People In Politics


People in Politics December 7, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 06 December 2013 05:56

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The Republican National Committee has opened a Charlotte office to engage African-Americans in North Carolina. One of those in attendance at the opening was Salisbury physician Dr. Ada Fisher, North Carolina’s National Committee woman and the only black female elected by the GOP executive committee. Host Donna Martinez talks with Dr. Fisher about the challenge Republicans face in the effort, her beliefs as a Republican, how other African Americans react to her politics, and why she is engaged in an effort to educate Tar Heels about the history of African Americans and the Republican Party. Then we turn to the four lawsuits that have been filed against North Carolina’s election law reforms. Jeanette Doran of the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law tells Martinez why her group has created a special website to analyze the case documents and the legal issues involved. That’s followed by a look at the latest survey data from Public Policy Polling. Tom Jensen talks about North Carolinians’ views of the Republican majority in the legislature and the declining approval rating for the president in the wake of the failed rollout of the Affordable Care Act. And finally, Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard tells Martinez about new data that shows, despite claims to the contrary, Gov. Sarah Palin helped John McCain in his 2008 run for president.
 
Last Updated on Friday, 06 December 2013 09:50
 
People in Politics November 30, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 02 December 2013 12:24

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On Thanksgiving weekend, host Donna Martinez revisits favorite interviews and comments from November. Public Policy Polling’s Jim Williams provides Martinez with an update on Sen. Kay Hagan’s polling numbers, which have dropped dramatically in the wake of the Affordable Care Act website problems. Then Martinez talks with Democrat Ken Spaulding, a Durham attorney, about his political aspirations. Spalding has announced he will seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2016. Next are recent comments from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews about the potential impact on North Carolina of gubernatorial election results in Virginia and New Jersey. Matthews also offers his view of President Obama’s handling of the ObamaCare rollout. That’s followed by an update on John Edwards return to public life, this time as an attorney. Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson tells Martinez about Edwards’ plans. And finally, we revisit Martinez’s recent conversations with two men who’ve announced they’re seeking the Republican nomination for the 6th District seat in the U.S. Congress. The seat is held by Republican Howard Coble, who recently announced he will not seek re-election. Martinez talks with Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. and High Point businessman Don Webb.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 12:26
 
People in Politics November 23, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 22 November 2013 08:51

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The race for North Carolina’s 6th District seat in Congress is getting crowded. Rockingham County District Attorney tells host Donna Martinez he will seek the GOP nomination for the seat current Rep. Howard Coble will vacate at the end of his term, and he discusses his views on fiscal and social issues. Then we turn to the re-emergence of John Edwards. Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson tells Martinez about Edwards’ decision to get back into lawyering and what his daughter Cate says about any potential political future for her father. Martinez and Henderson also discuss the continuing political comments coming from Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who appears to be setting the stage for a gubernatorial run, and legal problems for the High Point mayor. Next is a look at the plummeting approval numbers for President Obama. CBS’s John Dickerson digs into the data and what it could mean for the president. That’s followed by comments from 4th District Democratic Rep. David Price about issues with health insurance cancellations due to Affordable Care Act rules. Then you’ll hear the dueling ads already on the air in the race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Kay Hagan. The Senate Majority PAC is airing a pro-Hagan ad, while Americans for Prosperity has produced an ad that questions Hagan’s votes. Next is Martinez’s conversation with Chad Adams, former Lee County Commissioner and Wilmington talk show host. Adams offers his view of the 2014 election cycle. And finally, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. You’ll hear the president talks with WGN sportscaster Vince Lloyd on opening day of the baseball season in April 1961. Martinez also reports on survey data about Americans’ views of JFK.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 November 2013 09:45
 
People in Politics November 16, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 15 November 2013 11:26

