People In Politics


People in Politics October 5, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 04 October 2013 11:04

 

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This week we have full coverage of the legal debate over North Carolina’s new voter I.D. law. On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against North Carolina, alleging the law intentionally discriminates against minorities and is designed to keep minorities from the polls. You’ll hear Holder’s stinging allegations. It didn’t take long for Gov. Pat McCrory to respond to Holder’s suit and comments. You’ll hear the governor’s defense of the law and his description of the federal lawsuit as “an overreach and without merit.” Others reacted swiftly to Holder’s allegations as well. You’ll hear comments from the North Carolina NAACP’s Rev. William Barber, who defended the suit and alleges a southern strategy of disenfranchising minority voters. That’s followed by comments from North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope, who says the suit is a political stunt. Also at issue in the legal battle is whether or not North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper can be relied upon to defend the state against the feds. Cooper has openly opposed the election reforms passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, and he’s sounding more and more like a candidate for governor himself. In comments made earlier this year, Cooper says he and his office are professionals and can be counted on to perform their duties. Still, Gov. McCrory’s office has hired outside counsel to ensure the state has a vigorous defense. You’ll hear Gov. McCrory’s Chief Legal Counsel, Bob Stephens, explain his concerns and why he recommended that the governor hire outside assistance. So what have the courts said about voter I.D. laws? To find out, we revisit a February debate over the pros and cons of requiring a photo I.D. to vote. Panelists speaking in opposition to the idea are Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina and Allison Riggs of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Speaking in favor of the requirement are John Fund of National Review and Hans van Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation. And finally, the politics of government shutdown were on full display during the week in the nation’s capital. U.S. Senator Kay Hagan talks about the shutdown and the fight over spending. 
 
People in Politics September 28, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 27 September 2013 09:30

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No-go, says Senate Leader Phil Berger of Rockingham County, who announced this week he will not seek the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan. William Peace University political science professor David McLennan weighs in on Berger’s decision, how it impacts the race, and the prospects for the most well known of the GOP crop, House Speaker Thom Tillis of Mecklenburg County. Then host Donna Martinez gets additional reaction from Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal, who says he wasn’t surprised at all by the news. Martinez and Henderson also discuss the NC GOP’s call for an investigation into the liberal advocacy group Progress NC, an offer to Democrats and Republicans who want a free I.D. to vote, the discontent of some Republicans with Rep. Renee Ellmers of the 2nd District, and the popularity of 7th District Democrat Mike McIntyre. The two also share a laugh over a Twitter explosion related to the fashion style of 6th District Rep. Howard Coble and an off-microphone comment about his smoking habit by President Obama, and the amazing number of booze-related questions on the ballot across North Carolina this fall.  Then Martinez gets the latest polling data on election law reforms from Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the High Point University poll. Martinez also shares recent polling data from the Civitas Institute. That’s followed by perspective from Ran Coble of the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research about the prospects for the GOP to hold on to its newly acquired power in the future. Then Cate Edwards talks about her new job and her father, disgraced North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, and Duke University political science professor David Rhoade explains why Republicans don’t want compromise on Capitol Hill.
 
Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 09:31
 
People in Politics September 21, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 20 September 2013 07:57

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The Moral Monday protests by the North Carolina NAACP against the Republican-led General Assembly and governor have garnered lots of media attention for weeks. But this week the chairman of the state Republican Party called out the protesters – and the news media – for what he says is over-the-top rhetoric that unfairly taints the GOP. Host Donna Martinez talks with Claude Pope about his news conference in which he said the news media is failing to scrutinize the Left’s charges and accusatory rhetoric. Then Martinez talks with Tami Fitzgerald of the North Carolina Values Coalition about efforts by gay marriage supporters to challenge North Carolina’s marriage amendment, which was passed overwhelmingly by voters last year and which amends the state constitution to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman. Fitzgerald, whose group was key in the marriage amendment’s passage, discusses the legal challenge, as well as a separate effort by the Campaign For Southern Equality to find a North Carolina Register of Deeds willing to defy the law and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Fitzgerald also analyzes the legislative session for its work on pro-family issues. Next are comments from Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan about her work with the Veterans Administration to cut the long backlog of disability claims in the Winston-Salem VA office. That’s followed by a conversation with former Johnston County state Sen. David Rouzer, who is seeking a rematch with 7th District Congressman Mike McIntyre. Martinez and Rouzer discuss his 654-vote loss last November, what he’s learned from coming so close but falling short, and why he thinks he has a good chance to unseat the popular Democrat. And finally, we look at the prevalence of political action committee (PAC) money in the 2011-2012 election cycle. Matt Bales, research director for the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation, breaks down the numbers for Martinez.
Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 07:58
 
