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...

Why incumbents keep getting re-elected

It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at an historic low for a midterm-election year. Which...

Plant the seed for fruitful debate

I’m told that while there is no firmly established gift tradition for a 28th anniversary, the modern practice is to signify the event with an orchid. Well, this month marks the 28th anniversary of the birth of my syndicated column on North Carolina politics and public policy. It...

Flat tire reminds me, I’ve nothing left to spare

On Friday, July 4, most of the nation’s thoughts were drifting toward independence, the evening’s fireworks and just how many hot dogs Joey “Jaws” Chestnut would eat in 10 minutes at the annual “Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.” Sixty-one, as...

Huge issue ahead for North Carolina

Decades from now, when schoolchil-dren in North Carolina look back on 2014, they might hear about the massive coal-ash spill into the Dan River and subsequent legislation requiring cleanup of Duke Energy coal-ash ponds. And they might learn about the General Assembly’s push to...