Mitch Kokai joined the John Locke Foundation as director of communications in December 2005 after spending more than four years as chief state government reporter for News 14 Carolina. That job included extensive coverage of the General Assembly and other topics for the 24-hour local television news channel based in Raleigh and Charlotte.
Before News 14 Carolina, Kokai worked as a radio news reporter for seven years. He started a radio news department at WENC-AM in Whiteville, then led Chapel Hill’s award-winning radio news team at WCHL-AM. He spent two-and-half years as news director and assignment editor for Raleigh’s WPTF-AM.
Mitch is a Columbus, Ohio, native. He earned highest honors and highest distinction from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He has lived in North Carolina since 1989.
(4.30.13) A One-Word Question at the Heart of the Debate
It's hard to reach agreement about the best form of taxation when you disagree about why people are taxed in the first place.
(1.17.13) Battling Unrealistic Job Expectations
A job is not a reward for some level of educational achievement. You can't trade your cap and gown for a weekly paycheck.
(12.27.12) Battling Unrealistic Job Expectations
When the stock answer to questions about finding a good job is “get more education,“ we shouldn’t be surprised by people who think their degree entitles them to a job.
(11.21.12) Queen Loses Appeal of ‘Stand By Your Ad’ Lawsuit
RALEIGH — State Rep.-elect Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood, cannot collect damages worth three times the amount of money his 2010 state Senate opponent spent on television ads in their campaign. The N.C. Court of Appeals ruled that neither Queen nor Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, “fully complied” with the state’s 1999 Stand By Your Ad law.
(11.15.12) A Not-So-Taxing Conversation
Skip the insults and politically charged buzz words, and you might face an easier path toward agreement in a political debate.
(11.07.12) New Election Maps Help GOP Build Legislative Majorities
RALEIGH — Newly drawn election maps helped North Carolina Republicans build their majorities in both the state House and Senate Tuesday, despite the fact that their winning margins in the statewide popular vote dropped from 2010 to 2012. The new maps made the clearest impact in the House, where the GOP won 64 percent of House seats with 51 percent of the statewide popular vote.
(10.18.12) The Politics of Paying ‘More Taxes’
No one should confuse tax rate comparisons with the amount of tax people actually pay.
(10.08.12) Performance Pay for Teachers Moving Closer, Top Lawmaker Says
RALEIGH — North Carolina will move toward paying public school teachers based on their classroom performance — rather than years of service, education levels, or other factors — one day “before long,” according to a top N.C. Senate education budget writer.
(8.21.12) Don’t Just Stand There: Employ A Three-Question Test!
Strong as the tendency might be to turn to government in the face of a perceived problem, it's important to evaluate whether government can and should play a role in addressing it.
(5.22.12) Legislative Committee Backs Measures To Boost State Efficiency
RALEIGH — State lawmakers could take some steps this year toward zero-based budgeting, increased accountability for taxpayer investment, and greater use of something called “data analytics.” The General Assembly’s Legislative Research Commission voted without debate Wednesday to forward proposals on each topic to the full General Assembly.