Incumbents squash challengers in fundraising

Chalk it up as another way that incumbent legislators in general have a distinct advantage over challengers in N.C. General Assembly races this and every other election year. Besides the name recognition and the drawing of legislative districts to favor one political party over...

Alternative energy failures abroad should serve as warning

At $3.65 a gallon, gas is already expensive enough. Now imag-ine paying an additional carbon tax every time you fill up. That’s what a new report from the United Nations has recommended. To combat global climate change, the United Nations has urged governments everywhere to...

Sticking with the winning playbook

Gov. Pat McCrory and some Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly say they need more tools for economic development in North Carolina — by which they mean targeted tax breaks and corporate subsidies. They often point to South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee and other...

ISIS: Deal with it now

by Dr. Earl Tilford During the 2012 presidential campaign President Obama repeatedly boasted, “Osama bin Laden is dead, and Al-Qaeda is on the run.” He is right on both counts: bin Laden is gone, and Al-Qaeda runs stronger than ever. The latest Al-Qaeda iteration, the Islamic...

Ayers’ victim deserve support

By Nadia Stevens The first couple years I played softball for Jamie Ayers were fine — he wasn’t a great coach, but he certainly wasn’t the worst. Things didn’t take a serious turn until the end of my stay. The environment was so negative that around five of my teammates and I...

It’s not the love, it’s the taxes

by Brian Balfour For years, North Carolina has offered generous tax breaks to production crews filming here — breaks not offered to other businesses. The breaks are scheduled to expire at the end of this year, thanks to last year’s tax reform. Recent news articles spotlighting...

Millions of voters won’t have a choice on Election Day

By Patrick Gannon As part of my job, I look each day at a 2014 state House or Senate race. All 170 General Assembly districts are up for grabs this year. I look at the makeup of voters, voting trends in the districts, results from recent elections and the candidates and the money...

Pay reform meets student needs

By John Hood Critics of the Republican-led General Assembly allege that the teacher pay raise included in this year’s state budget could have been implemented in a much simpler fashion: by giving across-the-board hikes to all rather than giving large raises to early-career...

How big a burden is registering to vote?

The left has been howling about how the new voter reform law will discriminate against minority and young voters. Being a politically active college student myself, I decided to find out how hard it is to register to vote. Dreading what I had come to believe was the horrible...

A cynic’s guide to shutting down the short session

The curtains could come down on the General Assembly’s short session in the next week or two, about a month later than legislative leaders predicted before the 2014 session started. But just in case, and for future reference, here are five cynical ways to end the short session...

Credit claims are poorly scripted

When liberals debate tax policy, it can be hard to keep track of their current positions. They keep changing. Right now, for example, Democratic politi-cians and left-wing activists are castigating Re-publicans in the General Assembly for proposing a reduction or elimination of...

Progress despite the objections of our leaders

It seems fitting somehow that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced the decision that marks another major step toward marriage equality in North Carolina this week, just a few days after the General Assembly voted to allow charter schools in the state to discriminate...