People in Politics September 14, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 13 September 2013 09:04

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This week, an incredible twist in the story of adjudicated criminal wrongdoing by former Republican state legislator Stephen LaRoque of Kinston. He had been scheduled to be sentenced this week following convictions on charges that he used federal grant money to enrich himself and his family. But now, LaRoque’s attorney is seeking a new trial. Sarah Ovaska, investigative report for the progressive think tank N.C. Policy Watch, tells host Donna Martinez about jury misconduct that has led to the request, and the sentence LaRoque could face if a new trial is not granted. Then Stephanie Hawco tells Martinez about a new plum assignment for 11th District Rep. Mark Meadows, whom President Obama has appointed as a  representative to the United Nations. Hawco and Martinez also discuss the growing number of Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for a chance to oust Democrat Kay Hagan from her U.S. Senate seat next year. Then we hear comments about voter fraud in North Carolina from Jay Delancey of the Voter Integrity Project, and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest explains why he supported Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of a bill that makes changes to the E-Verify system used by employers. That’s followed by Martinez’s conversation with Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger, Jr., who recently observed the pre-trial motions for accused 9/11 terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Mohammed was educated in North Carolina and is being tried at Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Berger also talks about his political aspirations – he’s rumored to be interested in running for Congress in the 6th District – and the possible entry of his father, Senate Leader Phil Berger, into the race to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan. And finally, we hear some of President Obama’s comments about the possibility of U.S. military action in Syria, from the address he made Tuesday evening from the East Room of the White House. 
Last Updated on Friday, 13 September 2013 09:05
 
People in Politics September 7, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 09 September 2013 10:14

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The state legislature overrides Gov. Pat McCrory’s concerns about two bills involving drug testing of Work First applicants and changes to the E-Verify system of verifying worker legality. We hear the governor’s reaction shortly after the North Carolina House voted to reject his veto and before the Senate chamber took its votes. One of the groups that stood with the governor is the North Carolina ACLU, which shared his concern about drug testing of welfare recipients. ACLU Legal Director Chris Brook explains the group’s support of the veto. Then host Donna Martinez talks with William Peace University political science professor Dr. David McLennan, who assesses the political implications for the players, while Democrat political consultant Thomas Mills gives Martinez the view of the Democratic Party on Gov. McCrory and the legislature. McLennan also weighs in on the presidential race, while Mills also discusses whether Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan should invite President Obama to the state to support her re-election campaign. Then we hear an assessment of the legislative session from Ran Coble of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research. Next, Martinez provides an update on the fate of former Democratic state legislator Thomas Wright, who is serving prison time but could be released soon. And finally, 11th District Congressman Mark Meadows weighs in at a recent congressional hearing on identity fraud and the I.R.S. 
Last Updated on Monday, 09 September 2013 10:16
 
People in Politics August 31, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 30 August 2013 10:52

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Fascinating politics will be at play on Tuesday, September 3rd when the General Assembly reconvenes to consider Gov. Pat McCrory’s vetoes of two bills the legislature passed by big majorities. One would require drug testing for Work First applicants. The other would change e-verify requirements for some seasonal workers. No doubt those who support the governor’s positions, and those who oppose them, are working behind the scenes to line up the votes necessary to either go along with the governor or override his concerns and let the bills become law. Gov. McCrory explained his vetoes in a recent web video. You’ll hear his comments, as well as those from Sarah Preston of the North Carolina ACLU. Host Donna Martinez talks with Preston about why her group is supporting the governor’s veto of the drug testing bill. Then Martinez gets political perspective on what’s at stake from William Peace University political science professor, Dr. David McLennan. The two also discuss a push in North Carolina to move up the state’s presidential primary. That’s followed by a look at the 2014 U.S. Senate race for the seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan. NC State political science professor Andy Taylor gives Carolina Newsmakers host Don Curtis his thoughts on the dynamics of the race. Then Martinez looks back at the political debates that gained media attention during the legislative session with Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation. Gray also offers insight into the heavyweights on both sides of the aisle who flexed muscle during the session. She also offers perspective on the dust-up over a new law that requires North Carolinians to present a photo I.D. to vote, beginning in 2016. Then 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers explains to Don Curtis her views on immigration reform, and Martinez gives an update on what former Gov. Beverly Perdue is doing this fall. And finally, we look at presidential history through newly released audio of then-President Gerald Ford testifying about the 1975 assassination attempt by Manson cult follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme. Fromme served 30 years for the crime and was released in 2009. 

