Who is minding the pork?

Capital Press Association by Scott Mooneyham As long as there is politics, there will be this thing that people refer to as pork. As the word is batted about, it is important to consider what pork is and what it is not. Pork, in a political context, implies fat, that there is...

Legislature gets A- on growth

by John Hood When it comes to addressing North Carolina’s most- pressing challenge, our lackluster economy, the state legislature deserves a grade of A- for its 2013 session. Here’s how I computed the grade. Last year I wrote and published Our Best Foot Forward: An...

Tax reform part of broader plan

by John Hood A few weeks ago, I was interviewing one of North Carolina’s senior Democratic statesmen for my upcoming biography of former Gov. Jim Martin. Not surprisingly, the interview occasionally veered from the events of 20 years ago to the events of 2013. “John,” said the...

Conservatism offers moral alternative

by Lee Brett With an adoring liberal media bounding along happily at his heels, the Rev. William Barber has managed to portray North Carolina politics as a moral crusade. Perhaps you used to believe that conservatives simply held a different worldview and a different philosophy...

Tax reform transforms into old debate

by Scott Mooneyham With the word “reform” in the air, the debate turned into an old one. For state Rep. David Lewis, a Republican and small business owner from Harnett County, it was about putting more money into the pockets of taxpayers, letting that money and...

No punches to teeth from McCrory

by Scott Mooneyham Within North Carolina political circles, stories abound regarding the hard lessons doled out by the political enforcers of earlier governors. Not too long ago, most governors understood that they needed a tough-as-nails enforcer to ensure that they got their...

State needs better business brand

By  John Hood Liberal politicians, activists and commentators have spent months prodding, baiting and criticizing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-led state legislature. While occasionally goading their targets into making unwise comments, the obstructionists have...

The promise-breaking ideological giveaway to the wealthy

by Chris Fitzsimon If you go to the General Assembly website to read the details of the much-ballyhooed compromise tax bill — House Bill 998 — you will see that the short title is Tax Reduction Act. At least in that one small way, legislative leaders are finally being honest. The...

Legislature has time for bad bills

by Brian Balfour, Civitas Though the General Assembly has loitered past its scheduled conclusion, lawmakers still seem to have time to think of bad bills. Consider House Bill 803, Healthy and High Performance Schools Act. It is filled with mind-numbing amounts of detail in an...

Conservatives push for progress

by John Hood In Raleigh, the conservatives are confidently progressive and the progressives are desperately conservative. The modern-day conservatives who inhabit the General Assembly, the executive branch and other institutions believe that the state’s best days still lay ahead....

Killers get out of jail on weekends

by Angela Hight Imagine that one of your loved ones had been murdered and your family had undergone the long ordeal of watching a trial. The murderer has been sentenced and (you think) is in jail for the rest of his life. All of a sudden on a Saturday morning trip to the grocery...

Common core and other threats

by Russell Capps Unwelcome surprises are constantly being sprung upon us every day. There’s this fairly new concept called “Common Core” being pushed upon the states by the feds to take more control of our children. I would suspect that very few folks even have heard of it at...