People In Politics


People in Politics January 12, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 11 January 2013 11:02

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It's been a huge week for new Gov. Pat McCrory, including his first Cabinet meeting, a news conference, multiple open houses and parties – all leading up this weekend’s inauguration and parade. But it all began with the official swearing-in ceremony that featured the ceremonial passing of the state seal from Gov. Beverly Perdue to McCrory as well as the official oath. You’ll hear it, along with part of McCrory’s news conference at which he announced his first executive order, returning to the constitutional dictate on judicial appointments, and on his concerns over the state’s problem-plagued computer system. Then we turn to the swearing-in of the second in command, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, whose oath was witnessed by his mother, former North Carolina Congresswoman Sue Myrick. That’s followed by the sights and sounds of the first day of the new General Assembly session. Stephanie Hawco of NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh talks with Republicans and Democrats about their expectations for a session that features an even greater Republican majority. Host Donna Martinez also provides details on some of the action in both chambers on that day. Following election of leaders, legislators gaveled out with a plan to return January 30. Then Martinez talks with one of the two men seeking to lead the North Carolina Democratic Party, Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller, who discusses his beliefs, leadership style, and challenge facing Democrats. That’s followed by a look at former Gov. Mike Easley, who has applied to have his law license reinstated following it suspension after he pled guilty to a felony count related to campaign finance violations. Rick Martinez of NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh, NCN News, and SGRToday.com joins Donna Martinez to discuss whether the Easley campaign will ever pay the remaining $94,000 fine levied by the Board of Elections. 
Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 14:11
 
People in Politics January 5, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 04 January 2013 13:40

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The North Carolina Democratic Party is looking to chart a new course after a disastrous two years of losses that marginalized the party to minority status in the General Assembly and put Democrats out of the Governor and Lt. Governor seats for the first time in decades. One key to regaining power is electing a new party chairman, which the Democrats’ executive committee will do in early February. Host Donna Martinez talks to one of the two men who’ve said they want the job – outgoing state Sen. Eric Mansfield of Cumberland County. He tells Martinez why he’s running, what the party must do to repair internal fracturing, and what the party must communicate to North Carolinians in future elections. Mansfield’s declared opponent is Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller. Then we hear from Gov.-Elect Pat McCrory, who painted a sobering economic picture for the state in remarks he made at the Economic Forecast Forum sponsored by the N.C. Bankers Association and the N.C. Chamber. That’s followed by a look at several of McCrory’s key appointments to cabinet positions. Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal provides the profile of the new secretaries for Martinez. Next is a discussion about outgoing North Carolina Congressman Brad Miller’s comments as he leaves Congress. The Democrat spoke to slate.com and reflected on the Obama administration’s lack of understanding of the Tea Party movement. He also took a swipe at what he characterized as the political gamesmanship of conservative Democrats. Rick Martinez joins Donna Martinez for the Brad Miller discussion. Then we turn to accolades for former North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer by a political trade magazine. Donna Martinez revisits analysis of Fetzer’s lobbying successes with Ran Coble of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research. And finally, with just days to go in her administration, outgoing Gov. Beverly Perdue issued a pardon to the Wilmington 10. Stephanie Hawco of NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh talks with Cash Michaels, who helped spearhead the pardon effort, about what the pardon means and background on the 1970s racial tensions that led to an unwarranted conviction for the mostly African American group.
 
Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 14:11
 
People in Politics December 29, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 31 December 2012 12:09

