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
10:00 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Rise Of 'Moral Monday' Protests Similar To Tea Party

Michael Bitzer

In the beginning, there were a few diehards, committed to raising awareness of their vision of the perceived injustices being perpetrated by an overbearing government. They believed that speaking up and taking action was the only way to draw attention to the problems they saw.

Their main weapon was to gain notice, but they needed an outlet to gain the attention. So staging rallies and protests, all under their recognized 1st Amendment right to “assembly and petition” their government, was at first small. But as time marched on, so did their numbers and strength. 

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The Party Line
11:09 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Tillis Begins 'Invisible Primary' For U.S. Senate

North Carolina’s 2014 U.S. Senate race is starting to shape up as most had expected—one of the closest fought in the nation. And when early punditry call it “a close fight,” voters can usually expect an ugly, knock-down drag out battle.

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The Party Line
4:08 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Ranking NC General Assembly's Conservatism

With the Republican-dominated North Carolina General Assembly nearing the end of its long session, many observers have taken to characterizing the legislature’s work under unified GOP control.

For left-leaning groups, the legislature’s treatment of minorities, the poor, education and environmental protections have led some leaders to describe the Republican-controlled state government as “Robin Hood in reverse.” 

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The Party Line
5:02 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

12th District's History, Future Will Be Getting More Attention

North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District has a storied and controversial history and the likelihood is that the district will garner even more attention when a variety of events converge within the next few months. 

With Congressman Mel Watt’s nomination to head the Federal Housing Financing Agency, an open-seat contest has already attracted considerable attention, especially from black Democratic candidates seeking to replace the 20-year veteran legislator. 

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The Party Line
5:10 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Sanford's Win Shows Political 'Experts' Don't Know Voters

Michael Bitzer

As post-election commentaries pronounce a host of reasons why former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford won his congressional race Tuesday (the better candidate in political workmanship, the novice challenger, etc.),, we might want to view a more important component of his victory: The voters of South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.

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The Party Line
3:10 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Watt's 'Liberal' Ranking Slides As Congress Gets More Partisan

Michael Bitzer

My most recent post was entitled With Nomination in Hand, Foxx Faces GOP Delay Machine.  While several cabinet nominees have faced delaying tactics by the minority GOP conference in the U.S. Senate for reasons perhaps other than the nominee’s qualifications, this week’s other Charlotte nominee may face not just delay, but a possible denial of his appointment.

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The Party Line
3:35 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

With Nomination In Hand, Foxx Faces GOP Delay Machine

Michael Bitzer

It was the worst-kept secret in Charlotte politics. Anthony Foxx’s nomination as the 17th U.S. Secretary of Transportation is reality.

Coming a day before his 42nd birthday, Mayor Foxx’s rise has been calculated since his first run to lead the Charlotte back in 2009, followed by overseeing a fairly successful Democratic National Convention.

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The Party Line
2:42 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Miranda And The Public Safety Exception

Michael Bitzer

With the situation in Boston having come to a close, the next phase of the case against the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will proceed into the judicial system.  But before the courtroom proceedings have commenced, a debate began over the actions of law enforcement and the legal route for the suspect.

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The Party Line
12:25 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

McCrory's First 100 Days

Michael Bitzer

Now that we have reached the first 100 days of Governor McCrory’s administration (the mythical standard of time to pass judgment, based on FDR’s break-neck pace of New Deal legislating), some early thoughts on how the unified Republican state government, especially the state’s chief executive, is doing.

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The Party Line
10:09 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

A Look At High Court's Opinion-Crafting Process

Michael Bitzer

So now the briefs and oral arguments are filed in the same-sex marriage cases with the U.S. Supreme Court—now what?

As probably one of the least transparent institutions of our government, the court’s decision-making process is left solely to the nine members of the high court.  But we do know, from the research on judicial politics in political science, that this period between the court’s public arguments and the release of a decision (expected in late June) can be just as crucial as any public discussion.

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