Politics

Ken Bosma / Flickr/Creative Commons

Last week voters in North Carolina chose Baptist minister Mark Walker over Phil Berger Jr. in the 6th District Republican primary runoff.  Walker was arguably the more conservative of the two candidates.   A new study in the Journal of Politics finds that political moderates are less likely to run for Congress. The study looked at state legislatures around the country.

NC General Assembly; State Legislature.
Dave Crosby / Flickr Share-Alike

House and Senate leaders are back in Raleigh today to try to resolve large differences in their spending plans for the year. 

They're now two weeks past their deadline, as they've been at odds over how much to pay teachers and at what cost. Senators want to give large raises of about 11 percent, but they would pay for them in part by cutting more than 6,000 teacher assistants. 

House leaders have been adamant about providing more modest raises without laying off any educators or impacting the state's Medicaid health insurance program.

Money
bestclipartblog.com

Today is the first day of the new fiscal year, but there’s no state budget adjustment in sight. That’s because legislators can’t agree on two big issues: Medicaid funding and teacher raises. Last week, the House passed a partial spending plan that would’ve given teachers average raises of five percent despite the absence of a larger budget deal, but last night the Senate rejected the measure.

A woman is arrested at the state capitol as a part of a Moral Mondays protest.
NAACP

The Moral Monday protests from Raleigh have garnered national attention over the past year. A key component of the protests has been media attention on arrests. Dozens were arrested this year for various non-violent offenses, a move some say is becoming an overt aim of many protestors.

Amy Laura Hall is a professor of ethics at the Duke Divinity School.  She has participated in the Moral Monday protests from the start, but she says the tactic of getting arrested -- or "orderly submission" as she calls it -- is flawed.   

photo of NC Legislature
creative commons

North Carolina counties are bracing themselves for statewide education cuts under consideration by the General Assembly. Guilford County schools stand to lose between $6 million and $21 million from the state. 

In an effort to mitigate the loss, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is considering a referendum on increasing the sales tax rate. Host Frank Stasio talks with News & Record reporter Kelly Poe.

A North Carolina Senate committee has recommended a conservative member for the state commission that hears worker’s compensation claims, a placement that critics say would make a majority of the board more likely to side with businesses.

In a 20-minute hearing Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Commerce Committee recommended Charlton Allen to the state Industrial Commission, a six-member board that is similar to a court and makes decisions when workers file compensation claims against their employers and on the state’s eugenics compensation fund.

Senate Leader Phil Berger takes an impromptu meeting with Moral Monday protesters.
Reema Khrais

Monday night, 15 Moral Monday protesters sat in front of Senate Leader Phil Berger’s door.  Berger wasn't in his office, so the protesters sat there until the Senate session ended. Soon, State Capitol Police began to usher everyone out. They said that the building was closing, everyone had to leave. Reporter Dave DeWitt was with the protesters. He wrote about what happened next this way:

Host Frank Stasio and NC Budget Director Art Pope
Anita Rao / WUNC

In 2012, Governor Pat McCrory selected Art Pope to serve as the state’s budget director.

Pope has a long history in North Carolina politics and government. The attorney and businessman served in the legislature before launching several charitable organizations and think tanks centered on libertarian principles.

Sociologist Stephen Vaisey
Stephen Vaisey

For a million dollars, would you: 

  • Throw a tomato at a politician? 
  • Kick a dog in the head?
  • Sign away your soul?

Sociologist Stephen Vaisey asked these questions and more in the first stage of his project, Measuring Morality, which seeks to understand moral beliefs and moral divides. The study also followed teenagers for more than a decade to monitor the development of morality in young adults. 

North Carolina Legislative building
NC General Assembly

  Moral Monday protests resume as the General Assembly's short session continues. Protestors visit individual lawmakers today to lobby for Medicaid expansion, unemployment insurance and education reform. Last week, the North Carolina Senate approved a fracking bill and tentatively approved a regulatory overhaul. Both pieces of legislation may face challenges in the House. 

Former Brazilian Soccer Player Pelé is shirtless and being hoisted up by fans after the 1970 world cup on Cover of Fútbol! Why Soccer Matters in Latin America
http://upf.com/ / University Press of Florida

  

Sports say a lot about a city, state, or nation. Joshua Nadel’s new book explores the place of soccer in Latin America, and how it's influenced national identity in a post-colonial world. Nadel is the author of “Fútbol!: Why Soccer Matters in Latin America” (University Press of Florida; 2014) and a professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at North Carolina Central University. 

Thom Tillis speaking
http://thomtillis.com/

  

North Carolina's primary elections were a big deal both in and out of the state this year. National organizations and outside groups spent a lot on some of the state’s contests. We will sit down with a roundtable of experts to discuss the primary election results. 

Photos: Eric Levinson, Jeanette Doran, Robin Hudson
Campaign photos

Two experienced judges won the right to run for North Carolina’s Supreme Court on Tuesday night.

