Politics

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

With the passing of Congressman Howard Coble, North Carolina loses one of a vanishing breed: the old style politician.

Meanwhile, municipal elections across the country led to unexpected results in some places. Salt Lake City will likely have its first openly gay mayor, pending a recount later this month. 

In Houston, voters repealed an anti-discrimination ordinance for LGBTQ residents, and Jeb Bush's numbers fall as the Republican presidential primary continues.

Rep. Mark Meadows
United States Congress

A surprise announcement by Representative Kevin McCarthy yesterday has left Republican House leadership in a bind.

McCarthy was the assumed nominee for the Speakership since John Boehner announced his resignation last month. North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows played a key role in Boehner’s departure.  

U.S. Capitol Building
ttarasiuk / Flickr Creative Commons

Republicans on Capitol Hill met Thursday to nominate a new Speaker of the House after John Boehner announced last month he will be resigning.

The front runner for the nomination was House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. However, McCarthy abruptly dropped out of the race Thursday, causing disarray in the Republican caucus. The House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on a new Speaker at the end of October. The vote has now been postponed as GOP leaders search for a new nominee.

Former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr Creative Commons/ USDA

Representative Barney Frank served in Congress for more than three decades.

His momentous career was marked by personal and political achievements; he was the first member of Congress to voluntarily come out as gay, he helped bring about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and he co-authored the far-reaching Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. 

North Carolina Legislature passes a tax reform bill.
W Edward Callis III

A package of economic incentives aimed at luring businesses to North Carolina is one vote away from reaching the Governor’s desk.

The Senate swiftly approved the bill on Tuesday, while the House gave a tentative approval, 84-24, after a lengthy and lively debate.

The plan would increase funding for the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program from $15 million to $20 million a year.

It could go as high as $35 million if the state attracts a large project, like an auto plant, that invests at least $500 million and adds at least 1,750 jobs.

A headshot of Democratic Rep. Rick Glazier
Creative Commons / Wikimedia

Rep. Rick Glazier, a leading Democratic voice in the state House, announced Wednesday that he will be stepping down. The attorney from Fayetteville will become executive director of the North Carolina Justice Center, a left-leaning nonprofit.

Glazier, who served as a representative for 13 years, championed issues relating to social justice. He focused on education; he works as an adjunct professor at Campbell Law School and previously served on the Cumberland County school board.  

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) talks with WUNC's Frank Stasio
Andrew Tie / WUNC

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) quickly ascended from a seat on the parks and recreation commission in Cornelius, N.C., to speaker of the North Carolina House in 2011, and finally U.S. Senator.

In his first five months, Tillis has taken a particular interest in the military with seats in the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Tillis about national security, deregulation, immigration and other issues in Washington.

National Security

In the wake of events in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, Md., U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) leads the Congressional Black Caucus at a tumultuous time for race relations in the country.

The congressman told Frank Stasio of WUNC’s The State of Things that he sees racial and socioeconomic tensions across the U.S. “There are Fergusons and Baltimores all across this country. It’s not unique to these communities. It could even be here in North Carolina,” Rep. Butterfield said.

a teacher in a classroom
Bart Everson / Flickr/Creative Commons

A Senate committee approved a plan on Wednesday that would keep school employees from taking part in political activity during work hours.

Senate Bill 480 would prohibit school employees from campaigning for office while they're on the job or using any work resources, like telephones or computers, for political reasons.

Bill sponsors say state employees already follow similar rules, and that the measure is intended to mirror them. Currently, North Carolina’s 115 school districts abide by different rules for its employees.

Image of actor Alphonse NIcholson playing the character Abel Green in Frieght.
Nick Graetz

  

A new one-man show by playwright Howard Craft tells the story of a man who exists in five incarnations at different points in American history. 

The shooting of Michael Brown set off a series of protest nationwide and had Americans questioning the role of police in their communities.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2014_Ferguson_and_Beyond_Rally_12.jpg

  From the streets of Ferguson to the halls of Congress, 2014 saw many pivotal moments in the country's narrative. 

