People In Politics


People in Politics August 23, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 22 August 2014 09:02

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Races for seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court take the spotlight this week as Gov. Pat McCrory appoints two candidates to open seats, in effect making them the incumbents in the races. You'll hear Gov. McCrory's comments about why he's elevating sitting Justice Mark Martin to the Chief Justice seat being vacated by retiring Chief Justice Sarah Parker. You'll also hear other high-profile endorsers of Justice Martin, who also spoke at the appointment ceremony: former Chief Justice Burley Mitchell and current Justice Barbara Parker. Then host Donna Martinez delves into the politics of the appointment of Martin, as well as the subsequent appointment of Bob Hunter to fill Martin's empty seat, with Carolina Journal's Rick Henderson. The two discuss reaction from Martin's political opponent for the seat, Ola Lewis, as well as whether the "nonpartisan" approach to judicial elections is real considering that both major political parties endorse a slate of candidates. Then we turn to the latest developments in the U.S. Senate race, with both Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis up on the air with advertising. Martinez also talks with Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling about new data showing Hagan still leads Tillis but her margin is shrinking. Tillis' big problem, says Jensen, is Libertarian Sean Haugh who is pulling 8 percent of the vote, though most of the Haugh voters say their second choice is Tillis. And finally, we hear from 4th District Democratic Congressman David Price, who speaks about illegal immigration and why he thinks House Republicans have shirked their responsibility to pass a comprehensive reform plan. 
 

Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 09:04
 
People in Politics August 16, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 15 August 2014 09:43

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The fall ballot will be jammed with races for U.S. Senate, Congress, and state legislature, but voters will also be asked to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to a constitutional amendment. Host Donna Martinez talks with N.C. House Speaker Pro Tem Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake, about his support for the amendment which, if passed, would also defendants to waive a jury trial. Stam, an attorney, explains why he thinks the change will help the efficiency of the justice system and make it more just. Then Martinez and Stam discuss last week's ruling by a federal judge that North Carolina's election reform law is enforceable. The law has been the subject of vocal criticism from the N.C. NAACP and Attorney General Eric Holder. Stam also offers his view on the newly passed state budget, including the hotly debated issue of offering tax credits to the film and TV industry. Then 4th District Democratic Congressman David Price explains why he is critical of moves by the Republican in the legislature when it comes to the election law changes and the decision to exit the federal extended unemployment benefits program. That's followed by perspective on the U.S. Senate race from political analyst Doug Raymond, who says the Kay Hagan campaign is about to make a mistake following months of good campaign decisions. The barrage of advertising set to run over the next few weeks on behalf of Democrat Hagan and her Republican challenger, House Speaker Thom Tillis, are then scrutinized by Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal. In the weekly "On the Trail" segment, Henderson updates Martinez on messaging from the two major candidates, polls that show the race a dead heat, and why the Hagan camp is choosing to go after Tillis on education. The two also discuss a national publication's profile of Democrat Clay Aiken, who is running in the 2nd congressional district against Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers, and the debate schedule for Republican Mark Walker and Democrat Laura Fjeld in the 6th District congressional race. 

Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 11:00
 
People in Politics August 9, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 15:07

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After months of debate, discussion, and and more debate, we have a new state budget. And it includes provisions close to the heart of Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who's been touting education reform since his days on the campaign trail. Host Donna Martinez talks with Forest about a new education endowment, pay raises for teachers, the state of the North Carolina economy, the future of fracking, and the impact of illegal immigrant children who have made their way into North Carolina as part of the recent wave across the U.S. border. Then Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson tells Martinez that our state's 2nd District congressional race is drawing even more national attention. This week political analyst Charlie Cook moved his rating of the race between Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers and Democratic challenger Clay Aiken from "Likely Republican" to "Solid Republican." The change comes in the wake of HBO host Bill Maher's campaign to get his viewers to elect Aiken over Ellmers. Then Henderson updates Martinez on recent eye surgery for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. Next is a look at a move by state legislators to increase the transparency of campaign donations to state campaigns. Martinez gets the details from Jane Pinsky of the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform. Pinsky also talks about her continuing push to reform the redistricting process in North Carolina. Then Joe Stewart of the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation analyzes the state's elective seats on the judiciary. And finally, we look back at North Carolina's connection to the Watergate investigation as the country marks the 40th anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon. People in Politics Special Correspondent Patrick Johnson talked earlier this year with Rufus Edmisten, who worked for N.C. Sen Sam Ervin, the man who led the Senate investigation into Watergate and Nixon. Edmisten became North Carolina's Secretary of State and Attorney General. He talks about Nixon and serving the subpoena on the White House. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 15:09
 