Incumbent Justice Robin Hudson got 43 percent of the vote and Superior Court Judge Eric Levinson got 37 percent to Raleigh attorney Jeanette Doran's 21 percent, according to the State Board of Elections.

Judicial races are usually sedate, but this one is getting attention because out-of-state funders spent more than half a million dollars in negative advertising against Hudson.

At least four North Carolina lawmakers were unseated in Tuesday night’s primary elections.

Representative Robert Brawley, a Republican from Mooresville, was defeated by a business owner and political newcomer. Last year, Brawley publicly criticized state House Speaker Thom Tillis and his bid for the GOP nomination for senate.

Brawley was connected to the Tea Party while his opponent John Fraley describes himself as a business conservative.

Photos: Eric Levinson, Jeanette Doran, Robin Hudson
Campaign photos

North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race isn’t the only one attracting lots of campaign money ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson is facing two challengers. She also faces more than a half-million dollars in negative advertisements from out-of-state funders.

Some say money is changing the non-partisan tone of court races in North Carolina. In this race, people are talking about one particular television ad that concludes with:  

“Justice Robin Hudson. Not tough on child molesters. Not fair to victims.”

Vote
Theresa Thompson / Creative Commons/Flickr

Early voting begins today for the May primary election.

Today is the first day North Carolinians can cast their votes in this year's primary election. 289 sites across the state will be open for residents to come to the polls. That's 77 more locations than in 2010.

govtrack.us

As the primary election draws near, Host Frank Stasio leads a series of conversations with candidates running to unseat Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in North Carolina's 2nd District. Ellmers declined to come on the program.

Conservative radio talk show host Frank Roche is challenging Ellmers in the Republican primary. Roche opposes Ellmers' views on immigration, which include a legal path to citizenship. He also hopes to buckle down on federal debt by repealing the Affordable Care Act and limiting other entitlement programs. 

And on the other side of the aisle, candidates Clay AikenKeith Crisco and Toni Morris compete in the Democratic primary.

Aiken is best known for his appearance on American Idol and subsequent singing career, but he is also an advocate for special needs children. Frustrated with political gridlock, Aiken pledges to use his status as an independent outsider to encourage legislators to reach across party lines.

Democrat Keith Crisco is a retired businessman who spent most of his career as the president and chairman of Asheboro Elastics Corporation. He also served as North Carolina's commerce secretary for four years under Governor Bev Perdue. He hopes to focus attention on addressing issues of unemployment and the state of the North Carolina economy.

 

 

 

 


Former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has returned to a North Carolina courtroom to help represent a 4-year-old Virginia boy in a medical malpractice case.

Edwards is one of three attorneys representing the parents and guardians of a boy with brain damage and physical injuries they say occurred in December 2009.

In 2012, Edwards faced six felony charges in a case involving nearly $1 million provided by two wealthy political donors to help hide his pregnant mistress Rielle Hunter as he sought the White House in 2008.

voting sign
Flickr creative commons

  

As the May primary draws near, issues over voter rights persist. The controversial voter law passed last year requires photo identification and reduces the number of days for early voting in the May 6th primaries. A lawsuit challenging the measure may soon force legislators to release their correspondence related to drafting the legislation. Meanwhile, the State Board of Elections released a report identifying hundreds of cases of possible voter fraud. 

For more than 40 years, Jane Smith Patterson has been paving the way for women in North Carolina politics and digital technology. After her start as a young organizer and activist in her hometown in Columbus County, North Carolina, Patterson left home for college when she was 16 years old. 

sfbos.org

  Jane Kim was only 33 years old when she became the nation’s first Korean-American district supervisor, representing San Francisco’s 6th District on the Board of Supervisors. Since her election in 2010, she has focused her work on homelessness, affordable housing and pedestrian safety. She speaks tonight at 5:30 pm at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy as part of the Connect2Politics speaker series, a program designed to promote engagement with politics among a younger audience.

Jeffrey Berejikian teaching a class.
http://berejikian.net/

Individuals are more likely to dwell on losses than gains. They are also more likely to take risks to recover losses than to achieve new gains. Those ideas have long been accepted in social science circles, but now they are being applied to international relations. 

North Carolina Democratic Party logo
www.ncdp.org/

The North Carolina Democratic Party recently appointed Casey Mann as its new executive director. She inherits some financial difficulties stemming from the cessation of tax checkoffs for political parties while the party struggles with internal divisions. She also talks about how the Citizens United case has introduced nationally-funded messages in state races.

Photo: The Goodwin House
North Carolina Democratic Party

The new executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party is looking to revamp how the party raises money -- as it faces more than a year of leadership turnover, fundraising troubles and distancing from the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.

Apostles of Reason by Molly Worthen
http://global.oup.com/ / Oxford University Press

    

Evangelical Christians are a diverse group with similar questions but vastly different answers. 

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