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 10:53
 
People in Politics August 24, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 07:47

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Democrats and allied groups say the Republican-led General Assembly is taking the state down the wrong path. But conservatives say the legislature is simply making good on campaign promises that gave the GOP the majority, and that the relentless criticism is sour grapes from people who lost at the ballot box. Host Donna Martinez gets perspective from the Right with Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation, who lays out why conservatives are buoyed by legislative actions. Then we turn to the 2014 race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan. Senate Leader Phil Berger, Republican of Rockingham County, comments on whether he may seek the GOP nomination to challenge Hagan, as well as on voter I.D. legislation and education funding. Next are comments from Ferrell Guillory of UNC-Chapel Hill on the course charted by Republicans as welll as his view of the working relationship between Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature. That’s followed by Martinez’s update on hot political news of the week, and a look at the prospects for Democrats and Republicans eyeing the 2016 presidential race. Those comments come from the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard.
 
 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 07:48
 
People in Politics August 17, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 16 August 2013 11:13

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Then-candidate Pat McCrory said he would sign a law requiring photo I.D. to vote in North Carolina, and this week, Gov. McCrory did exactly that. You’ll hear the governor explain why he signed the sweeping election reform law and what he thinks of the critics who say the law disenfranchises minority and Democratic voters. Reaction from the governor’s progressive critics was swift and fierce. The North Carolina NAACP immediately filed a legal challenge. You’ll hear the remarks of Rev. William Barber, who heads the state chapter of the organization, about his view of the law, the governor, and Republicans in general. Then we turn to the question of whether voter fraud really exists. Jay Delancey of the Voter Integrity Project offers perspective. We continue with reaction to the governor’s action with Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina, who explains his disappointment with the election law. That’s followed by comments from Hillary Clinton, who joined the chorus of Democrats criticizing North Carolina and other states who’ve passed a voter I.D. law. So has all the controversy impacted Gov. McCrory’s job approval rating? Tom Jensen of the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling provides the latest data from his firm, which says it has. Then we turn to immigration reform. Former New Hampshire Sen. John Sununu tells host Donna Martinez why he’s joined with a group of business people who are urging Congress to reform the system, with particular emphasis on increasing the number of visas for high-skilled workers. And finally, in the wake of news that the Obama administration has provided members of Congress and their staffs with special health care subsidies as the implementation of ObamaCare nears, we hear two divergent views on the action and the law. Democratic Congressman David Price of the 4th District and Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers of the 2nd District weigh in. 
Last Updated on Friday, 16 August 2013 11:14
 
People in Politics August 10, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 09 August 2013 09:05

 

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This week a  key legislative Republican looks back at the GOP’s work during the long session, as well as the criticism directed against the GOP by Democrats and allied groups. Host Donna Martinez talks with Harnett County Republican Rep. David Lewis about tax reform, election reform, and a push he’s currently involved in to level the sales tax field between online retailers and bricks and mortar stores. Then we turn to the latest twist in the story of convicted former state legislator Stephen LaRoque. The Kinston Republican was convicted on 12 federal counts related to misuse of money obtained from the USDA for a nonprofit he ran but now a judge says he should receive a retrial on two of the counts. Martinez gets the story from reporter Sarah Ovaska of the progressive think tank N.C. Policy Watch. Then we hear from the head of the N.C. Division of Employment Security. Dale Folwell reacts to criticism from progressives about cutbacks in the amount of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. That’s followed by analysis of Kay Hagan’s re-election bid. Katie Glick of Politico talks about the challenge faced by the North Carolina Democrat. Next is a look at the continuing controversy in K-12 education about the new standards known as the Common Core. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest opposes the Common Core and is challenging Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson to answer his questions. Recently, Atkinson responded. You’ll hear comments from both officials. And finally, we hear from 10th District Congressman Patrick McHenry, who recently questioned an IRS Inspector General about the findings of an investigation into political targeting by the IRS of conservative groups seeking nonprofit status.
 
People in Politics August 3, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 05 August 2013 09:06

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Say goodbye, the party’s over. State legislators wrapped up their work for the long session and adjourned until May. This week we get reaction to the session from both sides of the political aisle. First, Gov. Pat McCrory weighs in on what he sees as the key accomplishments of the session, which saw the GOP-led legislature reform programs and the General Fund budget. While the governor sees the session as a positive one, state Democrats do not. Host Donna Martinez talks with state Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller about how Democrats’ view the GOP’s priorities and what Democrats plan to do to regain political power. Then Martinez provides the latest news on the 2014 Senate race for the seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan. On Friday, Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (2nd District) decided she will not seek to challenge Hagan. Then we get perspective on the session from the head of the State Employees Association of North Carolina. Dana Cope talks with Martinez about the impact of the legislature’s work on state employees, as well as the political dynamics of the session following decades of Democratic Party control. Cope also explains why his group’s members stayed out of the so-called Moral Monday protests against Republicans, choosing instead to engage lawmakers in a discussion of policy.
 
