The Party Line

The Party Line: Raising the Curtain on Carolina Politics, 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 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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The Party Line
12:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Looking Back On 2013, Ahead To 2014

Michael Bitzer

With thoughts turning to the New Year, I thought I would look back at the year of past blog posts that I wrote and what they may hold for the birth of a new political year.

The year of 2013 started with the U.S. House of Representatives and its speaker, John Boehner, coming out of a disastrous “Plan B” alternative to keep the country from going off the preverbal “fiscal cliff.” 

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The Party Line
1:46 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Rucho Shows He's No Historian In Shameful Tweet

Michael Bitzer

Politicians are notoriously prone to expressing hyperbole in their defense or attack on policies, especially when the policy comes from the opposite side of the political aisle.

But there are times when the hyperbole goes too far, and in our political discourse, it seems that some politicians can launch a broadside attack purely out of context and not deal with the resulting damage.

Recently, NC state senator Bob Rucho, Republican from Matthews, sent out the following Tweet:

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The Party Line
12:15 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Erosion Of Conservative Democrats, Liberal Republicans Made Nuclear Option Inevitable

J. Michael Bitzer

­Now that the “nuclear option” has been deployed in the United States Senate, many observers have begun wondering what might be the fallout from such a move. 

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The Party Line
5:24 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Obama Continues Presidential Legacy Of Tough Year 5

The standing line for most presidential aspirations goes, “what does every first-term president want? A second term.” However, it may be something future presidents want to reconsider.

With the past four presidents who served a second term (Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush, and now Obama), the fifth year seems to be one that they would all rather have done without.

But there are two key differences between the presidents of the 1980s and 1990s and those who held the office in the 21st Century.

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The Party Line
4:46 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Republicans Still Viable In Charlotte (Barely)

In looking at this year’s Charlotte mayoral election, many observers believed that the election would determine whether the city had become like other national urban areas, a Democratic dominion, or if a GOP candidate could still perform at a level of political relevanIn the end, Republican Edwin Peacock’s candidacy mirrored that of the GOP’s performance from four years ago: he lost with 47% of the vote, one point below 2009’s GOP candidate, John Lassiter, in the last open mayoral contest.

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The Party Line
12:53 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Want To Throw The Bums Out? Well, Here's The Likely Result...

J. Michael Bitzer

As a result of the government shutdown, Americans are genuinely frustrated with the way that politicians are handling their governing system. 

In a recent Pew Research Center poll, only 14% of respondents said they were satisfied with the way things are going in the United States; a Gallup Poll found only 18% were satisfied with the way the nation was being governed. 

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The Party Line
9:44 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Unaffiliated Status Gains Appeal To Younger Black Voters

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.

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The Party Line
11:35 am
Thu October 17, 2013

GOP's Slide In Charlotte Elections Likely To Continue

J. Michael Bitzer

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. 

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The Party Line
4:13 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Safe Districts Embolden Bloc Of GOP House Members

J. Michael Bitzer

With the continued budgetary and debt crises consuming the country and the nation’s business, a deeper look into the warring camps may be helpful to understand their outlook and how much actual support each side may have.

Since their arrival on the political scene in 2009 and most importantly in 2010 election, the Tea Party has become the driving force within the Republican Party over the past two election cycles, especially in Congressional elections.

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The Party Line
1:14 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

How Polarized Are We? Let's Look At The Numbers...

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?”

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