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More charges against a former Republican state lawmaker. Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston now faces 12 charges related to allegations that he misused federal Agriculture Department funds that were intended for nonprofit economic development organizations he ran, instead using them for family and friends. Rick Martinez of NCN News, SGRToday.com, and NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh joins host Donna Martinez to discuss the new counts against LaRoque. They also talk about the view of some North Carolina mayors that they have a friend in Gov.-Elect Pat McCrory, the former mayor of Charlotte. Urban mayors in particular are hopeful McCrory will help fend off unfunded state mandates and protect local control on a variety of issues. McCrory founded an urban mayors group that is now led by Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane. The Martinez’ also delve into the power switch among North Carolina’s congressional delegation, where Republicans now hold the majority. Then we turn to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto legacy and the future for both Democrats and Republicans in the state. Ran Coble of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research offers his views to Don Curtis on a recent edition of Carolina Newsmakers. That’s followed by Donna Martinez’ look back at 2012 and look ahead at 2013 with Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity, one of the most well known advocates engaged in legislative policy. And finally, with Mitt Romney’s presidential loss, Republicans are wondering what they must do to cobble together a winning coalition for the White House. Republican blogger Crystal Wright tells Brian Lamb of C-SPAN that the GOP must pull in minorities if the party hopes to survive.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 14:11
 
People in Politics December 22, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 21 December 2012 15:37

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It may be Christmas time, but Gov.-Elect Pat McCrory isn’t taking it easy. On Thursday he stepped before the microphones and announced six more key appointments to his executive team – three more Cabinet secretaries and three top-level aides. You’ll also hear McCrory reiterate his goals for customer service and ethics. Then McCrory answers reporters’ questions about guns in schools and he offers perspective on his approach during his days as mayor of Charlotte, where he says public safety officers were posted at schools. Then host Donna Martinez revisits her conversation with Democratic consultant Gary Pearce, who offers North Carolina Democrats advice for being productive members of the legislative minority, and for working toward the day they can regain power. That’s followed by a discussion with Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity North Carolina. Martinez and Woodhouse delve into the Republican takeover of state government, what it means for AFP’s policy push, and Gov. Perdue’s actions during the waning days of her term. And finally, Bob Orr, former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice, gives us background on the newest member of the high court, Perdue appointee Cheri Beasley, who will move over from the Court of Appeals to replace retired Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 14:11
 
People in Politics December 15, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 21 December 2012 15:35

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Gov.-Elect Pat McCrory gets busy. At a news conference, McCrory recaps his general goals for quality, customer service, and ethics in government, and then introduces three key appointments. You’ll hear McCrory’s comments, as well as remarks from the three key executive appointees. They are Chief of Staff Thomas Stith, a former Durham city councilman; Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos, former ambassador to Estonia; and S ecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources John Skvarla, a Raleigh businessman and environmentalist. Then we delve into Gov. Perdue’s appointment of Court of Appeals Judge Cheri Beasley to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Rick Martinez gets a profile and assessment of Beasley from former Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr. Then host Donna Martinez talks about the future of North Carolina Democrats with veteran consultant and Jim Hunt aide Gary Pearce. He also assesses Gov. Perdue’s last several weeks in office, in which she has butted heads with Republicans. Martinez continues the discussion of Perdue’s activities – including the possibility she will pardon convicted criminals before leaving office – with Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation, who has watched Perdue in action as governor and legislator. 
Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 14:12
 
People in Politics December 8, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 21 December 2012 15:34

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North Carolina Democrats find themselves in negative territory as the new legislative session nears – an even smaller minority in both chambers following the 2012 election. State Rep. Deborah Ross (D-Wake County) discusses the Democrats’ challenge, as well as the Republican Party’s previous legislation with which she disagrees, in comments made to Barlow Herget of SGRToday.com. Then host Donna Martinez talks with Congressman-Elect Richard Hudson of the 8th district about his priorities once he’s sworn in next January. Hudson, a Republican who defeated Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell for the seat, explains his view on the “fiscal cliff” and talks about the need, and his desire, to find ways to work with Democrats including those in North Carolina’s delegation. Next is analysis of Gov. Beverly Perdue’s actions in the final several weeks of her administration. She has angered Republicans, most notably Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), over her move to lease the Dorothea Dix hospital property to the City of Raleigh despite the objections of Republicans, and over her move to rescind her own executive order that lays out the process for judicial replacements. Republicans say Perdue is taking the action so she can appoint a Democrat to the Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson. Rick Martinez of NewsRadio680 WPTF in Raleigh and NCN News, joins Donna Martinez for the discussion. The two also talk about the plight of Rep. Walter Jones, who lost his seat on the House Financial Services Committee following his failure to support House Speaker John Boehner in key votes. Conversely, Rep. Renee Ellmers received a key appointment to the House Energy and Commerce committee and appears headed for an even more visible position among Republicans. That’s followed by a look at the legal settlement between NC State University and former First Lady Mary Easley. Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal assesses the deal with Donna Martinez – a deal which greatly increases Mrs. Easley’s state pension. And finally, CBS News Correspondent Pam Coulter reports on polling results that shows Americans’ views on the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington D.C.
 
Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 14:12
 
People in Politics December 1,2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 16:22

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It’s finally over. This week Democratic incumbent Congressman Mike McIntyre prevailed in a recount of the 7th district congressional race, beating his Republican challenger, state Sen. David Rouzer, by 654 votes. Host Donna Martinez is joined by Rick Martinez of NCN News, SGRToday.com, and NewsRadio 680 WPTF to discuss the results, as well as Rep. Heath Shuler’s unexpected foray into lobbying, U.S. Kay Hagan’s confirmation that will seek re-election in 2014 and the Republicans who may challenge her. Martinez also provides an update on the investigation into a terrible car crash involving Forsyth County legislator Larry Womble, and the war of words between Gov. Perdue and state Sen. Leader Phil Berger over seating a successor to Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson, who announced she will resign from office. Then Donna Martinez provides details plans for Gov.-Elect McCrory’s inauguration and public open houses, while Lt. Gov.-Elect Dan Forest talks about what’s ahead for him with Bill LuMaye of NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh. That’s followed by a conversation between SGRToday.com’s Barlow Herget and N.C. House Majority Leader Paul Stam of Wake County. The two discuss the GOP’s legislative priorities and plans for Republicans to choose legislative leaders. And finally, we hear from two former North Carolina governors – Republican Jim Holshouser and Democrat Jim Hunt – who have joined together to advocate for solutions to the nation’s so-called fiscal cliff scenario, and the growing $16-plus trillion in debt. 
Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 14:12
 
People in Politics November 24 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 16:07

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It’s over. Democrat Linda Coleman has declined to seek a recount in her race for the Lt. Governor’s office against Republican Dan Forest. On Tuesday she conceded the race. You’ll hear her remarks, along with comments from the Lt. Governor-Elect, Dan Forest. Then host Donna Martinez is joined by Rick Martinez of NCN News, NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh, and SGRToday.com to discuss the still undecided race for the 7th district seat in the U.S. Congress. As the race goes to recount, Democratic incumbent Mike McIntyre leads his Republican challenger, state. Sen. David Rouzer by 655 votes. Rouzer says a previous counting glitch in Bladen County is part of the reason he’s seeking the recount. Rep. McIntyre’s campaign spokesman says it’s about Rouzer’s personal ambition. Martinez also explains inaugural plans announced by Gov.-Elect Pat McCrory and offers perspective on the likely working relationship between McCrory and legislative leaders Thom Tillis and Phil Berger. The discussion also includes news about Rep. Virginia Foxx, who was elected to a leadership position by the U.S. House Republican Conference. Then we hear comments from Gov.-Elect McCrory during a recent interview on the Fox News Channel. That’s followed by an in-depth look at the youth vote with Paul Conway of Generation Opportunity. While turnout among young voters was up over 2008, support for President Obama took an 11-point downward swing this cycle. Conway explains why. And finally, with Republican now firmly in control of North Carolina’s executive and legislative branches, Ran Coble of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research assesses the future for North Carolina Democrats and the challenges for Republicans, who may find there are differing views on policy within the party’s caucus. Coble also discusses the impact of the shift in political power on the lobbying industry. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 16:13
 
People in Politics November 17 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 15:59

