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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Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

CMS finally has a concrete proposal to pitch as part of its student assignment process.  The district is taking its plan to diversify magnets on the road next week. CMS will host town hall meetings on Monday, October 17 at North and South Mecklenburg High Schools at 7pm.  Meetings are scheduled for the same time at West and East Mecklenburg High Schools November 7.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

A recent Charlotte Talks show discussed how polarization has increased in our politics, based on a recent Pew Research Center study of partisan animosity between voters, with one of the guests contending that Americans are ‘sorting’ themselves based on lifestyle and location, with an effect of living in ‘like-minded’ communities and voting in like-minded fashion.

UPDATE: The group of young voters appealed the federal district court decision to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Oct. 19, that court also denied the young voters' request to adjust early voting plans in five counties. 

In the fight over early voting in North Carolina, one of the things that stands out in a recent decision is who sat on the sidelines.

The U.S. Justice Department, the North Carolina NAACP and the state chapter of the League of Women Voters did not join a request to adjust early voting plans in five counties. Only one group of plaintiffs from the N.C. voting lawsuits made that request: young voters known as the Duke Intervenors. 

This week we talk about the debate between the two North Carolina U.S. Senate candidates, incumbent Republican Richard Burr and Democratic challenger Deborah Ross. It was their only scheduled debate.  WFAE's political analyst Michael Bitzer joins WFAE's Marshall Terry.

With women's status a key issue in the presidential race, celebrity women from the entertainment and sports worlds aren't shying from the political spotlight. Some are big donors to campaigns and PACs. And some like to hit the campaign trail, as Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan is doing for Hillary Clinton in North Carolina this week.

Believe it or not the 2016 election is nearing its end. Election day is just weeks away. And with you political junkies in mind we'll be posting more regularly to our Party Line blog until November 8 finally arrives.

And we'll be compiling stories from more sources in order for this to be your one stop political news shop.

The big story in Charlotte has been the shooting of Keith Scott and the protests that followed. And also the release of police body and dash cam video of the shooting, and the new law taking effect that requires a court order to release such video. We talk with our political analyst, Michael Bitzer, about that and more in this week's discussion.

House Bill 2 was back in the news this week - with decisions by both the NCAA and ACC to pull championship games from the state because of the law. We start this week's discussion looking at the potential impact of those decisions on the election. Then we look at the lieutenant governor's race.

WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer of Catawba College joins WFAE's Marshall Terry.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

This week, we start off by discussing final early voting plans for 33 counties that couldn't reach their own agreement, including Mecklenburg. Then, what kind of impression did Hillary Clinton leave after her speech at Johnson C. Smith University? 

WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer of Catawba College talks maps and laps with WFAE's Sarah Delia. 

With Donald Trump’s newest attempt to ‘reboot’ his presidential campaign, speculation abounds as to whether this latest campaign shake-up, along with the candidate’s mea culpa in Charlotte, will have any profound impact on his poll numbers in the race towards November.

Most modern campaigns are, structured around core components: A candidate who has a compelling message, a campaign infrastructure that is focused, flexible, and deep, and an environment that is understood and worked within, not around.

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