People in Politics August 2, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 01 August 2014 07:43

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North Carolina's voter-approved marriage amendment is in the legal and political crosshairs following a ruling on Virginia's similar ban on gay marriage that has been ruled unconstitutional. You'll hear about the ruling and reaction from all angles, including Attorney General Roy Cooper, who says his office will stop defending the state against legal challenges to the amendment, which passed with overwhelming support at the polls in 2012. Then we hear from Chris Brook of the North Carolina ACLU about his organization's support of gay marriage and from Tami Fitzgerald of the N.C. Values Coalition about her group's opposition to gay marriage. Then host Donna Martinez delves into polling on the highly charged issue with Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling. That's followed by Jensen's data on the U.S. Senate race and why the Kay Hagan campaign is smiling right now, as well as new numbers that show both Democrats and Republicans in North Carolina's General Assembly are extremely unpopular with voters. Then Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson tells Martinez why HBO host Bill Maher is paying such close attention to the 2nd district congressional race between Republican Renee Ellmers and Democrat Clay Aiken. The two also discuss Kay Hagan's latest ad, which positions her as a centrist interested in bi-partisan solutions.

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 09:28
 
People in Politics July 26, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 25 July 2014 11:55

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Kay Hagan's campaign strategy catches the attention of the New York Times, which notes that Hagan is bypassing the state Democratic Party and running her campaign out of the Wake County party offices. Host Donna Martinez talks about the story with Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson, who explains that the very public problems with the party structure and leadership are the source of the move by Hagan. Martinez and Henderson also discuss new polling that shows Hagan has expanded her lead over Republican rival Thom Tillis and that Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh continues to pull 8 percent of the vote. Henderson also provides an update on judicial campaigns, where colleagues but campaign rivals are vowing to keep a civilized tone as the election nears. Discussion also turns to Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield's effort, along with three dozen House Democrats, to convince governors who chose not to create state exchanges for the Affordable Care Act, to change their minds. Gov. Pat McCrory is among those who declined to start a state exchange. Thirty-six states did not. Then we continue our look at the judicial campaigns by focusing on fundraising totals for the candidates. Joe Stewart of the N.C. Free Enterprise Foundation analyzes the numbers and the races. And finally, we turn to comments made by former President Bill Clinton about the possible presidential candidacy of wife Hillary, and fundraising totals for the congressional campaign committees. Recent totals show national Democrats out-raising national Republicans. 

Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 09:30
 
People in Politics July 19, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 18 July 2014 08:22

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Political stunner in the 6th Congressional District Republican runoff as newcomer Mark Walker trounces the race favorite, Phil Berger Jr, 60 to 40 percent. Berger had won the initial primary in May. Host Donna Martinez talks with Walker about his win and what he expects to talk about going into the general election. Then Martinez discusses the dynamics of the race with Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson. The two also discuss reaction to Walker's win from his Democratic opponent, Laura Fjeld, who on election night lashed out at Walker and called him an "extremist." Also of discussion is the runoff result in the 5th Congressional district, where Democrat Josh Brannon defeated fellow Democrat Gardenia Henley for the opportunity to challenge Republican incumbent Virginia Foxx in the general election. Martinez and Henderson also discuss the debate over debates in the U.S. Senate race. Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan wants very few debates, while her Republican challenger, House Speaker Thom Tillis, is proposing 10. Then we turn our attention to the impending 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on same-sex marriage. Pastors in North Carolina who oppose gay marriage are concerned that the ruling, which is expected anytime, could imperil North Carolina's constitutional ban on gay marriage. You'll hear comments from Pastor Dave Kistler of the North Carolina Pastor Network. And finally, the National Governors Association has named Gov. Pat McCrory to its Executive Committee, while the Republican Governors Association has released a video of McCrory discussing his priorities for North Carolina. You'll hear the governor in his own words.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 09:10
 