Last Updated on Monday, 05 August 2013 09:07
 
People in Politics July 27, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 26 July 2013 09:31

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A contentious final week at the General Assembly included historic, sweeping tax reform signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory. Critics complained the reform package, which lowers personal income and corporate tax rates, favors the wealthy. But in an interview with NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh, Gov. McCrory defends the changes and explains why he agrees with the majority of state legislators that it is the right thing to do for North Carolinians. Then we turn to the continuing debate over whether to require a photo I.D. to vote in our state. Early in the week, before the legislature voted on election law changes, the head of the North Carolina NAACP criticized Republicans for the move and questioned the party’s motives. You’ll hear Rev. William Barber in his own words. Then host Donna Martinez gets reaction to the anti-GOP protests and rhetoric from North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope, who talks about the legislature fulfilling its promises to the majority of voters who gave the GOP control of the legislature in 2012. That’s followed by a look at President Obama’s sagging job approval ratings. Martinez talks with N.C. State University political science professor Andy Taylor about the president’s summer doldrums, as well as the poor showing for Congress. Then Sarah Dutton, director of surveys for CBS, reveals the latest poll numbers on the economy, the key issue followed by elected officials and sure to be a factor in the next election cycle. And finally, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest explains why he sent a series of questions to the state Department of Public Instruction about the new Common Core standards that are being implemented.
 
Last Updated on Friday, 26 July 2013 09:32
 
People in Politics July 20, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 22 July 2013 09:56

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This week, supporters of Republican legislators turn the tables on the anti-Republican protesters at the General Assembly. We hear from N.C. GOP Vice Chairwoman Joyce Krawiec about the Thankful Tuesday event. Then host Host Donna Martinez talks with Correspondent Stephanie Hawco about the pro-GOP rally, the latest on the Moral Monday protest plans, and the fall from grace for one of the state’s most well known public officials: N.C. Rural Economic Development Center leader Billy Ray Hall. Then Tom Jensen of the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling discusses the latest survey data of North Carolinians, which shows an erosion of support for Gov. Pat McCrory. That’s followed by comments from the governor, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) about the historic tax reform agreement forged during the week. Next is a look at new fundraising numbers for some of North Carolina’s congressional and legislative delegation. Then we turn to former Gov. Beverly Perdue’s post-retirement plans, which include participating in a biography of her life and time in public office. Martinez talks with a co-author of the book, Barlow Herget of SGRToday.com. Herget talks about research into Perdue’s background, his discussions so far with Democratic movers and shakers about the Perdue legacy, and what the former governor hopes to accomplish with the book. And finally, the discussion turns to presidential politics. Martinez talks with Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard about the 2016 presidential race, which is already generating buzz in D.C.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 July 2013 09:57
 
People in Politics July 13, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 06:34

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They’re legal: so says a three-judge panel about North Carolina’s newly drawn election districts. We bring you reaction to the ruling from a bipartisan judge’s panel about GOP-drawn election maps that had been challenged by Democrats and their allies. Dr. David McLennan of William Peace University weighs in on the very high bar Democrats must seat should they choose to challenge the ruling. Then talk turns to whether the answer to ending political wrangling over the redrawing, which is required every 10 years, is to create an independent redistricting commission. Jane Pinsky of the N.C. Coalition for Government and Lobbying Reform makes the case. Next we turn to the controversy that has ensnared Gov. Pat McCrory over legislation that supporters say would protect the safety of a woman having an abortion, and critics say would limit access to an abortion. Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal tells host Donna Martinez about the tug-of-war over a contentious social issue that had the Republican governor threatening a veto against legislation supported by his own party. Then we delve into the latest twist in the politics of gay marriage. Chris Brook of the North Carolina ACLU explains the basis of his group’s decision to challenge North Carolina’s ban on gay marriage. Last May a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman passed overwhelmingly on the ballot. That’s followed by comments from District 12 Congressman Mel Watt, Democrat who has been nominated by President Obama to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Watt was recently before a Senate committee considering his nomination to the post. Then we have highlights from a news conference held by Gov. Pat McCrory in which he discussed his first six months in office. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 06:36
 
People in Politics July 6, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 05 July 2013 07:38

