Ken Rudin - Political Junkie

Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
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Ken Rudin has a problem:  he is hooked on politics. The political junkie regularly joins The State of Things for Friday discussions about the political world in North Carolina. Ken’s experience spans three decades of political coverage, most recently at NPR.

From the latest congressional news to behind-the-scenes views on the campaign trail, Ken offers political insight, historical analysis and trivia. More information, including his weekly scuttlebutton puzzle, can be found at his website.

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The North Carolina primary is just days away and early voting is already underway. White House hopefuls from both sides of the aisle are visiting the state to make their final pleas for votes. '

Will Tuesday’s votes solidify the nominees on both sides? And GOP contenders met again last night in Miami for a more civil exchange than earlier debates.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest.

Can Bernie Sanders use grassroots action to catch up to Hillary Clinton?
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Trump’s path to the White House looks more likely as he wins primaries in South Carolina and Nevada. Will Super Tuesday allow another GOP candidate to take the lead?

And will Bernie Sanders be able to leverage small donors and grassroots action against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton?

Also, the four democrats who seek Richard Burr’s senate seat meet for a debate next week.

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

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The 2016 race for the White House is full of expectations from both sides of the aisle about the role of the 45th president. How has that office evolved? And what does history tell us about how presidents are judged?

The Republican presidential field has thinned with Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina dropping out. Ohio Governor John Kasich remains and will try to keep up the momentum follwing his second-place finish in New Hampshire.
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The race for the White House heats up as voters in Iowa and New Hampshire made their choices. Several candidates, including Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina, dropped out after poor showings in the first two contests.

And in North Carolina, the March 15 primary is in flux because of a court ruling declaring two congressional districts unconstitutional.

Donald Trump made news by skipping the GOP Fox News debate, instead holding his own event in Des Moines.
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The Iowa caucuses are just a few days away, and presidential candidates are making their final pushes before the primary season begins.

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump did not attend the Fox News debate last night and instead hosted his own event in Des Moines.

How did his absence affect the debate? And campaign finance data from 2015 has started rolling in. Who leads the money race?

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

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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. 

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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.

The debate over gun control continues after President Obama's executive action this week designed to curb gun violence.
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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. 

Some polls show Ted Cruz leading in Iowa, but Donald Trump continues to do well nationally.
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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. 

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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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In the wake of the Paris attacks, the U.S. House passed a bill to ban all refugees from Syria until stringent background checks are conducted.

And the two leading candidates for North Carolina governor, Republican incumbent Pat McCrory and Democratic challenger Roy Cooper, both say the state needs to stop admitting Syrian refugees until the federal government provides assurances about security concerns. The debate raises new questions about the government's surveillance methods and privacy matters.

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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.

Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education under George W. Bush, has been tabbed as the next UNC system president.
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The UNC Board of Governors makes their selection for a new university system president. 

Former U.S. Department of Education secretary Margaret Spellings is the president-elect, chosen to replace outgoing president Tom Ross who was forced to resign earlier this year. Spellings served in the George W. Bush administration.

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Political announcements abound. Attorney General Roy Cooper makes his gubernatorial bid official. The Democrat will face at least one primary challenger before the party’s nominee tries to unseat Governor McCrory.

Former GoTriangle leader and state legislator Deborah Ross announced her challenge for United States Senator Richard Burr's seat. She joins fellow Democrats Kevin Griffin and Chris Rey in their Senate bids. And Democratic presidential hopefuls faced off in their first debate on Tuesday.

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House Speaker John Boehner told colleagues he will resign in October. The Republican leader faced a rebellion in his own party from tea party members who say Boehner is not conservative enough.

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North Carolina lawmakers say they need more time to reconcile differences about the state budget.

They passed another continuing resolution yesterday that funds the government through September 18.

It's the third time they have had to create a stop-gap spending measure since the fiscal year started nearly two months ago.

Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina has again hinted at requesting a vote to remove House Speaker John Boehner from his position. 

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Republican Sen. Thom Tillis skipped out on a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about ISIS last week and instead met privately with former Vice President Dick Cheney. This follows Tillis’ loud campaign criticism of former Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan for her attendance record at meetings related to ISIS.

Meanwhile, Gov. Pat McCrory has signed a bill that widely protects Confederate monuments in the state. 

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The legal challenge against North Carolina's voter ID law goes to trial next week. It's the culmination of two years' worth of arguments over the elections law passed in 2013.

Meanwhile, an early poll shows billionaire Donald Trump is the most popular Republican presidential candidate in North Carolina. 

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The North Carolina legislature voted to override a veto by Governor McCrory. The move puts a measure into law that allows magistrates who disagree with same-sex marriage to opt out of performing marriages.

And Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton speaks out against voting restrictions like the one’s passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013. Republican leaders push back, saying voting regulation is a state issue. 

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The North Carolina General Assembly gets a veto from Governor McCrory on their measure to exempt some magistrates from performing marriages. And the Patriot Act is set to expire this weekend.

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A federal appellate court declares phone data collection by the NSA under the Patriot Act illegal.

At the same time, North Carolina Senator and Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr calls for extension of the Patriot Act which is set to expire at the end of the month. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest on the NSA and other political news around the state.

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A controversial bill that would have outlawed any state action that might burden one's exercise of religion is dead in the North Carolina House. 

Republican leaders said they are dropping the Religious Freedom Act to focus on legislation to boost the economy and create jobs.

House lawmakers also voted yesterday to extend the waiting period for abortions from one day to three. 

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North Carolina's Religious Freedom Restoration Act is marinating in the state House while lawmakers are on vacation. Similar measures in Indiana, Arkansas and Maine have attracted national attention.

Supporters say the bills protect their rights to worship freely while opponents say they allow private companies to discriminate against the LGBT community. 

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Governor Pat McCrory and state Senate leaders clashed this week over how to distribute sales tax revenues.

Meanwhile, in the House, lawmakers passed a bill to restore historic preservation tax credits but a medical marijuana proposal died in House committee. Advocates say just having a chance to speak was a victory.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Political Junkie Ken Rudin about the latest in North Carolina political news.

Governor Pat McCrory unveiled his budget plan yesterday.

Education tops the governor's priority list but critics say it doesn't go far enough. Meanwhile, in Washington, Senate democrats are calling for a vote on North Carolina native Loretta Lynch's confirmation as attorney general. Both North Carolina senators have pledged to vote against her confirmation. 

Political Junkie Ken Rudin

Feb 13, 2015

The governor and the legislature are at odds over changes at the Department of Transportation concerning layoffs and the gas tax. 

Plus, President Obama chose North Carolina native Loretta Lynch to fill the attorney general position, but her confirmation hearings have been delayed. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about these stories and other political news around the state.

The North Carolina General Assembly is back to work in Raleigh and lawmakers are filing dozens of bills.

Ken Rudin
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With the start of the legislative session fast approaching, lawmakers begin to announce their proposals for the new year. One state representative says banning racial profiling tops the list. Political Junkie Ken Rudin gives us the latest on that and other politics around the state.

Ken Rudin
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  Governor Pat McCrory joined 16 other state leaders in a lawsuit against the President over his executive action on immigration. The group contents Obama overstepped his authority. Republicans in Congress have threatened to shutdown the government over the policies.

Ken Rudin
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The dust has settled from last week’s elections and both parties are looking to the future. State house members gear up for their internal contest to fill the Speaker seat vacated by Senator-elect Thom Tillis.

Democrats reevaluate their position and assess their leadership possibilities. Also, Governor Pat McCrory is joined by two former governors in a lawsuit against the legislature over the authority to develop and appoint commissions. Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest.

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