People in Politics July 12, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 11 July 2014 09:08

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It's down to the wire for primary runoff candidates as Election Day looms on Tuesday, July 15. Host Donna Martinez gets the latest on last minute campaigning in the 6th District congressional runoff from Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson. The two discuss the frenzied battle between Republicans Phil Berger Jr. and Mark Walker, their varying endorsements, and their different campaign styles. Henderson also analyzes comments made on the trail by 2nd District Democratic congressional candidate Clay Aiken about what kind of congressman he'd be if elected. Aiken is challenging Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in November. Then we turn to a conversation with Gov. Pat McCrory, who this week talked about his economic vision for the state, particularly its smaller towns, with Don Curtis of Carolina Newsmakers. That's followed by a look at the legal challenge to North Carolina's election reform law - particularly the provision to begin requiring a photo I.D. to vote. This week a District Court judge in the Triad heard from critics who are seeking an injunction to keep provisions of the law from taking effect. We hear from Allison Riggs of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, who gave opening statements in the case. Her group opposes the law. We also hear from Susan Myrick of the Civitas Institute, who also was in the courtroom. Myrick's organization supports the law. As of People in Politics production deadline, the judge had not yet ruled. And finally, we look at the money trail for the U.S. Senate race, where multi-millions have already poured in to support Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and her Republican challenger Thom Tillis. Matt Bales of the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation analyzes the numbers for Martinez. The two also talk about rumors that key North Carolina Democrats are planning to step up their game in order to try and unseat Republican legislators in the fall. 

Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 07:47
 
People in Politics July 5, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Thursday, 03 July 2014 11:12

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What is motivating North Carolina voters as the fall general election nears? Joe Stewart and Matt Bales of the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation talk about results of their analysis and explain the changing demographic trends in our state that are ushering in changes in long-standing voting behavior as well. Then host Donna Martinez gets the latest on the July 15 congressional runoff race in District 6 from Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson. He discusses the differences in the campaign tactics of Republicans Phil Berger Jr. and Mark Walker, who are vying for the GOP nomination for the seat held for decades by retiring Rep. Howard Coble. The two also discuss the latest from the Kay Hagan campaign in the senator's fight for re-election, which seems to be a focus on turning out single women as Hagan faces Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis and Libertarian Sean Haugh in the fall. Henderson also explains why a slew of Republicans are in the political crosshairs of opponents of hydraulic fracturing. Then Martinez focuses on the Democratic primary runoff in the 5th Congressional District. We revisit conversations with Democrats Gardenia Henley and Josh Brannon, both of whom are hoping to win the day on July 15 for the opportunity to face GOP congressional incumbent Virginia Foxx in November. Early voting in both congressional primary runoffs began July 3 and continues through July 12, with Election Day on Tuesday, July 15.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 04 July 2014 09:03
 
People in Politics June 28, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:31

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He could be the spoiler candidate the prevents Democrat Kay Hagan from being re-elected to the U.S. Senate or Republican Thom Tillis from snatching the seat for Republicans. Host Donna Martinez talks with the third person on the fall Senate ballot -- Libertarian Sean Haugh. The two talk about domestic policy, the crisis in Iraq, and why Haugh believes "war" is the first thing he would cut from the federal budget. Then we turn to the battle underway in the 6th Congressional district as the GOP primary runoff nears. Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal tells Martinez about the fierce competition and interesting political dynamics at play between Phil Berger Jr. and Mark Walker -- the two men vying for the win on July 15. Then we turn to fireworks that went off this week for two state legislators. Henderson tells Martinez about eyebrow-raising comments made by Republican Rep. Paul Stam of Raleigh about the definition of sexual orientation. He also explains eyebrow raising news about high ranking Democratic legislator Michael Wray of Gaston, who up until very recently had failed to pay numerous tax bills. And finally, with early voting for the GOP's 6th District congressional runoff getting underway July 3, we take another look at the two candidates. Martinez recently talked with Phil Berger Jr. and Mark Walker. You'll hear parts of those conversations. 

Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 07:50
 
People in Politics June 21, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 20 June 2014 09:05

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This week Gov. Beverly Perdue got political circles talking when, at a fundraiser for a group supporting Hillary Clinton for president, the former governor told the audience her husband, Bob Eaves, had attended one of the Moral Monday anti-GOP protests at the legislature. Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson tells host Donna Martinez about the story and the developing makeup of the Moral Monday gatherings. The two also discuss the situation with the campaign of Democrat Clay Aiken, the 2nd District congressional nominee who faces Republican Renee Ellmers in the fall. Aiken is reportedly advertising for campaign staff on a progressive blog and, when it comes to fundraising, is prepared to sing for donors. Then we turn to the aggressive advertising already underway in the U.S. Senate race between Kay Hagan, Thom Tillis, and Sean Haugh. People in Politics Special Correspondent Bruce Ferrell gets perspective from William Peace University political science professor David McLennan. That's followed by a discussion with Josh Brannon, one of two Democrats vying in the July runoff for their party's nomination for the 5th District seat in Congress. Martinez talks with Brannon about his ideology and his views on key issues. And finally, Martinez talks with Alex Johnson of General Opportunity about the role of young people on politics and why some 20-somethings are so concerned about economic issues. 

Last Updated on Friday, 20 June 2014 09:07
 
People in Politics June 14, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 13 June 2014 09:02

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A big surprise on Monday for the anti-Republican protesters as Senate Leader Phil Berger sat down and talked with them for more than an hour after they staged a sit-in outside his office. Host Donna Martinez gets reaction to the GOP's olive branch when she talks with Democratic political consultant Thomas Mills and conservative activist Francis DeLuca of the Civitas Institute. Both analysts weigh in on the politics of the move and give Berger high marks for talking with people who've leveled ugly attacks his way. Then DeLuca discusses the latest polling numbers for state legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory, and weighs in on the stunning defeat of the U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia's GOP primary. Then we turn to the July runoff between Democrats seeking their party's nomination for North Carolina's 5th District seat in the U.S. Congress. Martinez talks with candidate Gardenia Henley about her views and why she wants to oust Republican incumbent Virginia Foxx. And finally, we take a look at the debate over debates in the U.S. Senate race. Martinez talks with Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson about Republican Thom Tillis' push for 10 debates with his Democratic rival Kay Hagan. 

Last Updated on Friday, 13 June 2014 09:04
 
People in Politics June 7, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 07:34

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Guilty. Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon tells a U.S. magistrate he is guilty of public corruption and pleads guilty to a count of honest services fraud. Host Donna Martinez talks with Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson about the stunning revelations that could land the 47-year-old rising star of the Democratic Party a prison stint and a huge fine. This week Martinez also continues her look at one of five runoffs scheduled for the North Carolina ballot on July 15: the race for the GOP's nomination for the 6th District seat in Congress. Last week Martinez talked with candidate Mark Walker. This week she talks about key issues with candidate Phil Berger, Jr., and asks him what distinguishes him from his opponent. Then we look at reaction from supporters of the current General Assembly to continued "Moral Monday" protests against Republican legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory. Dallas Woodhouse of Carolina Rising tells Martinez why his group is telling protesters they've got plenty of good news to be happy about. Once the short legislative session comes to a close, will Republican legislators head home to an electorate that's pleased with them? Martinez gets the latest polling data from Public Policy Polling's Tom Jensen, who says voters are just as unhappy with Democrats as they are Republicans. Martinez and Jensen also discuss the U.S. Senate race and the potential spoiler role that may be played by Libertarian Sean Haugh, and whether the Democrats have a 2016 presidential bench should Hillary Clinton decline to seek the party's nomination. 
 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 07:36
 
People in Politics May 31, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 30 May 2014 09:28

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Two North Carolina congressional candidates are still unsure of what the future holds, and they won't know until 6th Congressional district voters have their say in the July runoff for the Republican nomination. This week, host Donna Martinez talks with candidate Mark Walker about his background and views, and Walker discusses what distinguishes him from his GOP opponent, Phil Berger Jr. Then we turn to perspective on North Carolina's U.S. senate race -- the race can may determine whether Democrats retain control of the Senate. NC State political science professor Andy Taylor explains the dynamics of the race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and her GOP opponent, N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis. That's followed by an update on the "Moral Monday" protest movement, which has returned to the General Assembly grounds to express members' disagreements with the Republican-led chambers. After repeated warnings by police, more than a dozen protesters were arrested for refusing to leave Speaker Tillis' office. You'll hear Gov. Pat McCrory's view of the incident in an interview with Henry Hinton of WTIB in Greenville. Next is an update on key N.C. Senate races to watch in November. Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal tells Martinez that several incumbents are facing tough challenges. The two also discuss the latest on Sen. Hagan's aggressive campaign against rival Tillis as the Speaker presides over House proceedings. 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 09:29
 