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This Fourth of July weekend, People in Politics revisits key political stories from the last month. Host Donna Martinez talks with Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling about the latest survey data on the race to snag the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan. Jensen assesses Hagan’s fight for re-election and the strength of various potential Republican challengers. He also discusses President Obama, whose job approval has dropped in the state he lost to Mitt Romney last November. That’s followed by a look at the passing of the first Republican governor of the 20th Century: James Holshouser. Current Gov. Pat McCrory talks about his friend and mentor, while Raleigh News & Observer political columnist Rob Christensen tells Martinez about Holshouser’s political influence and legacy in a state that, prior to his election, had been dominated by Democrats for decades and decades. Next is reaction to the ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, in which the majority ruled a section of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. Chris Brook of the North Carolina ACLU expresses his concerns over the ruling, while Lt. Gov. Dan Forest tells Martinez about the likely impact of the ruling on the new election maps and the effort to adopt a photo I.D. requirement for voting in North Carolina. Then we turn to the protests against Republicans and Republican policies at the legislature. Groups allied with state Democrats – most notably the NAACP, which organizes the weekly protests – are convening on Monday evenings at the legislature. Some have chosen to be arrested as an act of civil disobedience. Now a conservative think tank – the Civitas Institute – is taking heat for posting information from the arrest records, which are public documents. Francis DeLuca of Civitas tells Martinez about the profile of the arrestees and what he believes is behind the protests – the activation of Democratic Party voters in 2014.
 
Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 07:40
 
People in Politics June 29, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 28 June 2013 09:19

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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a section of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional, meaning that states like North Carolina – which has 44 counties that have been subject to VRA rules – no longer have to comply with the 1965 formula the Court has deemed obsolete. You’ll hear reaction from Chris Brook of the North Carolina ACLU and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who tells host Donna Martinez that the ruling may pave the way for a new law requiring a photo I.D. to vote. Forest also discusses his first six months in office and his reaction to protesters who show up on Monday evenings at the legislature, where Forest presides over the Senate. Then we turn the latest twist in the story of the protests organized against Republicans and their policies by the North Carolina NAACP and other allies of the Democratic Party. Francis DeLuca of the Civitas Institute tells Martinez about his group’s research into the protesters that have been arrested. The data, gathered from public records, provides a profile of the Moral Monday arrestees. DeLuca also discusses the heat he’s taking from progressives and Democrats for posting the public information. In response to his action, DeLuca’s own salary ended up posted online. That’s followed by an update on Election 2014. Martinez talks with Don Webb, a High Point businessman who has announced he will seek the GOP nomination for the 6th Congressional District seat now held by fellow Republican Howard Coble. Webb tells Martinez why he’s running and discusses his views of key issues.
 
 
Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2013 09:20
 
People in Politics June 22, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 21 June 2013 09:51

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With the death of Gov. James Holshouser this week, North Carolina said goodbye to a piece of political history. Host Donna Martinez looks back at the first Republican governor elected in the state in the 20th century, his policy views, and the transformational role he played in Republican politics through interviews with veteran political reporter Rob Christensen of the Raleigh News & Observer and John Hood of the John Locke Foundation. We also hear memories from Gov. Pat McCrory, former Holshouser aide Ballard Everett, and political talk show host and analyst Tom Campbell. Then we turn to First Lady Ann McCrory’s news conference about puppy mills, an issue near to her heart, and why she urging legislators to take action. That’s followed by the latest polling data from Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling. Jensen talks with Martinez about the U.S. Senate race for the seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan, the president’s dwindling popularity in North Carolina during his second term, and how Gov. Pat McCrory and state legislators are faring with voters. Then we hear from Sen. Hagan about the race for re-election, and we hear from one of the Republicans who wants to challenge her for the Senate seat, House Speaker Thom Tillis, Republican of Mecklenburg County. And finally, Martinez provides an update on a courtroom win for 1st District  Congressman G.K. Butterfield over the 2012 Democratic primary opponent who had challenged Butterfield’s standing on the 2012 ballot. 

Last Updated on Friday, 21 June 2013 09:53
 
People in Politics June 15, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 14 June 2013 12:53

