The Party Line

The Party Line is dedicated to examining regional issues and policies through the figures who give shape to them. These are critical, complex, and even downright confusing times we live in. There’s a lot to navigate nationally and in the Carolinas; whether it’s elections, debates on gay marriage, public school closings, or tax incentives for economic development. The Party Line’s goal is to offer a provocative, intelligent look at the issues and players behind the action; a view that ultimately offers the necessary insight for Carolina voters to hold public servants more accountable.

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For most of us who study North Carolina politics, 2008’s election was the great demarcation in terms of the state being a “strong Republican” presidential state (George W. Bush won by 13 percentage points) to a competitive battleground. 2008’s election saw a notable difference from 2004’s election in that registered Democrats matched registered Republicans in their turnout.

Davie Hinshaw / Charlotte Observer

It’s been another day of surprises with House Bill 2, Charlotte, and the city’s non-discrimination ordinance. The Charlotte City Council met again Wednesday morning to take action aimed at convincing state lawmakers to repeal House Bill 2.

That’s what council did Monday, too. Whether it’ll work still isn’t clear.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

Once upon a time, a political party was faced with the loss of a branch of government to its political nemesis. It came following a rancorous and bitter election, which saw the sitting incumbent defeated in his bid for re-election. Before the opposition was sworn in, however, the lame-duck party in power decided to use the rules of the game of politics, and its majority status, to ensure its presence within the structure of government, all to the dismay and abhorrence of the incoming opposition party.

Charlotte City Council members voted unanimously Monday night to add one more item to their 2017 lobbying priorities: Seeking legislation to give Charlotte's Police Review Board subpoena power.  It's one of the proposals to arise after the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in September.

Protesters disrupted the state House of Representatives in Raleigh again Friday morning, chanting "All political power comes from the people." It was the second day of protests during a surprise special session that includes bills to limit the powers of incoming Governor Roy Cooper.

Jayron32 of English Wikipedia

Plans by Republican lawmakers to limit the powers of incoming Governor Roy Cooper have drawn fire from Democrats. They call it a power grab and unconstitutional. But to others, it's all just part of North Carolina politics …  and history.

Governor-elect Cooper said in a press conference Thursday the legislature's moves are unprecedented. He even threatened a lawsuit.

“If I believe that laws passed by the legislature hurt working families, and are unconstitutional, they will see me in court,” Cooper said.

Update on Dec. 19

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed Senate Bill 4 into law. He said in a press release, “This legislation lays important groundwork to ensure a fair and ethical election process in North Carolina." It passed the state House and Senate along party lines. 

Original post on Dec. 15

The Neuse River inundated this hog farm in Goldsboro on Wednesday.
Rick Dove / Waterkeeper Alliance

Updated 10:18 p.m.
North Carolina lawmakers reconvened for a special session Tuesday, to consider a bill that would provide $201 million in disaster relief to communities affected by flooding from Hurricane Matthew and wildfires.  The bill easily passed the House of Representatives Tuesday night and now goes to the Senate, which returns at 8 a.m. Wednesday. 

Now that the dust has finally settled on North Carolina’s elections, some preliminary analyses can be conducted on the voting patterns in the state, which experienced a 2-to-1 split in the big three statewide contests between the two parties.

With Republicans claiming the U.S. presidential and U.S. senate contests, and the Democrats claiming the governor’s, it would appear that the era of split ticket voters has returned to the state.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced he's seeking $200 million in emergency funding during this week's special legislative session.
N.C. Governor's Office

Gov. Pat McCrory says he'll ask the General Assembly to approve $200 million in emergency funding during the special session that begins Tuesday. The money will help pay for cleanup and recovery after flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew in eastern North Carolina in late September and wildfires in western North Carolina since October.

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