People in Politics May 24, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 07:55

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The legislature is hard at work, and so are the anti-Republican protesters, led for a second year by the North Carolina NAACP and other allied groups. But host Donna Martinez reports that this year, something is different with the protests. This year, Republican lawmakers are speaking out. You'll hear comments from state Reps. Paul Stam and Jim Fulgham of Wake County, and state Sen. Jim Davis of Macon County. As the session continues, scrutiny is most intense on House Speaker Thom Tillis, Republican of Mecklenburg County, as he juggles dual roles as House Speaker and U.S. Senate candidate. Matt Bales of the N.C. Free Enterprise Foundation talks with Martinez about Tillis' juggling act and why he's skating a fine line that could become fodder for his opponent's campaign. That's followed by comments about redrawing election districts with the leader of the Senate, Phil Berger of Rockingham County. Next is a look at developments in the 6th District GOP primary between Phil Berger, Jr. and Mark Walker. Endorsements and a difference in campaign style could determine the outcome, according to Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal. Henderson updates Martinez on the ad war in the U.S. Senate race as well. And finally, Democratic political consultant Thomas Mills tells Martinez what Tillis should expect from the Kay Hagan campaign, which enjoys the support of national independent groups and money.
 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 07:56
 
People in Politics May 17, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 16 May 2014 07:54

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Shock and sorrow this week as politicians react to the sudden death of 2nd District Democratic congressional candidate Keith Crisco. Host Donna Martinez talks with Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson about Crisco's untimely passing, reaction from the political world on both sides of the aisle, and the ramifications for the general election. They also discuss the July runoff in the 6th congressional district as Republican Phil Berger Jr. faces off against Rev. Mark Walker, and the advertising that's already begun in the race for the U.S. Senate between Republican Thom Tillis, Democrat Kay Hagan, and Libertarian Sean Haugh. Then we turn to the state legislature, which reconvened this week in Raleigh. You'll hear comments from the leaders of both chambers, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis. Next is a discussion with former Democratic Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker about his involvement in a new effort to push for redistricting reform. Martinez also asks Meeker if the rumors are true that he's interested in running for governor in 2016. And finally, Gov. Pat McCrory has announced a new initiative to combat substance abuse. You'll hear the governor's comments made at East Carolina University this week.
 

 
People in Politics May 10, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 09 May 2014 11:05

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North Carolina voters had their say Tuesday night, and now we know the field for most races in the fall general election. At least one congressional race will head to a July runoff, however, and a second congressional race is still undecided. But the major race of the night -- the fight for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate -- ended with a comfortablae win for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, who vanquished seven challengers. You'll hear Tillis' comments to his supporters following his win. Then host Donna Martinez gets reaction to the Tillis win from Democratic political consultant Thomas Mills, who blogs at politicsnc.com. Mills lays out the challenge for Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and the role President Obama may play in the race. Then we turn to results for the congressional races with Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson. Martinez and Henderson discuss the question mark over who has won the 2nd District Democratic primary between Clay Aiken and Crisco, and why Phil Berger Jr. will be part of a July runoff in the 6th congressional district. The two also discuss the tough fight that faced 3rd District Congressman Walter Jones, who survived his primary challenge. And finally, Martinez and Henderson go over key legislative primary races, where at least three lawmakers were ousted by their own party. 
 

Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 11:06
 
People in Politics May 3, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 05 May 2014 07:41

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Primary Election Day is just around  the corner and thousands of North Carolinians have already taken advantage of early voting. This week, host Donna Martinez talks with two Republicans engaged in a heated fight for the GOP nomination for the 7th District seat in Congress -- the seat being vacated by Democrat Mike McIntyre. Former Johnston County state Sen. David Rouzer and New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White have been locked in a verbal and advertising battle over which man would better represent the district, which leans Republican despite McIntyre's long representation. Martinez talks with Rouzer about his strategy of calling out White for being a trial attorney, and she talks with White about his claim that Rouzer represents the Washington establishment that has failed to represent Republican values. Martinez talks with the third Republican in the race last week, Chris Andrade. Then we turn to the race that some folks don't even realize is on the primary ballot: the race for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court. This week Martinez revisits her conversations with all three candidates: Justice Robin Hudson, attorney Jeanette Doran, and Judge Eric Levinson. All three talk about their background and why they want to sit on the state's highest court. Voters can choose only one candidate on May 6, but the top two vote-getters will advance to the general election in the fall. Hudson, a Democrat, is the incumbent in the nonpartisan race. Doran and Levinson are Republicans. 

Last Updated on Monday, 05 May 2014 07:43
 
People in Politics April 26, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 25 April 2014 09:58

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Last time around, the 7th District congressional race garnered national attention for the fight between Democrat Mike McIntyre and state Sen. David Rouzer. McIntyre won by just 650 votes. But with McIntyre retiring, the Republicans are salivating over snagging the seat, and te fight has moved to the GOP primary, where Rouzer faces a stiff challenge from New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White. This week host Donna Martinez talks with the third person in the race, Chris Andrade, a man who tells Martinez he's staying out of the Rouzer-White tug-if-war and focusing on his own message to voters. Then we turn to the impact of this week's televised debates between the leading Republican candidates for U.S. Senate. In this week's "On the Trail" segment, Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson gives Martinez his analysis of House Speaker Thom Tillis, who joined three of his rivals in what is one of the first instances of the Speaker engaging on a statewide basis. Henderson also details the recent legal settlement made by Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper over an he ran in the closing days of his 2000 campaign for the office. The settlement has Cooper apologizing to his opponent, Dan Boyce, and others, for the ad, which attacked their character. Cooper has also agreed to pay roughly $75,000 in legal fees to end the 14-year legal battle. Henderson analyzes the potential impact of the settlement on Cooper's possible run for governor in 2016. Then we turn to the contentious GOP primary in the 3rd congressional district, where incumbent Walter Jones is facing his stiffest challenge ever from Taylor Griffin. People in Politics Special Correspondent Patrick Johnson talks about the race with Greenville-area talk show host Tom Lamprecht. That's followed by a look inside a new organization that has joined the state's policy and political debate. Dallas Woodhouse tells Martinez about the group called Carolina Rising. And finally, the State Employees Association of North Carolina has released an investigative audit of the state's $87 billion pension fund investments, which concludes that Treasurer Janet Cowell is making "secret deals" with Wall Street investment firms. Cowell denies the allegation and says the group's report is wrong. Martinez talks with the forensic investigator hired by the employees' group, Edward Siedle, about his findings. 

Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 09:59
 
People in Politics April 19, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Thursday, 17 April 2014 07:56

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This week, host Donna Martinez continues her "Candidate Conversations" with Toni Morris, one of three Democrats seeking their party's nomination for the 2nd District seat in the U.S. Congress. They talk about why she's running, her view of the key issues in the district, and her views on ObamaCare and same-sex marriage. Morris faces Keith Crisco and Clay Aiken in the May 6 primary, with the winner taking on the Republican nominee in the fall -- either GOP incumbent Renee Ellmers or her primary challenger, investment counselor Frank Roche. Then we turn to the fight for North Carolina's U.S. Senate seat. Just days ago, seven of the eight Republicans in the race were part of a debate hosted by the East Wake Republican Club, which asked Martinez to moderate. This week we bring you part of that debate. You'll hear the seven candidates tell the 500 in attendance why they deserve the GOP nomination, their view of ObamaCare, and the economic challenges faced by North Carolinians. The seven candidates in attendance: Ted Alexander, Alex Bradshaw, Greg Brannon, Heather Grant, Mark Harris, Ed Kryn, and Jim Snyder. Thom Tillis was invited but did not participate. The winner of the May 6 primary -- assuming one of the candidates receives more than 40 percent of the vote -- will face the winner of the Democratic Party primary. Incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan is seeking re-election but first must get past her primary challengers, Ernest Reeves and Will Stewart.
 