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The new chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party has only been in office for a few days, but he’s already striking back at critics of the GOP-led General Assembly. Claude Pope talks with host Donna Martinez about the protests by liberal advocacy groups – dubbed Moral Mondays and Witness Wednesdays -- and discusses his plans to keep the Republicans in power as the 2014 election cycle looms. Then People in Politics Correspondent Stephanie Hawco takes us to the latest legislative protest. You’ll hear comments from several anti-GOP activists, as well as the Rev. William Barber, head of the N.C. NAACP, which is leading the events. Then we turn to the legal problems of former Republican legislator Stephen LaRoque of Kinston. LaRoque now faces jail time after being convicted of multiple federal charges that he diverted federal money meant for economic development nonprofits he led, to his family and friends. Investigative reporter Sarah Ovaska of N.C. Policy Watch explains the convictions to Martinez, as well as the sentence LaRoque faces, and the suspicious information that snagged her interest in this story many months ago. That’s followed by an update on discontent inside the North Carolina Democratic Party. Stephanie Hawco tells Martinez about the resignation of a key party official and an EEOC complaint filed against Chairman Randy Voller by a former party staffer. Hawco and Martinez also discuss the public squabble that played out among the GOP’s Senate leaders this week as Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County resigned his co-chairmanship in a huff over disagreements with Senate Leader Phil Berger, Republican of Rockingham County. And finally, Martinez talks with Chris Fitzsimon of N.C. Policy Watch about progressives’ disagreements with Republican policies, as well as the upcoming race for the U.S. Senate seat how held by Democrat Kay Hagan.
 
 
Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 12:55
 
People in Politics June 8, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 10 June 2013 07:42

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President Obama headed back to North Carolina this week for a stop in the Charlotte area to tout his middle class jobs programs. His visit comes amid a variety of scandals engulfing key agencies and officials. Dr. David McLennan of William Peace University offers perspective to host Donna Martinez on how the scandals are impacting the president’s second term, as well as why Sen. Kay Hagan’s Senate seat is being eyed by both Republicans and Democrats. Then CBS Correspondent Howard Arensteen explains why the FBI believes more ricin-laced letters could be in the works as the agency investigates multiple incidents of tainted letters mailed to the president and other officials. That’s followed by analysis of new polling data that shows the questions swirling around the Benghazi terrorist attack is impacting Hillary Clinton’s approval rating. The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard provides the background. Then Democratic political consultant Thomas Mills talks with Martinez about the importance of the Hagan Senate race and the growing criticism of Republicans and GOP-led policies in the legislature. Then Cash Michaels of The Carolinians assesses the impact of the NAACP protests dubbed “Moral Mondays” on the GOP. And finally, Gov. Pat McCrory talks with Carolina Newsmakers host Don Curtis about his political background, his years as Charlotte mayor, and life in the executive mansion. 
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 07:43
 
People in Politics June 1, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 31 May 2013 13:19

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He’s been the subject of speculation for months, but this week, House Speaker Thom Tillis announced he will see the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan. People in Politics Correspondent Stephanie Hawco joins host Donna Martinez to discuss Tillis’ decisions, his fundraising prowess, potential primary challengers, and a pro-Tillis Super PAC that has been formed. Then the discussion turns to the federal trial of former Republican Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston. Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal gives Martinez background on the case and discusses the high-profile attorney defending LaRoque on charges he used federal grant funds meant for an economic development nonprofit he ran for personal use and a lavish lifestyle for family members. That’s followed by new polling data from Public Policy Polling on the Hagan Senate race. Next are comments from two candidates for chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. The party will choose a chairman next week. Martinez revisits her recent conversations with Claude Pope and Jack Brosch. Then Barlow Herget of SGRToday.com talks with Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin about his relationship with the Republican-led legislature and Republican governor following decades of Democrat Party control. Next up, 4th District Democratic Congressman David Price weighs in on gun violence and his ideas for preventing it, including expanding background checks for gun purchases. And finally, Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner gives a first-hand account of his encounter with former Vice President Dick Cheney, who is writing a book about his struggle with heart disease.
 
 
Last Updated on Friday, 31 May 2013 13:20
 
People in Politics May 25, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:24

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The Memorial Day weekend edition of People in Politics features Stephanie Hawco, who joins host Donna Martinez to discuss the indictment of a family friend and professional colleague in the recent murder of Democratic political fundraiser Jamie Hahn, who was killed in her Raleigh home as her husband Nation was attacked as well. Hawco also relates an uncomfortable moment on the North Carolina House floor during the week when a Republican legislator read into the record a letter criticizing House Speaker Thom Tillis over a policy disagreement. Then we revisit an interview with Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal who explains thre changes to the membership of the state Board of Elections made by Gov. Pat McCrory. The board was flipped from three Democrats and two Republicans, to three Republicans and two Democrats. Then Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan introduces Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to the U.S. Senate committee that will oversee his confirmation hearings to be the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation. That’s followed by another look at last year’s Marriage Amendment with Tami Fitzgerald of the North Carolina Values Coalition. Fitzgerald assesses what has occurred in the year since the constitutional amendment was passed and says facts refute claims by the opposition that gays and lesbians would experience discrimination due to the amendment’s passage. Next is People in Politics Correspondent Patrick Johnson’s engaging interview with Rufus Edmisten, the former aide to Sen. Sam Ervin, who led the Senate investigation of Watergate. Edmisten discusses a new Watergate exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History and recalls key events in the Watergate saga. And finally, Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling explains why pollsters who so wrong about the outcome of the S.C. congressional race that ended with a huge win for former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford. Pollsters, including Public Policy Polling, said the race was a dead heat going into election day. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 12:06
 
