Archives by: Billy Ball

Billy Ball

About the author

Billy Ball, worked at NC Policy Watch from 2016 to 2020 — first as an education reporter and later as managing editor.

Billy Ball's articles and posts

Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

After latest court setback, Tim Moore and the GOP must drop their voter ID con

Say this for North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore and his surrogates, they are determined con artists.  After a unanimous state Court of Appeals panel dealt the GOP their latest voter ID defeat Tuesday, Moore seemed more like a desperate salesman pitching a broken vacuum than the speaker of North Carolina's House of Representatives in his scathing rebuttal.

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

Greg Lindberg, the man who knew too many

For a man who knew everybody, Greg Lindberg might seem in the coming days like a man who knew nobody. And at this point, perhaps he doesn’t. Lindberg, the indicted financier tied up in a widening bribery scandal, is so intimate with federal investigators’ sonorous tones and heavy breathing upon his shoulder he can tell you what their agents had for lunch (my guess is roasted chicken, white rice, steamed cauliflower and a half-gallon of black coffee; these are not the sort to dally with extraneous carbs).

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

On impeachment, N.C. deserved a Mitt Romney. We got Thom Tillis and Richard Burr instead.

Mitt Romney is, in this moment, the Republican that Americans and North Carolinians deserve. But he is not, of course, the Republican that most of us received.

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

In the impeachment trial, the fading credibility of Tillis, Burr and the Republican Party takes center stage

It was February 2011. I was a relatively young local government reporter and I will, if pressed, admit to being a bit starstruck that state Speaker of the House Thom Tillis stood right in front of me talking that year's budget standoff, although that gauzy feeling did not last long.

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

Mark Johnson, state schools superintendent, finds comedy in one troubled school system’s tragedy

If North Carolina Republicans are confounded by the notion that every last one of them disdains public education—and, surely, not all of them do—they should tune into Mark Johnson’s bro huddle with right-wing talk show host KC O’Dea last Friday to see where a North Carolinian might get such a notion.

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

Make no mistake. The budget failed because Republicans failed to compromise.

There is a temptation—and believe me, I understand it—to celebrate the fleeting nature of this week’s special session of the North Carolina state legislature as some sort of success.

Resist that temptation...

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

How Trump’s lies may cost him during the Iran saga

Although he torches norms like a 10-year-old cooks bugs beneath a magnifying glass, Donald Trump is not the first American president to be compromised. In wartime, peacetime, or whatever it is we are calling this incendiary moment. As the journalist Eric Alterman explained in his 2004 autopsy of executive mendacity, “When...

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

As voter ID falls again, Republicans are still confusing predator with prey

Say one thing for Dan Bishop and his nihilistic pals in the Republican Party: They see the farce in New Year’s resolutions.  Resolutions come in shiny and new, be-tuxed and coiffed, and scuttle out the club’s emergency exit in the mid-morning light, face a mess. So why bother? 

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Education Top Story

The lingering inequality of school discipline in North Carolina

Mark Robinson ostensibly addressed the Guilford County Board of Education, but the broad, barrel-chested man spent most of his two-minute speech in November booming at the audience instead. “Folks who sit in offices in high places and look ...
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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

After Republicans’ latest gerrymandering low, now is the time for your outrage

It may be difficult to say how you are feeling this morning, two mornings after a Superior Court panel — facing the impending launch of the 2020 election cycle — choked down another GOP-manipulated map for North Carolina congressional districts.

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