Politics http://wfae.org en Only A Matter Of Time Until Same-Sex Marriage Legal In NC http://wfae.org/post/only-matter-time-until-same-sex-marriage-legal-nc <p>Now that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/07/28/336119802/another-appeals-court-tosses-same-sex-marriage-ban">struck down</a> Virginia’s marriage ban for same-sex couples, the question turns from “if” gay marriage will be allowed in North Carolina to “when” it will occur.</p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:07:09 +0000 Michael Bitzer 55814 at http://wfae.org Only A Matter Of Time Until Same-Sex Marriage Legal In NC Sales Tax Cap Passes Key Senate Vote http://wfae.org/post/sales-tax-cap-passes-key-senate-vote <p>After a contentious debate on the Senate floor earlier today, a bill capping county sales tax passed 33 to 16. Joining Mark Rumsey to talk about the bill and the implications for Mecklenburg County is WFAE’s Tom Bullock.</p><p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:37:57 +0000 Tom Bullock 55494 at http://wfae.org Sales Tax Cap Passes Key Senate Vote Republican Legislators Can Afford To Be Stubborn http://wfae.org/post/republican-legislators-can-afford-be-stubborn <p>I recently spoke to WFAE’s Tom Bullock for a <a href="http://wfae.org/post/are-safe-political-seats-behind-budget-impasse">story</a> about the state budget impasse and its likely culprits - political safe districts.</p><p>As a political scientist, I always have to think of different factors that may explain what happens in politics, which makes my job that much more fun, or frustrating, depending on what we’re trying to understand and explain.</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:54:57 +0000 Michael Bitzer 55485 at http://wfae.org Republican Legislators Can Afford To Be Stubborn Are Safe Political Seats Behind The Budget Impasse? http://wfae.org/post/are-safe-political-seats-behind-budget-impasse <p></p><p>Imagine the nasty notes you’d receive if you were four weeks late on your rent or mortgage.</p><p>If a pregnancy went four weeks long doctors would induce labor.</p><p>But if you’re a lawmaker, or a whole group of them in Raleigh, and your budget is four weeks late as of today, well…</p><p>So what is taking the pressure off lawmakers to get a budget deal done?</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Unless you’ve spent your summer on a desert island with a volleyball named Wilson you know the issues holding up the budget are teacher pay, teaching assistants and Medicaid payments.</span></p><p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:46:02 +0000 Tom Bullock 55395 at http://wfae.org Are Safe Political Seats Behind The Budget Impasse? Unified Statehouse Is Clearly Divided http://wfae.org/post/unified-statehouse-clearly-divided <p>The past few days have testified to the old political saying: there are two things you never want to watch being made — sausage and laws.&nbsp;</p><p>And in the attempts to pass a readjusted state budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, the North Carolina General Assembly has also played into another old saying: Actions speak louder than words.</p><p>In trying to resolve their fundamental differences on the $21 billion state budget, the state House and Senate formed what is often referred to as the “third chamber” of legislatures: A conference committee.</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 21:41:43 +0000 Michael Bitzer 54911 at http://wfae.org Unified Statehouse Is Clearly Divided Let The Libertarian Media Hype Begin http://wfae.org/post/let-libertarian-media-hype-begin <p>There are certain stories that just come out every election cycle like clockwork, akin to a consistent dog whistle for some reporters who really don’t want to take the time to investigate the past to discover what might be in the present.</p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 17:11:59 +0000 Michael Bitzer 54464 at http://wfae.org Let The Libertarian Media Hype Begin Influence Of Black, Hispanic Voters Smaller In Mid-Term Elections http://wfae.org/post/influence-black-hispanic-voters-smaller-mid-term-elections <p>Much has been made about who will show up in elections and how both parties put together their different coalitions to win in state-wide general elections.&nbsp; And with the significant growth in one bloc of the general population, both sides are attempting to see how they can best capitalize on a changing electorate.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:06:13 +0000 Michael Bitzer 54190 at http://wfae.org Influence Of Black, Hispanic Voters Smaller In Mid-Term Elections Pundits Show Their Non-Wisdom In Discussing Tea Party http://wfae.org/post/pundits-show-their-non-wisdom-discussing-tea-party <p>When I wrote my last <a href="http://wfae.org/post/tea-party-starts-flex-some-muscle-2014">post</a> for The Party Line, we were expecting that all the attention on Tuesday’s primary election would be in South Carolina. Instead, the political earthquake centered in Richmond, Va., with the unseating of the second-most powerful Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.</p><p>And while most commentators are readying national implications into the race, it would seem like the old adage of former House Speaker Tip O’Neill still rings true: All politics is local.</p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 19:35:16 +0000 Michael Bitzer 52800 at http://wfae.org Pundits Show Their Non-Wisdom In Discussing Tea Party Tea Party Starts To Flex Some Muscle In 2014 http://wfae.org/post/tea-party-starts-flex-some-muscle-2014 <p>Much has been written about the ‘Civil War’ within the Grand Old Party between the Establishment/Old Guard and the Tea Party insurgents to secure a spot on the November ballot.&nbsp;</p><p>Yet with the vast majority of Tea Party candidates failing to unseat incumbent Republicans during this primary season, it was surprising to see a long-time serving Republican in the U.S. House loose his bid for renomination , and a Republican incumbent in the U.S. Senate appear to be on the ropes.</p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 20:42:18 +0000 Michael Bitzer 52654 at http://wfae.org Tea Party Starts To Flex Some Muscle In 2014 Educators Meet With Senate Leader Berger After Protest http://wfae.org/post/educators-meet-senate-leader-berger-after-protest <p>Fifteen educators and advocates who expected to be arrested outside Senate leader Phil Berger’s office Monday night instead spent an hour talking with him about education and money.</p><p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 14:44:07 +0000 Ann Doss Helms 52621 at http://wfae.org Educators Meet With Senate Leader Berger After Protest