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Gov.-Elect Pat McCrory has become a sought-after personality in Republican circles now that he has prevailed in his fight to turn the North Carolina governor’s chair from blue to red. On Veteran’s Day, McCrory appeared on the Fox News Network to discuss his campaign style and his desire to form a southeastern energy exploration coalition with governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Bob McDonnell of Virginia. So just how historic is the Republicans’ hold on power following the election? Dr. David McLennan of William Peace University joins host Donna Martinez to analyze the enormous power shift. They also discuss presidential election polling and the growing debate over whether the U.S. should scrap the Electoral College in favor of a simple majority vote. Next is a look at the power shift’s impact on the North Carolina General Assembly, where the GOP increased its already large margins over Democrats. Ran Coble of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research offers perspective on how each party will adapt to the changes and how the Democrats will fit in to a spot to which they’re unaccustomed. Coble also offers his view on the changing landscape for lobbyists, the potential future for vanquished Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton, and the challenges facing the state Democratic Party. That’s followed by Martinez’s conversation with Rick Martinez of NCN News, NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh and SGRToday.com about speculation that’s already underway about the 2014 North Carolina Senate race – the Kay Hagan seat – and the 2016 gubernatorial landscape. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 16:05
 
People in Politics November 10 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 09 November 2012 15:33

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North Carolina makes history on Election Night 2012. Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory cruises to a 12-point victory over Democratic Lt. Governor Walter Dalton and becomes the only the third Republican to be elected governor since 1900. We hear from the Gov. Elect, who held his first official news conference in Raleigh just two days after his victory. McCrory named his transition team and discussed his priorities. Joining McCrory was Republican Lt. Governor candidate Dan Forest, who holds an 11,000 vote lead over Democrat Linda Coleman in a race that remains unsettled until provisional and military ballots are counted. Republicans also increased their margins in both chambers of the General Assembly, locking down the power with super-majorities that cannot be challenged. Rick Martinez of NCN News, NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh, and SGRToday.com joins host Donna Martinez to discuss the McCrory win and the men behind the scenes who engineered it, as well as the GOP’s takeover of the legislature – Jack Hawke and Tom Fetzer. Jonathan Kappler of the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation digs a bit deeper into the GOP’s legislative wins with Carolina Newsmaker host Don Curtis, and he gives the latest on the undecided 7th district congressional race, where Democratic incumbent Mike McIntyre holds a 400 point lead over Republican David Rouzer. While the gubernatorial race received most of the news focus, many eyes were also on the race for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Republican incumbent Justice Paul Newby defeated his Democratic challenger, Court of Appeals Judge Sam “Jimmy” Ervin IV in a race that could have tipped the philosophical bent of the Court had Ervin won the officially nonpartisan race. Finally, we hear from President Obama, who addressed supporters in Chicago following his re-election to the White House – a win that occurred without North Carolina. Republican Mitt Romney beat Obama by roughly 100,000 votes and turned the state back to red.
 
Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2012 16:17
 
People in Politics November 3 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 09 November 2012 15:19

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Early voting is a smash hit in North Carolina as both Democrats and Republicans push their voters to the polls and spin the numbers to their advantage. Jonathan Kappler, research director for the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation, joins host Donna Martinez to look at the trends. Kappler also analyzes key races for the state legislature that have the attention of both political parties, and he makes a prediction on the fight for control of the N.C. House and Senate. Then we turn to reports of “aggressive electioneering” at early voting sites, as reported by state Board of Election Director Gary Bartlett. Rick Martinez, news director of NCN News, NewsRadio680 WPTF in Raleigh, and SGRToday.com, joins Donna Martinez to discuss the changing landscape of political campaigns and strategy to take advantage of early voting. That’s followed by a look at two key statewide races that pollsters say are deadlocked. First we revisit interviews with Lt. Governor candidates Linda Coleman, Democrat, and Dan Forest, Republican. Then we hear excerpts from earlier interviews with Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates June Atkinson, Democrat, and John Tedesco, Republican. Finally, on the last weekend of campaigning, Gwen Ifill of the PBS Newshour talks with Donna Martinez about the fight for North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes, the impact of African American voters on the presidential race, and what to expect on election night.
 
Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2012 16:08
 
People in Politics October 27 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 29 October 2012 10:13

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Polling places across North Carolina have been jammed the state gets an early jump on the 2012 general election. Jonathan Kappler, research director at the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation, joins host Donna Martinez to analyze the mid-week numbers and look deep into Buncombe County’s turnout. The western North Carolina county is considered a national bellwether, having voted for the winning presidential candidate in the last six elections. Kappler also discusses highlights from the third quarter campaign finance reports of congressional candidates. He also looks into the bank accounts of the two major candidates for governor. Then we turn to the week’s final debate between Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton. The candidates discuss education funding and immigration. Although Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Barbara Howe was not included in the final debate, she joined People in Politics to provide her view of education and immigration in an interview with Martinez. That’s followed by a look at the scandal that has erupted around Republican state auditor candidate Debra Goldman, who is seeking to oust Democratic incumbent Beth Wood. Rick Martinez of NCN News, SGRToday.com, and NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh explains the controversy over Goldman’s accusations of burglary against a fellow Wake County school board member who was subsequently cleared by police. Martinez explains how Pat McCrory responded to a debate question about whether he supports Goldman for the auditing job. Martinez also talks about the untimely death of state Sen. Don East, who passed away following back surgery. Then we hear former Gov. Jim Hunt explain how the late William Friday kept tabs on the governor’s actions, and Donald Mann tells NCN News’ Josh Zach about why candidates use negative advertising. Then we hear closing statements from President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney at their final presidential debate, as well as lighthearted comments each candidate recently made to the Alfred Smith Memorial Foundation fundraising dinner in New York City.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2012 16:08
 
People in Politics October 20 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Monday, 22 October 2012 14:39

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In their second live, statewide television debate, the two major candidates for governor – Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory – lay out a distinct choice voters. You’ll hear exchanges on education, the Racial Justice Act, taxes, and Dalton’s charge that McCrory is insensitive to the African American community. Then host Donna Martinez analyzes the debate, and whether Lt. Gov. Dalton can realistically make up a double-digit polling deficit, with progressive Chris Fitzsimon of N.C. Policy Watch and conservative Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation. That’s followed by an update on the court case filed by a former staffer of the North Carolina Democratic Party against the party and its chairman, David Parker. Stephanie Hawco of NCN News reports on why the case is honing in on comments Parker made in a news conference about a settlement of a sexual harassment allegation. Next are comments from the two candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction – Democratic incumbent June Atkinson and Republican John Tedesco – made at a debate last week. Atkinson and Tedesco talk about their views on how best to evaluate teachers, whether tax credits and vouchers are good policy, and whether or not the No Child Left Behind law should be reauthorized by Congress. And finally, with less than three weeks to go in the presidential race, President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took the gloves off at their second televised debate at Hofstra University. You’ll hear their tense exchanges on Obama’s record, as well as energy and oil and gas permits.
 
Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2012 16:08
 
People in Politics October 13 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 12 October 2012 14:07

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A North Carolina icon passes away. Host Donna Martinez is joined by John Hood of the John Locke Foundation for perspective on the political legacy and impact of Dr. William Friday, the former head of the UNC System who died at age 92. Hood discusses Friday's role in the 1963 speaker ban uproar with the General Assembly and his impact on progressive politics in North Carolina. Then we hear comments from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at his Asheville rally that drew 8,000 people. That's followed by comments from Democratic Congressman David Price, who counters that President Obama is the candidate who really supports the veterans. Next are profiles of the six candidates for three seats on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. They introduce themselves at a judicial forum sponsored by the Federalist Society and moderated by Martinez. Then Rick Martinez joins the show to discuss Romney's bump in the polls as well as news that Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton has cut his Charlotte TV ad buy, leading to speculation about the state of his campaign coffers heading into the final stretch of the race. Next are excerpts of the week's vice presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. They debate jobs and the economy. And finally, Rick Martinez analyzes the Biden and Ryan performances.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2012 14:33
 
People in Politics October 6 2012 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Thursday, 11 October 2012 11:03