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This week, a shift in the polling of the 2014 U.S. Senate race as problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act seems to have taken a toll on Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan. Host Donna Martinez gets the very latest survey data from Jim Williams of the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling. Williams discusses that Hagan’s lead over her potential GOP opponents has evaporated and that she, in fact, now trails Cary physician Greg Brannon. Williams also gives Martinez the latest numbers for Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-led legislature, which shows both are faring better with North Carolinians. Then we hear from Sen. Hagan about her concerns with the bungled rollout of the Affordable Care Act and what she’s doing to address it. So how are things shaping up in the race? Ran Coble of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research assesses the GOP field. It’s not just Sen. Hagan whose approval numbers have fallen. President Obama is suffering in the polls as well. CBS News Correspondent Pam Coulter looks into the data. Then Democratic political analyst Jeanne Bonds reacts to the dropping poll numbers for both Sen. Hagan and the president. Next is a look at the potential impact of recent gubernatorial races on North Carolina. People in Politics Correspondent Patrick Johnson talks with MSNBC anchor and author Chris Matthews about what could be ahead. Then we turn to the 2016 race for North Carolina governor. Martinez talks with Democrat Ken Spaulding of Durham about why he wants to take the state in a different direction. And finally, Martinez talks with one of the Republican candidates for the 6th District seat in Congress now held by Howard Coble, who is planning to retire. High Point businessman Don Webb tells Martinez why he wants the seat.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 November 2013 11:28
 
People in Politics November 9, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 08:52

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Slightly more than 14 percent of North Carolina’s registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday, electing mayors and council members, as well as deciding ballot questions. Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson joins host Donna Martinez to analyze the mayoral results, in which some candidates breezed to victory while others endured nail-biters. Then we turn to the legacy of one of North Carolina’s most well known political strategists – Jack Hawke – who died this week at age 72 following a battle with cancer. One of his friends, former Republican Party chairman candidate Chad Adams, remembers Jack and discusses the long-lasting impact he made on North Carolina politics over five decades. Adams also assesses what’s ahead for North Carolina Republicans in 2014 and gives his view of the “Moral Monday” protests by Democrats and their advocacy groups. Then we turn to new polling data that shows both President Obama and Gov. Pat McCrory losing support among North Carolina voters. Francis DeLuca of the Civitas Institute shares with Martinez the results of questions about the president, the governor, the Affordable Care Act, and the direction of the country and the state. That’s followed by a look at the 2016 presidential race with MSNBC host and author Chris Matthews, who tells People in Politics correspondent Patrick Johnson that the Republicans have a decent chance of beating Hillary Clinton if they avoid a very conservative nominee. And finally, 11th District Congressman Mark Meadows lowers the hammer on Veterans Administration officials at a recent congressional hearing. Meadows tells the officials he expects efficient delivery of services to North Carolina veterans, not lavish spending on employee conferences. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 08:53
 
People in Politics November 2, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 11:22

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While Democrats and Republicans fight in court over whether North Carolina’s new requirement to show a photo I.D. to vote is constitutional, N.C. State political science professor Andy Taylor is expressing concerns over enforcement of the law, should it pass legal muster. Host Donna Martinez talks with Taylor about his concerns, as well as the role of Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper in the voter I.D. story. Cooper has been vocal about his personal opposition to the law even though his office must defend the state in court. Then we hear comments from Gov. Pat McCrory in defense of the law. That’s followed by a look at a provision in the election reform law that has garnered few headlines. Martinez talks with Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal about the end of public financing for judicial elections in North Carolina, how North Carolina compares to other states when it comes to electing judges, and recent disciplinary action against former Mecklenburg County Judge Bill Belk, whose law license has been suspended for three years. Then Martinez provides a news update on national fundraising numbers for Democrats and Republicans, comments about President Obama’s opposition made by Benjamin Jealous of the national NAACP, and an African-American engagement office opened in Charlotte by the Republican National Committee. Next is a look at the results of two rankings of state legislators’ votes on business issues and environmental issues. And finally, conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter tells Talk Radio 850 WPTF talk show host Bill LuMaye her views about the rift inside the Republican Party.
 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 11:23
 
People in Politics October 26, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 07:57

