North Carolina Government

Wednesday, the North Carolina Senate voted to shrink the Rockingham County School Board and redraw their districts.  

This is just the latest move by the Republican controlled General Assembly which seems to contradict a core belief of their party: Local Control is best.  

Tom Bullock / WFAE

Child care, student loans, wages, the economy. These were some of the issues President Obama addressed Wednesday at ImaginOn in uptown Charlotte. But the overall focus of the town hall-style meeting was on women.

President Obama began his remarks by having a little fun with the fact he was speaking at a children’s library.

"I was just hanging out with the Cat in the Hat," he joked.

My previous post looked at what has become one of the key competitive races for a U.S. Senate seat, following the closing of the filing period. But it won’t be just the U.S. Senate seat that will be up for grabs in May and November, but also all 170 seats in the North Carolina General Assembly. Or so one would think.

In looking at the candidate filing and the past voting patterns of the district lines under the new maps, the overall contest for North Carolina’s state legislature really won’t be as competitive as most would expect. 

Those seeking political office had until noon today to file for this year’s election. Two races in particular are fielding a large number of candidates.  

A recent article in the Charlotte Observer had the headline asking, “Voting fight: Is it race or politics?”

For intensely partisan observers, the redistricting fight is either racial or political. But, in looking deeper into the numbers nowadays, the answer is that the voting fight is much more race and politics. 

Going into the future, however, it could be ‘or’ rather than ‘and’ when it comes to racial politics in North Carolina.

With Washington’s mess garnering the nation’s attention, many voters would like a chance to register their complaints against DC right now. And while they will have to wait until next spring’s primary elections and the general election a year from now, some voters will have their chance to express their votes in the coming weeks.

I say “some” voters because very few voters cast their ballots in odd-year elections, one of which is Charlotte. 

As the game of gridlock “chicken” in Washington continues to march on, commentators are trying to explain “how did we get to this point of polarization?”

­With several months of Moral Monday protests under way, the North Carolina General Assembly may be feeling the heat of the dog days of summer, especially in terms of public opinion.

With the release of the provocative and no holds barred “NC 2013 Legislative Strategy” memo as reported by The Charlotte Observer, liberal advocacy groups are finally learning the lessons that conservative groups have been teaching them for some time: Be prepared to play the same game and have a playbook.

When the constitution’s framers developed the American system to handle governing power, they divided power in two distinct ways: the first is horizontally, by giving pieces of different powers (law-making, law-executing, law-adjudicating) to different branches of government. Hence, our “checks and balances” approach to government.

The second distinct way is by dividing power vertically, through a system we now call federalism on the levels of national, state, and local.