to provide their DMV with current medical certification information.

The state's first Racial Justice Act hearing will get underway today in Cumberland County.

Later today, a Superior Court judge in Fayetteville will preside over a hearing that will ultimately decide whether to let a death row inmate live. Marcus Robinson is the first prisoner on death row to appeal his sentence under the Racial Justice Act, passed in 2009. If the judge finds racial bias played a role in Robinson’s conviction or sentencing, his sentence could be commuted to life in prison. Robinson’s mother, Shirley Burns, plans to attend the hearing.

Rep. Howard Coble (R) is retiring next year. The race to replace him is already underway.
Jeff Tiberii

Republican Howard Coble is running for re-election to the US House.

Jeff Tiberii: The senior member of North Carolina’s congressional delegation was first elected in 1984. A victory this year would give Coble a 15th term in office. The 80-year-old was asked yesterday if this would be his final re-election campaign.

Howard Coble: I wouldn’t say with finality one way or the other, but give me a little weaseling room if you will. Of course elected officials never ask for weaseling room, do they.

North Carolina’s first female governor has decided not to seek re-election this year. Governor Bev Perdue issued a statement yesterday saying that seeking a second term would "only further politicize the fight to adequately fund our schools." Her decision leaves the Democratic field of prospective gubernatorial candidates wide open. And it changes the political dynamic leading up to the November election.

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue announced today that she will not seek a second term this year. The Democratic Governor was the first woman elected to the position and all indications were that she planned to seek re-election.

Congressman Brad Miller has announced that he will not seek re-election. Miller made the decision after the Republican-controlled State Legislature drew maps that would have put him in the same primary election as his Democratic colleague, David Price.

In an interview today with WUNC, Miller said he’s not sure what he will do when he leaves Congress.

Brad Miller: There’s a well-worn path of former members becoming lobbyists and I really don’t want to do that unless it’s the only way I can eat.

Democratic Governor Bev Perdue says she will not run for re-election this year. Perdue released a statement today saying she won't seek another four-year term because she believes a re-election bid would make it more difficult to find a bipartisan solution to fund public education in a divisive political environment. Perdue became North Carolina's first female governor in 2008. Perdue announced last week she would offer a budget this spring that would seek a sales tax increase for education. Republicans in the legislature let a temporary sales tax increase expire last summer.

Lawmakers in Raleigh listened to presentations today about the impact of illegal immigration on North Carolina.

Teams of volunteers are out on the streets and at campsites across Wake and Orange Counties this week, surveying the homeless population. It's part of a national effort to house 100-thousand people who are homeless by the middle of next year. The United Way's Chantelle Fisher-Borne is the coordinator of Triangle Registry Week.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be in North Carolina today taking a tour of the new Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub.

A state lawmaker from Fayetteville plans to challenge North Carolina's incumbent state Superintendent of Public Instruction in the May primary.

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