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:06
 
People in Politics April 12, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 14 April 2014 11:15

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He's one of three people seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for the 2nd District seat in Congress. This week, host Donna Martinez talks with Keith Crisco about his run, what distinguishes him from his opposition, his view of the Affordable Care Act, and the key issue in the district. Crisco faces Clay Aiken and Toni Morris on the May 6 ballot. The winner will advance to the general election and battle the winner of the Republican primary: either incumbent Renee Ellmers or financial counselor Frank Roche. Then we turn to comments about North Carolina's election reform law, made this week by Vice President Biden in a video from the Democratic National Committee. Biden pans our state's election reform laws and says they're part of an attempt to keep people from the polls. Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation reacts, saying Biden is wrong and that the election law changes put North Carolina in the mainstream of state law. Next is a look at the 2014 election season from Democratic political strategist Brad Crone. At an election panel held this week in Raleigh, Crone told the audience which Republican candidate he thinks can defeat Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, and he discussed the voting blocs he believes will determine the outcome of the races. And finally, in this week's installment of "On the Trail," Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson tells Martinez about a feisty election forum in the 12th District race for the Democratic nomination when one candidate expressed support for school vouchers. The two also discuss new polling data that show Sen. Hagan continues to face a tough re-election bid, and the appointment of a new Charlotte Mayor, former state Sen. Dan Clodfelter. 

Last Updated on Monday, 14 April 2014 11:17
 
People in Politics April 5, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Thursday, 03 April 2014 16:11

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This week host Donna Martinez continues her conversations with the three primary election candidates seeking a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Justice Robin Hudson tells Martinez why she’s seeking another term, how her varied background serves her as a jurist on the state’s highest court, and how the court impacts average North Carolinians. Hudson joins Judge Eric Levinson and Jeanette Doran on the ballot. The top two vote-getters will face each other in the fall general election. Then we turn to perspective on the 2014 season from Joe Stewart of the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation. Stewart discusses why it looks to be a good year for Republicans and the role outside money is already playing in the Senate race. Next are comments about Gov. Pat McCrory from Tom Campbell, host of the statewide TV show “NC Spin.” Campbell assesses the governor’s performance so far in office, as well as the intense criticism the governor has received. That’s followed by a look at this week’s State Board of Election report, which showed the potential for “double voting” by more than 700 North Carolina voters in 2012 due to their names also being matched to voter rolls in other states. Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson discusses the data with Martinez, the next steps to determine if fraud actually exists, and how it is playing in the ongoing debate over voter fraud and what should be done about it. The two also talk about the latest “On the Trail” campaign news, including new ads that have gone up in the Senate race, the latest Senate polling data, Democratic congressional candidate Clay Aiken’s reluctance to talk about his “American Idol” experience, criticism by Democrats of 5th District Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, and the ongoing fight for votes in the GOP primary for the 6th District congressional race.
 
 
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 16:12
 
People in Politics March 29, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 28 March 2014 11:06

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Political stunner this week and we learn that Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon was arrested on Wednesday and charged with public corruption following a multi-year investigation by the FBI. Cannon, a Democrat, resigned his office late Wednesday evening after posting bond. He is charged with, among other things, accepting cash in the mayor’s office in exchange for help with zoning and permitting. Host Donna Martinez gets reaction from Democratic political consultant Thomas Mills, who says he doesn’t think Cannon’s trouble will have a big impact on the 2014 elections. Turning to campaign news, Martinez and Mills then discuss Mills’ contention that Democrats, including Kay Hagan, have adopted the wrong political strategy for the 2014 cycle. Mills explains that the “red meat” message about the billionaire Koch brothers’ support of Republican candidates only resonates with party faithful already prepared to vote for Democrats. He discusses what he thinks Hagan and other Democrats should do instead. Then we turn to our latest Candidate Conversation. Martinez talks with Judge Eric Levinson, one of the three candidates on the primary ballot for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court. The others are Jeanette Doran and Justice Robin Hudson. Levinson talks about his background, his judicial philosophy, and why he wants to sit on the state’s highest court. Next is a look at the big stories “On the Trail” this week with Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson. He tells Martinez why one Republican judge has raised questions over her quest for a Supreme Court seat, why Congressman Walter Jones is facing a tough re-election in the 3rd District, and why the allegations have begun to fly between Woody White and David Rouzer in the GOP primary for the 7th District race. That’s followed by political consultant Doug Raymond’s view on the role Heather Grant’s gender may play in the U.S. Senate primary race. Raymond explains the history that says being female usually translates into two or three percentage points for the candidate. 
Last Updated on Friday, 28 March 2014 11:08
 
