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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Now that both Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s Chairman, Reince Priebus, have declared Trump as the presumptive presidential nominee, the attention turns to the general campaign and the November election.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

With the decision by federal judge Thomas Schroeder upholding the North Carolina’s election law overhaul that Republicans approved in 2013, the 485-page opinion is a massive analysis of the legislative intent and, at times, a stark dismissal of opponent’s criticisms.

The ruling can only be viewed as a solid win for the Republicans when they were desperate for any news of a victory for their party’s policies in the state.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

In 1992, the voters of Colorado passed a state constitution amendment in response to several local governments, including Denver, Aspen, and Boulder, that had enacted local laws to ban discrimination

based on sexual orientation. In the constitutional amendment (known as Amendment 2), these local ordinances were repealed and local governments could not prohibit discrimination on the basis of “homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices, or relationships.”

The key questions throughout the prior primaries and caucuses have been about the electorates’ composition. With the notable influx of voters into the Republican presidential primary and the clear distinction between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders when it comes to Democratic primary voters’ age and race, who shows up in Tuesday’s primary will be a key question.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

Donald Trump, while not completely engulfing his opponents with a tsunami, did extremely well on Super Tuesday.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

Some thoughts following both the Nevada Democratic caucus and the South Carolina Republican primary appear to show a clearer sense of where things are headed in the presidential battles.

For Hillary Clinton’s campaign, coming off a thumping in New Hampshire’s primary, Clinton needed the first state where minority voters would be influential, and she managed to achieve that in Nevada.

With the release of the ‘contingent’ congressional district maps by the Republicans, my immediate reaction upon seeing the map was an emphatic “wow.” There were some very dramatic changes to at least eleven of the thirteen districts, and the effects of such a change will be significant in this hyper-partisan election year.

With the unexpected death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, the 2016 political landscape has shifted

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

The scramble for what happens next in North Carolina’s 1st and 12th congressional districts is well underway now that a federal 3-judge panel has declared their Republican-drawn maps unconstitutional.

Unfortunately, this pattern of judicial ‘holds’ on North Carolina legislative and congressional maps is nothing that we haven’t experienced before.  

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

In the past few weeks, two news stories implied this year’s election could be determined by not only "independent" voters but a possible ‘independent’ presidential candidate.

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