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An indictment of state's broken campaign finance system
RALEIGH – The most shocking disclosure made in a recent hearing by the State Board of Elections about Sen. Fletcher Hartsell’s campaign spending wasn’t that the longtime Republican l ...



Polls mixed on McCrory
RALEIGH — In many ways, Republicans and Democrats live in different worlds. I’ve made the point before that the Internet, while greatly beneficial in many ways, has allowed political facti ...



McCrory and the evolving media
RALEIGH – In some ways, I see both sides of the latest dispute between Gov. Pat McCrory’s office and the “media,” which is changing rapidly with fewer traditional news reporter ...



Time to study the Senate's 508-page budget
RALEIGH – Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the average bill that passes the General Assembly is about four pages long. That probably not exactly correct, but it’s probably n ...



Proposal to eliminate driver's ed class
There are few easier cases to make in public policy than the need for driver’s education. The notion of putting a teenager behind the wheel of a couple of tons of horsepower and steel gives all ...



Breaking down the Senate's budget
Senate leaders didn’t just unveil a budget proposal, they released a 504-page ideological wish list that makes dramatic changes to the state Medicaid system, repeals important health care regula ...



Moral claims don't persuade
RALEIGH — In nearly three decades of writing a syndicated column on North Carolina politics and government, I’ve always received reader response. Back in the day, I’d get an occasion ...



Serious attacks in the water
Beaches were open and swimming was allowed at Oak Island on North Carolina’s coast last Monday despite two shark attacks there late Sunday afternoon. “Oak Island is still a safe place,& ...



Family debates merit pay
RALEIGH — How can we differentiate the pay of teachers on the basis of their performance while also treating them fairly? This familiar education-policy debate used to play out at the Hood famil ...



Lessons from the global war on terror
“I am a United States Army general, and I lost the Global War on Terrorism.” These are the opening lines of retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger’s book, “Why We Lost: ...



Senate plots right course
RALEIGH — Despite the welcome news of a state budget surplus, the fiscal and economic forecast for North Carolina over the next couple of years is not all blue skies and placid seas. Albeit w ...



A big loss for Democrats
RALEIGH – There is no stronger or smarter Democratic voice in the General Assembly – and perhaps in all of state government – than Rep. Rick Glazier of Fayetteville. He soon will ...



Many sides in incentives debate
RALEIGH – In recent years, few debates are more likely to pop up in every legislative session than those about economic incentives. Why is the issue complicated and controversial every year o ...



Cameras' value proven in Texas
Another day, another sickening video of another out-of-control police officer assaulting an unarmed person who posed no threat. This time, it was a 15-year-old girl in a bikini at a suburban Dallas ...



Medicaid debate will continue
RALEIGH — For years now, legislators, policy analysts, medical providers, and lobbyists have been arguing about North Carolina’s Medicaid program. Whether you find this argument interestin ...



New guns laws need greater scrutiny
RALEIGH – A bill moving through the General Assembly would allow legislators and legislative employees with concealed carry permits to bring their guns to the legislative complex, including the ...



Expert: GOP 'very likely' to retain General Assembly majorities after 2016
RALEIGH – I don’t have a crystal ball, but I bet I could tell you whether a Democrat or Republican will win election in at least 150 of the 170 state House and Senate districts in 2016. ...




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Area Calendar July 8-9
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