The 2006 election cycle will be the first in 12 years in which there is no gubernatorial, presidential, or senatorial race to drive the statewide political coverage. Democrats hope they can accomplish in 2006 what the GOP did in 1994.
(9.07.11) Food Trucks Finally Allowed in Raleigh
RALEIGH — The new rules ban food trucks that are within 100 feet of existing restaurants, allow no food truck "rodeos," and require operators to gain the permission of private parking lot owners before trucks can set up.
(11.29.06) Myth of the Monolithic West
Successful Democrats in the mountains – outside of Asheville, anyway – typically take social and cultural issues off the table by expressing views indistinguishable from those of their Republican adversaries.
(11.20.06) A Bit of Blue Dog-gerel
Here’s a poetic commentary on an eventful, electoral week in November 2006.
(11.17.06) A Movement Is Not A Party
The 2006 electorate repudiated Republican control of Congress but not the conservative movement or the case for limited government. This statement has become a cliché — but that doesn’t make it false.
(11.16.06) A Movement Is Not A Party
It’s already a cliché to say the 2006 electorate repudiated GOP control of Congress but not the conservative movement or the case for limited government. That doesn't mean it isn’t true.
(11.15.06) Getting A Lot for the Trade-In
Although most of the post-election talk about realignment has been hooey, there is a trend that was codified in the 2006 outcomes. The trade issue has become partisan.
(11.13.06) Looking for Mr. Heath Bar
For the coveted post of post-election “It” Guy or Gal, the 2006 field of nominees includes many national figures. But North Carolina’s Heath Shuler is a legitimate contender.
(11.10.06) Democrats Win Broad, Not Deep, Victory
On Election Day, voters across the United States voted for change in Washington. They’ll get it. In North Carolina, however, voters did not vote for change. Again, they’ll likely get what they voted for.
(11.09.06) A Broad But Not a Deep Victory
Democrats won an impressively broad victory in state races this year. No doubt about it. But it was not a deep victory. It was not transformational.
(11.08.06) The Democratic Year, At First Glance
It was expected to be a Democratic year. On Election Day, voters cooperated with the pundits for once and gave Democrats the victories they needed.
(11.08.06) Democrats Gain Across the Board
RALEIGH – House and Senate Democrats added to their majorities in the General Assembly last night, and House Speaker Jim Black held a seven-vote lead over Republican challenger Hal Jordan with provisional ballots yet to be counted.
(11.07.06) Discovering Who the Jerk Is
Which will prove to be true on Election Day: the “Karl Rove is a Genius" scenario, the "Karl Rove is a Jerk" scenario, or the "John Hood is a Jerk" scenario?
(11.06.06) A Democratic Year in Leg Races
The fact that Republicans are mostly playing defense in N.C. House races, and may not gain what they hoped for in the N.C. Senate, is striking — given some Democratic vulnerabilities.
(11.06.06) NC's 8th District Race Tightens
RALEIGH — Free trade, lost jobs, and high gasoline prices are among the issues fueling North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District race between four-time Republican Rep. Robin Hayes and Democrat Larry Kissell, a former textile worker currently employed as a teacher at East Montgomery High School.
(11.02.06) Don't Count Out Local Races
A telling way to track the emergence of a truly competitive, two-party political system in North Carolina is to delve down to changes in partisan composition of county governments.
(11.01.06) Voters Will Have Their Say
Obviously, the battle for control of Congress, state legislature, the judiciary, and county commissions will draw most of the attention on Election Day. But don’t discount the importance of school bonds and other referenda.
(10.31.06) So, Who Are We to Judge?
North Carolina currently has the worst of both worlds when it comes to selecting our appellate judges, thanks to a “reform” of judicial elections.
(10.25.06) Time to Commission a New Way
There is no perfect way to draw political boundaries. What we can say for sure is that the current system is deeply flawed.
(10.19.06) On Budget, Honesty or Pretense?
With General Assembly elections just weeks away, I assume that you are hearing lots of good ideas from your legislators about how they are going to close the state budget deficit if re-elected.
(10.18.06) Look West, Political Man (& Woman)
North Carolina political junkies are turning their eyes to the west, watching closely Democrat Heath Shuler’s challenge to longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor.
(10.16.06) Principle Over Pull Any Day
Incumbent lawmakers, regardless of party, have a favorite slogan for this stage in the campaign: “Re-elect me, or else our district will lose its pull.”