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The two major candidates for governor – Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory – went head to head for the first time in a statewide debate held Wednesday night. You’ll hear highlights of exchanges between the candidates on jobs and the economy, the energy extraction process known as fracking, the potential for requiring a photo I.D. to vote, and the eyebrow-raising web video in which the Dalton campaign accuses McCrory of being insensitive to African Americans. Then host Donna Martinez analyzes the debate with Democratic political strategist Perry Woods and conservative activist Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation. Next, Martinez talks with Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Barbara Howe and gets her reaction to being excluded from the debate as well as Howe’s policy prescriptions to address the state’s anemic jobs picture. That’s followed by a look at state politics with Rick Martinez of NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh, NCN News, and SGRToday.com. The discussion includes the plight of a Republican state legislative candidate who allegedly manhandled his opponent’s campaign manager, the national focus and money trail in the 7th district congressional race between Mike McIntyre and David Rouzer, and federal testimony by a North Carolina based pollster about the use of unreliable polls to help push the John Edwards candidacy. And finally, we bring you highlights from the second major debate of the week: the presidential debate held in Denver. You’ll hear an extended exchange about jobs, the economy, and taxes between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. 

Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2012 10:17
 
After Raking In Millions From The Wealthy, President Obama Takes The Bus To Battleground States PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:58

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is ramping up a fresh phase of his re-election bid with a bus tour next week, focusing more on direct engagement with voters and less on ritzy fundraisers.
 
A campaign official says Obama's two-day road trip through Pennsylvania and Ohio kicks off July 5. The visit to the key battleground states will be the president's first bus tour of the 2012 campaign.
Read more...
 
After Raking In Millions From The Wealthy, President Obama Hits The Road On A Bus PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:57

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is ramping up a fresh phase of his re-election bid with a bus tour next week, focusing more on direct engagement with voters and less on ritzy fundraisers.
 
A campaign official says Obama's two-day road trip through Pennsylvania and Ohio kicks off July 5. The visit to the key battleground states will be the president's first bus tour of the 2012 campaign.
Read more...
 
People in Politics - 10/8/11 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Saturday, 08 October 2011 23:00

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Host Donna Martinez is joined by Mileah Kromer of the Elon University Poll to discuss the latest polling data on President Obama, Gov. Beverly Perdue, and the same-sex marriage constitutional amendment that will appear on the May 2012 ballot. Kromer analyzes what the dropping numbers might mean for the president and the governor, both of whom will battle for re-election next year. Then we turn to the New Yorker profile of former N.C. Republican state legislator Art Pope and hear comments from two people who were interviewed for the piece. Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina and John Hood of the John Locke Foundation react to the New Yorker with talk show host Bill LuMaye of NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh. Then we  delve into campaign spending during the 2010 election cycle for state legislative candidates – specifically money donated by political action committees. Jonathan Kappler of the N.C. Free Enterprise Foundation discusses the amounts given to candidates and political parties and reveals the most influential PACs. That’s followed by comments from leading North Carolina progressive Chris Fitzsimon of N.C. Policy Watch. Fitzsimon talks about President Obama’s re-election prospects and the views of the Democratic base, and he also weighs in on the impact of the grassroots tea party movement’s role in the Republican Party.

 
People in Politics - 9/24/11 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 23 September 2011 23:00

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Sen. Josh Stein (D-Wake) joins host Donna Martinez to discuss the state Democratic Party’s 19-stop bus tour to criticize the new state budget. Sen. Stein also weighs in on the constitutional amendment about same-sex marriage that will appear on next year’s primary election ballot. Then we get analysis of the Democratic bus tour and of comments by Rep. Bill Faison (D-Orange/Caswell) that lead some to believe he may challenge Gov. Beverly Perdue in the Democratic primary. Joining Martinez for the discussion are Mike Davis, host of N.C.’s Evening News, and Stephanie Hawco, executive producer of the program. They also weigh in on North Carolinians’ view of the Tea Party movement, the dropping approval ratings of North Carolina icon Andy Griffith in the wake of his ad supporting President Obama’s health insurance mandate, and the latest development in the John Edwards legal case. Then we hear comments from House Speaker Thom Tillis about his recent town hall meetings, the state budget, and the economy. And finally, Daren Bakst  of the John Locke Foundation analyzes a recent decision by the N.C. Board of Elections to tell the Town of Chapel Hill to cease giving election candidates “rescue” funds to help fund their campaigns.