Frank Stasio talked live with Congressman Howard Coble 12/16/2014.
Ivan Saul Cutler / Governor Morehead Forum for Economic Development

  At 83, Congressman Howard Coble is retiring and leaving Capitol Hill after 30 years. 

President Lyndon Johnson, President-elect Richard Nixon, Rev. Billy Graham and Vice President-elect Spiro Agnew during a prayer at swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol January 20, 1969.
flickr.com/photos/washington_area_spark

Newly released excerpts from H.R. Haldeman’s diary provide new insights into the relationship between Billy Graham and Richard Nixon. 

Audio journals from Nixon’s chief of staff reveal Graham’s firm grasp of political craftsmanship, and Nixon’s reliance on the televangelist for more than spiritual advice.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Carolina Public Press reporter Jon Elliston about the audio journals and what they revealed. 

Beth Wood
NC Auditor's Office

The state auditor's office is preparing detailed audits of six state government agencies in order to comply with a request from state lawmakers. Earlier this week, lawmakers on the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee asked for the audits. The request will provide specific line item details on how state funds are actually spent, says State Auditor Beth Wood.

Photo from the Renee Ellmers and Clay Aiken debate.
Jessica Jones

As we inch closer toward election day, healthcare remains an important issue for the campaigns. 

The Supreme Court elections are coming and things are getting interesting (gavel on tabletop).
flickr.com/photos/leviphotos

  

The North Carolina Supreme Court is supposed to be above hyper-partisan politics, but what happens when groups from outside the state become the biggest donors? 

Political Junkie Ken Rudin
Ken Rudin

  Governor Pat McCrory says there are big problems with legislature’s approach to Duke Energy’s coal ash cleanup.  He will not sign the measures they passed, but he will let them become law. He is expected to challenge them later. Plus democratic Senator Kay Hagan says she will not participate in the Time Warner Cable debate with her challenger, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis. Organizers say the debate will proceed without her. Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about coal ash, the debates and other political news around the state.

Image of Veteran AIDS Activist Sean Strub
Sean Strub

  

Sean Strub is best known as the founder of POZ magazine and the first openly HIV-positive person to run for Congress. 

Woodhouse Divided
Bryan Miller

 The nation’s gap between conservatives and liberals is ever widening and this division is personal for one set of North Carolina brothers. 

Brad Woodhouse led communications for the Democratic party. Dallas Woodhouse ran the state’s chapter of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity.

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

Sep 2, 2014

Got the flu? Or a new baby? Perhaps a little one with chicken pox? In most countries, your employer must pay your wages if you stay home sick or to care for others. Not in America.

But a growing grass-roots movement aims to change that — starting with paid sick leave.

Already the movement has met some success. This past weekend, California became the second state in the country to mandate sick leave for employees.

Harold Brubaker
Wikipedia

The most influential lobbyist in North Carolina is former state House speaker Harold Brubaker, according to a report from the non-partisan North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research.

Brubaker, a Republican who represented Randolph County for 18 terms, counts Alliance for Access to Dental Care, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and 21st Century Oncology among his current clients.

President Obama To Speak To Veterans In Charlotte Today

Aug 26, 2014
Obama speaking in Mooresville, NC.
The White House

President Barack Obama is coming to North Carolina to speak to the American Legion convention, where Sen. Kay Hagan says she will talk to him about Washington's commitment to the state's military veterans.

voting sign
Flickr creative commons

Appalachian State University will not have a early voting site on campus for this year's general election. 

The state Board of Elections denied a request from Watauga County Board of Elections member Kathleen Campbell, who submitted a separate early voting plan from the two other members. 

  

Gerry Cohen is probably the most important North Carolina politician you don't know.

  

Stories shape how we think about ourselves and the world around us, and insights from science, history, and biology confirm that humans are storytelling animals. 

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