People in Politics May 18, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 20 May 2013 09:43

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A political firestorm engulfs the Obama administration as the IRS admits it has been targeting for special tax scrutiny, nonprofits groups aligned with the Tea Party movement and beliefs in limited government. We hear reaction from President Obama and North Carolina Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard Burr. Then host Donna Martinez talks with the state director of a nonprofit group frequently criticized by President Obama for its support of limited government. Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity North Carolina weighs in on the IRS tactics, and also gives his assessment of legislative activities in Raleigh. Then People in Politics Correspondent Stephanie Hawco gives Martinez the latest rundown on what have become weekly protests by the North Carolina NAACP against legislative Republicans. Hawco and Martinez also discuss the re-emergence of Sen. John Edwards and news that Edwards has reactivated his law license and will speak to a group next month. That’s followed by perspective from Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis of Mecklenburg County on issues including the impending passage of a bill that will require a photo I.D. to vote and the prospect of an independent commission to handling redrawing of election districts every 10 years. Then we delve into whether claims by those opposed to last year’s Marriage Amendment have come true in the wake of the passage of the constitutional amendment that defines marriage in North Carolina as between one man and one woman. Tami Fitzgerald of the North Carolina Values Coalition also discusses with Martinez Franklin Graham’s comments that the Graham organization was visited by IRS agents after it ran newspaper ads in support of last year’s amendment, known as Amendment One. And finally, as the 40th anniversary of the Watergate hearings arrives, we get eyewitness perspective from a North Carolinian who was in the middle of the investigation of the scandal that led to the resignation of President Nixon. Rufus Edmisten, former counsel to Sen. Sam Ervin, who led the Senate investigation, tells People in Politics Correspondent Patrick Johnson about his memories of those fateful months. Edmisten, former Attorney General and Secretary of State of North Carolina, also discusses a new Museum of History exhibit that features mementos and timelines of the events.  
Last Updated on Monday, 20 May 2013 09:44
 
People in Politics May 11, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 10 May 2013 09:32

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The chairman of the state Democratic Party finds himself in hot water – with some veterans in his own party – following his comment that North Carolina Republicans are “raping” citizens with their policies. Veteran Democratic political consultant Thomas Mills tells host Donna Martinez why he’s concerned about the direction and leadership of the party, and why the Republicans need to be held to account for their legislative actions. Then William Peace University professor David McLennan assesses the impact of protests against legislative Republicans by the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP. Next is a look at the tax overhaul laid out this week by Senate Republicans, who say it will result in a $1  billion tax cut. Senate Leader Phil Berger of Rockingham County and Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County talk about the goal of the plan. That’s followed by a look at Gov. Pat McCrory’s stature within the national GOP. NC State professor Andy Taylor weighs in on what it means for McCrory to have been chosen to give last week’s GOP response to President Obama’s weekly radio and internet address. To find out more about the governor’s working relationship with legislative Republicans, Barlow Herget of SGRToday.com talks with veteran Republican lawmaker Leo Daughtry of Johnston County. Then we turn our attention to what could be the political comeback story of the year. Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford talks about his huge win over Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch for a seat in the U.S. Congress. His win stunned many in the political world, particularly since polls showed the race a dead heat heading into election day. Martinez talks with Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling about why firm’s poll, as well as others, so badly misread the public.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 May 2013 09:34
 
People in Politics May 4, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 03 May 2013 09:43