 
People in Politics - 9/17/11 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 16 September 2011 23:00

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State legislators have voted to put on the May 2012 ballot an amendment to North Carolina’s constitution that will define marriage as between one man and one woman. Rick Henderson, managing editor of Carolina Journal, joins host Donna Martinez to explain the behind the scenes political action related to the amendment, as well as updates on three amendments that some thought would be addressed but which didn’t make it out of the legislature: eminent domain, change in makeup of the state Board of Education, and term limits for legislative leaders. Then we turn to visits to our state this week by President Obama and Vice President Biden. Mike Davis, host of North Carolina’s Evening News and Rick Martinez, news director for SGRToday.com, the North Carolina News Network, and NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh, join Donna Martinez to analyze the politics of the visits, the recent debates featuring Republican presidential candidates, John Edwards’ legal victory, former Congressman Bob Etheridge’s new state job, and the latest on undeclared gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory. That’s followed by the latest polling data from Tom Jensen of Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling. Jensen explains why President Obama would not win North Carolina today and why Gov. Perdue wouldn’t be re-elected if the election were held today. He also assesses President Obama’s weaknesses with independents and the Democratic Party base. Then Sarah Ovaska of N.C. Policy Watch provides an update on her reporting about Republican Rep. Stephen LaRoque’s work with economic development nonprofit groups. And finally, Rep. Bryan Holloway, R-Rockingham and Stokes, comments on his role in the General Assembly under Republican leadership, the state budget, the prospect of an independent redistricting commission, and education reform.

 
People in Politics - 9/10/11 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 09 September 2011 23:00

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A political showdown looms in Raleigh as legislators head back to Raleigh on September 12 to consider a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. If passed, voters would have their say on the amendment in November 2012. Alex Miller, Interim Executive Director of Equality NC, makes the case against the amendment, while Bill Brooks of the N.C. Family Policy Council defends the amendment. Then Wake Forest University Political Science Professor John Dinan offers historical perspective on the 30 states that have amended their constitutions as it relates to same sex marriage. That’s followed by a discussion with state Sen. David Rouzer (R-Johnston) about his run for the Republican nomination for the 7th district of North Carolina – the seat now held by Democrat Mike McIntyre. Next are comments from Democratic political strategist Gary Pearce about the challenge candidates face when running for office in a down economy. Pearce also assesses President Obama’s chances at re-election and analyzes the Republican leadership in the General Assembly. Finally, SGRToday.com’s Josh Ellis explains this week’s disagreement between Gov. Bev Perdue and state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler about the governor’s denial of a request for a waiver from truck weight regulations as farmers tried to get crops out of the ground as Hurricane Irene approached.

 
People in Politics - 9/4/11 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Saturday, 03 September 2011 23:00

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In the wake of Hurricane Irene, SGRToday.com’s Josh Ellis reports on the political spin over recovery money coming from some politicians. Then we hear N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis describe what he saw when he surveyed Irene damage from a helicopter. Tillis also comments on recent protests at his town hall meetings, a potential same-sex marriage amendment to the N.C. Constitution, and the possibility of providing compensation to victims of the state’s eugenics program. Then host Donna Martinez revisits the political money trail with Jonathan Kappler of the N. C. Free Enterprise Foundation, who details fundraising by both major N.C. political parties in the first half of the year. Kappler also analyzes new congressional election maps. That’s followed by comments from Republican Mike Beitler, who is seeking the GOP nomination for Secretary of State. And finally, the John Edwards legal saga gets an update when we revisit a recent roundtable discussion about Edwards, as well as the political future for several vulnerable members of the N.C. congressional delegation and the presidential race. Martinez is joined by N.C. Evening News Host Mike Davis and Rick Martinez, news director for SGRToday.com, the N.C. News Network, and NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh for that discussion.