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One of North Carolina’s most well known players in grassroots activism is making the move from policy to politics. Host Donna Martinez talks with Dallas Woodhouse about his new ventures following years in the trenches with Americans for Prosperity. The two also discuss the politics at play with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act enrollment and Woodhouse talks about his work with then-candidate Pat McCrory in opposing the government’s takeover of the health insurance/health care system. Woodhouse also reveals that a new independent documentary has profiled the political and policy rivalry between he and his brother, Brad, who for years worked for the Democratic National Committee. Then we turn to comments made by Gov. Pat McCrory while the guest of the Washington D.C. think tank, the Heritage Foundation. The governor talks about his view of the federal government’s lawsuit against North Carolina over election reforms passed by the legislature, his year vision for infrastructure, and the principles by which he governs. Next is a look at the incivility in politics with Rufus Edmisten, former Secretary of State and Attorney General of North Carolina. Edmisten tells Carolina Newsmakers host Don Curtis he’s fed up with the name-calling between the two political parties. That’s followed by perspective on the state’s tea party movement  from political consultant Doug Raymond. And finally, the political fight over gay marriage continues in North Carolina. Tami Fitzgerald of the N.C. Values Coalition reacts to the latest push by pro-gay marriage advocates to bypass North Carolina’s constitutional amendment which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
 
 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 09:36
 
People in Politics October 19, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 07:47

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Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper finds himself at the center of a political dust-up over North Carolina’s voter I.D. law and the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But some political analysts think Cooper’s vocal criticism of Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican legislators is an intentional move to jumpstart a campaign for governor. Host Donna Martinez talks about Cooper’s sudden public profile with Thomas Mills, Democratic political analyst, and Becki Gray, vice president for outreach for the John Locke Foundation. The trio also discuss the political dynamics of the partial federal government shutdown and why national Democrats are so intent on getting Sen. Kay Hagan re-elected, and why national Republicans think they can snag the seat away. Then we focus on the political controversy stirred up by a Buncombe County Register of Deeds who is opposed to North Carolina’s ban on gay marriage. This week the county official flouted the law by accepting marriage applications from same-sex couples and said he intends to seek an opinion from Attorney General Roy Cooper. Martinez gets reaction from Tami Fitzgerald of the North Carolina Values Coalition, the organization that led last year’s successful effort to define marriage in our state as solely between one man and one woman. Fitzgerald says the Buncombe County official is breaking the law and should be held accountable. Then we turn to comments from Gov. Pat McCrory about problems in the Health and Human Service department and negative media coverage of HHS Secretary Aldona Vos. The governor also explains the $750,000 early state appropriation to help state food banks that have experienced greater demand during the federal government shutdown. Then Martinez updates the Rielle Hunter story. This week, the mother of John Edwards’ young daughter wrote on a national blog that she’s sorry for the affair. Martinez also shares details about a key Republican state legislator who unexpectedly announced she will not seek re-election. And finally, People in Politics Special Correspondent Scott Briggaman talks with Dan Crawford of the progressive group, the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, about the group’s legislative report, which gives many legislators very poor scores. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 07:49
 
People in Politics October 12, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 11 October 2013 09:02

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North Carolinians in 23 counties went to the polls this week to choose mayors, city council members, county commissioners, and school board members. Host Donna Martinez talks about statewide results with Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson. The two also discuss the the N.C. GOP’s active interest in November’s Charlotte mayoral race, rumors that school boards around the state may start engaging in direct political advocacy, and the plethora of booze-related items on the November ballot. Then Martinez is joined by Matt Bales of the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation to hear the results of a confidential survey of lobbyists and business advocates who rated state legislators based on their friendliness, or unfriendliness, to business issues. That’s followed by a look at the emerging political presence of North Carolina’s Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who recently blasted Republicans and Gov. Pat McCrory before a Buncombe County group of Democratic Party women, and comments from the governor about the need to hire outside legal counsel to defend the state against a federal lawsuit over election reform that Cooper opposes. Next is a look at campaign finance law as the U.S. Supreme Court considers hears arguments over political speech. Then we look at Sen. Kay Hagan’s falling approval numbers, and we visit the political showdown over federal government spending and the new health insurance law. You’ll hear comments from President Obama, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, 5th District Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, and 4th District Democratic Congressman David Price. 
Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 09:04
 
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
 
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