(10.11.06) Miller-Robinson Race Pulls Out Stops
RALEIGH — One of the most contentious congressional races in the country is taking place in north-central North Carolina between Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Miller and Republican challenger Vernon Robinson.
(9.27.06) Changing the Poll Position
Just as in the for-profit world of business, the politics industry is undergoing dramatic change, led by technological innovation and the information explosion.
(9.13.06) A New Road to Political Notoriety
I’ve been saying for years that traffic congestion and transportation problems constituted a sleeper issue in state politics. Of course, sleeper issues are supposed to wake up at some point.
(9.07.06) Roamin’ Senate Races for 2006
If this year's House campaigns are likely to feature controversial Speaker Jim Black, surely the same can’t be said about races for NC Senate, right?
(9.06.06) Homestretch in the House Races
Labor Day is past. That marks the point at which the job of political pundit starts to get laborious. Today's labor is an NC House preview.
(6.26.06) The Case for Freedom-Zoned Elections
This may shock you. There is a bill being discussed during the 2006 legislative sessions that would take a bad idea and make it worse.
(6.13.06) Year of Endangered Incumbents
Two pieces of political prognostication seem to offer varying views of party prospects in November, but a more careful reading suggests a commonality.
(5.08.06) A Coalition of the Willing
An end to bipartisanship? That’s the forecast of some legislators, lobbyists, and commentators discussing the outcome of last week’s primaries.
(5.04.06) Themes Emerge from 2006 Primaries
There was no doubting the significance of Tuesday’s GOP primary results for North Carolina House. But other election outcomes deserve a closer look.
(5.03.06) Primaries End, Spin Cycle Doesn’t
The 2006 primary results are (mostly) in, and it's clear that conservatives were victorious in the most closely watched GOP contests. What's next?
(5.02.06) Some Last-Minute Primary Thoughts
With the 2006 primaries beginning on Tuesday morning, it's appropriate to make a few observations before anyone could possibly know the outcome of the balloting.
(4.25.06) The Problem Isn’t Valid Criticism
To the charge of hurting a politician with valid criticism, the commentator should properly respond that the charge is both false and irrelevant.
(4.20.06) Preview of Key House Primaries
There are many more primaries on the House side in 2006 that have implications for partisan control in November — or contain other issues of significance in state politics.
(4.19.06) Preview of Key Senate Primaries
It's a thankless job, but someone at CJ has to do it: provide a rundown of the key House and Senate primaries to be watching this year.
(4.13.06) The Race is Taylor-Made
According to Democratic buzz, the congressional race to watch this year in NC is the 11th District. And, yes, Jack Abramoff makes an appearance.
(3.02.06) Talking About Last Summer, Again
Get used to some familiar faces — not only on the big screen, in a year of movie sequels, but also in many 2006 legislative races featuring rematches.
(2.24.06) A Pathetic Political Excuse
With President George W. Bush’s approval ratings stuck in the low 40s, Democrats favored over Republicans by double-digits in generic questions on control of Congress, and a multiplicity of problems, foreign and domestic, bedeviling the party in power in Washington, it would seem that 2006 ought to be a year of Democratic resurgence.
(1.24.06) Fancy and Reality in Political Races
Democrats have been targeting three North Carolina congressional districts for takeover in 2006, but the most likely scenario is, once again, only a single competitive race.
(1.23.06) Counties Await State Board Action
RALEIGH — County leaders across the state will watch with interest this week as the state Board of Elections reconvenes in Raleigh. Counties, many of which only recently bought voting machines to meet federal law, have been scrambling to meet the board’s order to buy new voting machines from the state’s lone approved vendor.
(11.16.05) Another Democrat Joines the Fray
North Carolina’s congressional map is said to leave little room for competitive races, but for the 2006 cycle many Democrats believe they see improbable openings. One is Virginia Foxx’s re-election bid in the 5th District.
(10.26.05) Foxx Guards the Amen-House
Congress rushed to approve $62 billion in “emergency” Katrina relief, but most of the money remains unspent or uncommitted. A little less haste on Capitol Hill would have been in order — as a NC representative argued.
(10.14.05) Democratic Time Machine to 1994
Some activists and political observers believe that Democrats may have as good an electoral year in 2006 that Republicans had in 1994. Given the uncertainties, it is too early to call it that way.