 
People in Politics - 8/28/11 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Saturday, 27 August 2011 23:00

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Congressmen Larry Kissell and Heath Shuler have been identified by a Washington DC political newspaper as among the most vulnerable incumbents in the 2012 election. North Carolina’s Evening News Host Mike Davis and North Carolina News Network News Director Rick Martinez join host Donna Martinez to analyze the precarious re-election prospects for the two members, the discontent among some Tea Party movement members with Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers, and stories about a change in John Edwards’ legal team and discontent among some unions about the choice of Charlotte as the site for the Democratic National Convention. Then Republican Bill Randall talks about his intent to seek the GOP nomination for the 13th district of Congress, while State Board of Elections Executive Director Gary Bartlett discusses the impact of new election maps on his department’s operations. That’s followed by comments from State Treasurer Janet Cowell about the recession’s impact on state investments and her view of when the state will see signs of recovery. Finally, Martinez provides updates on a personnel change at the state Democratic Party, former President Bill Clinton’s health, and an indictment of two men for harassing former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

 
People in Politics - 8/20/11 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 19 August 2011 23:00

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Josh Ellis of SGRToday.com joins host Donna Martinez to discuss a news conference held this week by state Rep. Stephen LaRoque, R-Lenoir, about his business activities related to two economic development nonprofit groups he operates. LaRoque denies any wrongdoing with federal dollars or other management issues brought up by reporter Sarah Ovaska of the progressive think tank NC Policy Watch. Ellis also updates Martinez on the fight over pre-kindergarten enrollment and funding between Gov. Perdue and legislative Republicans, the push to offer casino-style gambling in western NC, and the NC NAACP’s statement that it will sue over new congressional and legislative maps. Then we turn to the race for Congress. Martinez is joined by Paul Coble, who is seeking the GOP nomination for the 13th district. Coble, a conservative Republican who is the chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners and the former mayor of Raleigh, discusses his views on issues and why he wants to make the leap from Raleigh to D.C. Then the discussion turns to the potential constitutional amendments that may be considered by the legislature next month. Rick Martinez, news director for SGRToday.com, the NC News Network, and NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh, analyzes the social, fiscal, and election-related amendments that could  come up --  most notably, a same-sex marriage ban – and the politics at play for Democrats and Republicans. That’s followed by comments from State Auditor Beth Wood about how she keeps politics out of her job as a watchdog of state government spending and practices no matter which political party is in power, and the impact of budget cuts on her office’s work.

 
People in Politics - 8/13/11 PDF Print E-mail
People In Politics
Friday, 12 August 2011 23:00

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Both of North Carolina’s major political parties are raking in the dough. Jonathan Kappler of the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation joins host Donna Martinez to break down the fundraising numbers for the first half of 2011 and explain why the totals show state Democrats don’t hold their typical, historical lead over Republicans. Kappler also discusses the controversial new boundaries for congressional districts and details the changes in voter registration in each district that lead critics to say they’re drawn for Republican advantage rather than for greater competition. Then NC Policy Watch reporter Sarah Ovaska joins Martinez to discuss her investigate reporting of Rep. Stephen LaRoque’s business dealings with two nonprofit economic development groups. That’s followed by Rep. LaRoque’s comments about Ovaska’s story, made recently to SGRToday.com’s Josh Ellis. Next we hear brief comments from former Gov. Jim Hunt about the state’s progress – comments he made this week at the N.C. Museum of History’s get-together for the release of some of his gubernatorial papers. We also hear Gov. Perdue’s view of the Hunt legacy. Josh Ellis also reports on the possible addition of casino gambling in western North Carolina, and Rick Martinez, news director of SGRToday.com, the N.C. News Network, and NewsRadio 680 WPTF in Raleigh analyzes the political implications of the potential gambling expansion. And finally, Ran Coble of the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research discusses the role of the growing “unaffiliated” voter in our state. Nearly one out of five registered voters is now “unaffiliated.” Coble also comments on likely legal challenges to redistricting maps from Democrats.

 
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