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It’s the end of two decades of Democratic Party control of the state Board of Elections, as Gov. Pat McCrory appoints new board members to reflect a Republican in the governor’s seat. The board’s first day in action included the appointment of the staff’s chief investigator, Kim Strach, as elections director, replacing long-time Democrat director Gary Bartlett, whose term is expiring. Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal joins host Donna Martinez to assess the move and discusses Strach’s knowledge of campaign finance law, as evidenced by her work in ferreting out wrongdoing by former House Speaker Jim Black that ended in a prison sentence. Martinez and Henderson also discuss recent protests and arrests at the General Assembly, a new poll that shows broad support for an independent redistricting commission, the departure from the legislature of a one-time rising star in the Democratic Party, and President Obama’s nominations of two North Carolina politicians for key Washington D.C. posts. Then we hear the president’s own words about his nominees, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx for Secretary of Transportation, and Congressman Mel Watt of the 12th congressional district for head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. We also bring you Mayor Foxx’s comments. Then we turn to a potential primary challenge from the Right for Republican Congressman Walter  Jones of the 3rd congressional district. Craven County Commissioner Scott Dacey explains why he’s considering a run against the 18-year veteran. Next are comments from veteran Democratic political consultant Brad Crone, who assesses the state of the Democratic Party, the explosion of unaffiliated voters, and the controversy over a proposal to require a photo I.D. to vote in North Carolina. That’s followed by comments about voter I.D. from House Speaker Thom Tillis, Republican of Mecklenburg County. And finally, we bring you the latest information on the stabbing murder of Democratic Party fundraiser Jamie Hahn, as well as remembrances from her friends and political colleagues who attended her memorial service this week. 
Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 09:44
 
People in Politics April 27, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 26 April 2013 11:14

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Tragedy struck Democratic Party circles this week as up-and-coming party fundraiser Jamie Hahn was stabbed to death and her husband, Nation, was wounded in an attack allegedly committed by a family friend whose financial activities related to political campaigns may be in question. Democratic consultant Thomas Mills talks with host Donna Martinez and reflects on Jamie and Nation Hahn’s work for Democrats and their many friends who are trying to cope with the senseless loss of life. Among those Jamie worked for is 4th District Congressman David Price, who also tells Martinez of Hahn’s work and the shock of her death. Then we turn to a look at an upcoming trial for former state legislator Stephen LaRoque, who is facing federal charges related to money he used to operate economic development nonprofit groups. Sarah Ovaska, reporter for N.C. Policy Watch, explains the allegations against the Republican from Kinston. That’s followed by a look at the three associates of former Gov. Beverly Perdue who this week faced the judge over a campaign finance scheme to circumvent limits on political donations. Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal explains what happened and what the judge told the men in court. Then we visit the latest installment of the voter I.D. saga that is playing out in North Carolina. This week the N.C. House passed a bill that would require an I.D. to vote, with Democrats casting the bill as harkening back to the days of poll taxes. Stephanie Hawco provides the details of the contentious debate, and Martinez gets legal analysis of the poll tax issue from Jeanette Doran of the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law. Doran says the House bill is constitutional and does not constitute a poll tax. Then we turn to the competition to be the next chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. Candidate Jack Brosch tells Martinez why he wants to lead the party and how he is different from the second declared candidate, Claude Pope. And finally, 4th District Congressman David Price tells Martinez of his frustration with fellow members of Congress – particularly Republicans – over the impact of budget cuts resulting from sequestration. He also reflects on the recent ricin square in D.C. 
 
 
Last Updated on Friday, 26 April 2013 11:15
 
People in Politics April 20, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 22 April 2013 09:38

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Momentum is building in the legislature for passage of a bill that would require some form of photo I.D. to vote in North Carolina. But while polls show the majority of North Carolinians support the idea, the debate among legislators continues to escalate. This week, in the House Elections Committee, Reps. John Blust (R-Guilford) and Rep. Evelyn Terry (D-Forsyth) squared off with opposing views – Blust in support of an I.D. and Terry against. You’ll hear the debate. Then People in Politics Correspondent Stephanie Hawco joins host Donna Martinez to analyze the state of the bill and the impact of Democrats on chamber debate. Hawco also provides an update on Gov. Pat McCrory’s activities for the week, including a meeting of the Education Cabinet, which hasn’t convened in years. Then we take you to a news conference featuring a bipartisan group of legislators who’ve signed on to a bill that would change the way North Carolina draws its election districts. You’ll hear from Democratic Reps. Rick Glazier (Cumberland County) and Deborah Ross (Wake County) and Republican Rep. Chuck McGrady of Henderson County about the push to take politics out of the process. That’s followed by some tough words for state Democrats from one of their own – Democratic political consultant Thomas Mills. Mills sits down with Martinez to explain what he thinks it will take to rebuild the Democratic Party following devastating losses at the polls in 2010 and 2012, and what Democrats should be doing to work with Republicans who hold the majority. Then we hear from Lt. Gov. Dan Forest about why he’s joined a grassroots effort to encourage sales tax reform in the state. And finally, we get an update from CBS on the debate over guns in the wake of a U.S. Senate defeat of President Obama’s gun control push. Sen. Richard Burr voted against the gun bill, while Sen. Kay Hagan voted for it.  
Last Updated on Monday, 22 April 2013 09:42
 
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