People in Politics March 22, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 24 March 2014 09:52

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North Carolinians may not realize that the May 6 primary ballot includes a race between three legal beagles seeking a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court. The two garnering the highest number of votes will face off in the fall general election for the seat on the highest court, now held by Justice Robin Hudson. Host Donna Martinez begins her look at this key judicial primary with a conversation with candidate Jeanette Doran, who discusses her judicial philosophy, her background, her view of the state’s constitution, and why she thinks voters should cast a vote for her, ahead of her challengers, Judge Eric Levinson and Justice Robin Hudson. Then we turn to this week’s campaign trail developments. Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson tells Martinez about a verbal war of words that has erupted between Republican Senate primary candidates Greg Brannon and Thom Tillis, as well as a look at a key speech to made in May by Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan. Henderson also details the tense exchange between two Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination for the 7th District seat in Congress, and updates us on the latest stops for two Democrats – Clay Aiken and Keith Crisco – in the race for the Democratic nomination for the 2nd District congressional seat. That’s followed by a look at polling data on the Senate and congressional races with Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling. Jensen tells Martinez about Hagan’s chances for re-election and the Republicans’ chances to retain control of the North Carolina General Assembly. And finally, we turn to redistricting. Advocates for reforming North Carolina’s redistricting process have renewed their calls for changes. Jane Pinsky of the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform tells Martinez the candidate filings initiated the call for change. Pinsky details the numbers of legislative races that are noncompetitive, offers recommendations for taking politics out of the district lines, and offers kudos to Republican legislators who continue to support redistricting despite its potential to limit the GOP’s power. 
Last Updated on Monday, 24 March 2014 09:54
 
People in Politics March 15, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 14 March 2014 07:52

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Advocates for reforming North Carolina’s redistricting process this week renewed their calls for changes. Jane Pinsky of the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform tells host Donna Martinez that the candidate filings initiated the call for change. Pinsky details the numbers of legislative races that are noncompetitive, offers recommendations for taking politics out of the district lines, and offers kudos to Republican legislators who continue to support redistricting despite its potential to limit the GOP’s power. Then we turn to continuing turmoil inside the state’s Democratic Party. This week party Chairman Randy Voller told his executive committee the party is broke and may have to sell its historic downtown Raleigh headquarters. Democratic consultant Thomas Mills tells Martinez that many in the party have lost faith in Voller and that donors are finding other ways to support Democrats and are bypassing the party. Mills also reacts to the death of his friend, Sen. Martin Nesbitt of Buncombe County, and explains Nesbitt’s commitment to progressive causes. That’s followed by more news “On the Trail” with Carolina Journal’s Rick Henderson. Henderson gives Martinez the latest endorsements in the U.S. Senate race and explains why lobbyist donations to the 6th District congressional candidacy of Phil Berger Jr. are raising some eyebrows. Henderson also profiles the May 6 primary race for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court, where three candidates are vying for two spots on the fall ballot. 
Last Updated on Friday, 14 March 2014 07:54
 
People in Politics March 8, 2014 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 10 March 2014 07:49

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Sorrow envelops North Carolina’s political world with the sudden death this week of Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt. The Buncombe County Democrat has stepped down from his leadership post early in the week, but by late in the week, word came he had died from complications due to stomach cancer. Senate Minority Whip Josh Stein tells host Donna Martinez why Nesbitt was so beloved and what is legacy is likely to be. Stein, a Democrat who represents Wake County, also discusses Nesbitt’s impact on the state’s Democratic Party. Next is a look at the primary election for legislative seats. Matt Bales, research director of the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation, tells Martinez why so many legislative candidates have won their seats without one vote yet being cast. Then we turn to fascinating polling data from the latest Elon University Poll. Dr. Ken Fernandez, director of the Elon Poll, gives Martinez poll results he says could spell trouble for Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan, who is seeking re-election to her U.S. Senate seat. And finally, we get the latest endorsements in races for Congress from Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal, who tells Martinez that political advertising has also ticked up as campaigning for the primary begins in earnest.
 
 
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 09:04
 
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