NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 12 min ago

GOP support for the free market and competition? Not when it comes to NC elections

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 08:59
For a group of politicians so passionate about the “genius” of “free markets” and “competition,” North Carolina’s conservative leaders sure do whistle a different tune when it comes to elections. In case you missed it, the lead Sunday editorial in the Greensboro News & Record explains: “It’s disappointing that 2016 will be another year of limited ...

John Cole cartoon sums up the year in NC government

Mon, 12/28/2015 - 10:32
In case you missed it this morning, NC Policy Watch cartoonist John Cole neatly summed up the year in North Carolina policy and politics with this entry — “Legislative Auld Lang Syne”:

Climate change news: Baby, it’s not cold outside

Mon, 12/28/2015 - 07:28
The shorts and tee shirt weather that’s been gripping the eastern U.S. during recent weeks is not, of course, “proof” of global warming any more than the “polar vortex” of a couple years back disproved it. Weather is weather and climate is climate. That said, there’s little doubt that global climate change is closely linked ...

Not a very Merry Christmas for a lot of NC teachers

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 09:28
The fact that lots of North Carolina public school teachers have to work at second jobs after the school day is over to make ends meet is not a new story. All across North Carolina, parents, students and administrators regularly encounter teachers working cash registers and mopping floors during the evening hours in an effort ...

Franklin Graham’s departure: A badge of honor for the GOP

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 07:43
One of the nation’s most troubled well-known people, the evangelist Franklin Graham, says he’s quitting the Republican party. Setting aside the rather strange reality that a so-called “man of God” would make his political party a public matter and feel obliged to make a big announcement about it (and that anyone would really give a ...

Candidate filings set up another flawed election year

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 07:08
[Bill Wilson, the Deputy Director of the North Carolina Justice Center and a veteran observer of state politics, recently examined at the candidate filings for the 2016 elections. As explained in the essay below, his findings once again document the need for electoral reform.] Ask Santa for a better democracy By Bill Wilson With the ...

Editorial: “Altered State” report a must read

Mon, 12/21/2015 - 10:03
In case you missed it, the lead editorial in Sunday’s News & Observer touts the new N.C. Policy Watch special report, “Altered State: How 5 years of conservative rule have redefined North Carolina.”  To quote: “The close of 2015 brings North Carolina to a significant anniversary: It has been five years since the Republicans took ...

BREAKING: McCrory issues executive order on worker misclassification

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 15:05
Gov. McCrory took a step in the right direction this afternoon on the issue of employee misclassification — the persistent problem that plagues thousands of North Carolina businesses wherein workers are improperly treated as contractors when they ought to be employees.  As we have reported on multiple occasions this year (and as Raleigh’s News & ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 14:04
1. Win the courts, win the war How the state Supreme Court advanced the conservative agenda Conservative justices hold a 4-3 majority on the ostensibly nonpartisan state Supreme Court and, as party operatives understand well, maintaining that edge has been critical to ensuring Republican control elsewhere throughout the state. “Lose the courts, lose the war.” ...

State Supreme Court sends Racial Justice Act cases back to trial court

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 12:21
In orders issued today, the state Supreme Court sent two Racial Justice Act cases back to the trial court for further review. In State v. Robinson, the justices held that the trial court erred when it failed to give the state additional time to address a Michigan State statistical study submitted on behalf of Marcus ...

State Supreme Court upholds redistricting plan for a second time

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 11:49
In a 4-3 ruling released today, the state Supreme Court once again upheld the congressional and legislative voting districts created by the General Assembly in 2011. The justices had already upheld the plan in a 2014 decision but revisited the issues after a remand by the U.S. Supreme Court. The question this time around was whether the ...

Top 10 state budget missteps in 2015

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 11:45
The 2015 year brought plenty of budget missteps on Jones Street—from another round of tax cuts to state investments that are mired at historic lows. Here’s a look at the top 10 missteps that state policymakers should address in 2016. State lawmakers once again chose to cut taxes that primarily benefit the wealthy and profitable ...

“Voices” from Altered State featured today; full report now available online

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 10:34
With yesterday’s release of the conclusion and today’s compilation of video interviews with experts, readers now have access to the entire special NC Policy Watch report: Altered State: How 5 years of conservative rule have redefined North Carolina. We hope you will find it informative and share it with friends an colleagues. You can also ...

Another damning (and thereby encouraging) report about fracking

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 07:38
Don’t ya’ just love it when even the market forces so cherished by the ideologues on the right tell them that their head-in-the-sand environmental denials are all wet? As we reported last week, ExxonMobil is now calling for strong government action to address the climate change crisis even as members of the Flat Earth Society ...

Hopeful news on race-based traffic stops

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 09:55
In case you missed it, there has been some hopeful news in Greensboro this week with respect to the city’s troubling record of race-based traffic stops. As you will recall, the New York Times published a major front page story in October entitled “The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black: An examination of traffic stops ...

New Justice Center E.D. outlines his vision

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 06:47
In case you missed it, the parent organization of NC Policy Watch, the North Carolina Justice Center, gained a new Executive Director in recent months. Rick Glazier, a veteran attorney from Fayetteville who served several terms as one of the General Assembly’s most accomplished and respected members, joined the organization in late summer. Recently, the ...

McCrory’s epic fail in immigration enforcement

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 14:21
Governor Pat McCrory expressed a tough stance regarding immigration enforcement during a recent segment of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor (see Rob Schofield’s post below). Unfortunately, the Governor’s lack of understanding about how immigration enforcement actually works further muddies the waters for law enforcement in North Carolina, is confusing in light of his previous statements ...

Anti-poverty programs matter all year long

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 12:04
The holiday season is a time to reflect on our personal journey over the past year and spend time with family and friends. For many, it is also a time of compassion and willingness to help less-fortunate neighbors make ends meet and secure basic needs. In Governor McCrory’s Thanksgiving video message, he spends a brief ...

Today’s Altered State must read: “Open season on individual rights”

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 10:21
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out today’s installment of  Altered State: How 5 years of conservative rule have redefined North Carolina.  Today’s story by reporter Sharon McCloskey is entitled “Open season on individual rights: Conservatives seek voting restrictions, keep fighting on old social issues.” Here’s the introduction: “The party of ...

McCrory goes on O’Reilly to promote anti-immigrant law (video)

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 07:35
Bill O’Reilly seemed dreadfully bored throughout the three and a half minute appearance, but North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory probably got what he wanted Monday evening with his appearance on the right-wing blowhard’s hour of toxic blather on Fox Noise — to continue his efforts to appease the far right with some good, old fashioned ...