Accusations of partisan politics emerged after the new Democratic majority on the N.C. State Board of Elections decided to fire state elections director Kim Strach. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes the politics of the decision. He looks at the potential impact on elections scheduled this year and in 2020. Many of government’s problems stem from an unwillingness to apply common sense to public policy issues. That’s a key tenet of Try Common Sense, the latest book from Philip Howard of the government reform group Common Ground. Howard explains how a dose of common sense would make government operate much better. Some N.C. lawmakers want to step up criminal penalties connected with gangs. You’ll hear highlights from their proposal, along with one critique. Lawmakers are also trying to do what they can to limit telephone number spoofing from telemarketers and scam artists. A bill moving through the General Assembly would give telephone customers a new way to report those who target them with fake phone numbers. Dental therapy offers the prospect of increased access and lower costs. North Carolina doesn’t permit the service today, but Jordan Roberts, John Locke Foundation health care policy analyst, recently researched the process the state could use to allow patients access to this alternative to traditional dental office visits.