Archives by: Rob Schofield

Rob Schofield

About the author

Rob Schofield, Director of Research, has three decades of experience as a lawyer, lobbyist, writer, commentator and trainer. At N.C. Policy Watch, Rob writes and edits frequent opinion pieces and blog posts, speaks to various civic groups, appears regularly on TV and radio and helps build and develop movements for change.
rob@ncpolicywatch.com
919-861-2065

Rob Schofield's articles and posts

Weekly Briefing

A flood of bad ideas

How the General Assembly is spending “crossover week” and what it ought to be doing

The last week of April arrived soggy and gray yesterday in North Carolina. It’s as if the weather gods had taken a sneak peek at the agenda for one of the busiest weeks of the year at the General Assembly and were shedding a steady stream of preemptory tears.

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Weekly Briefing

An important bright spot emerges at the General Assembly

Progress on “second chance” agenda marks a rare positive development in state policy wars

There are a lot of reasons for caring and thinking North Carolinians to be discouraged these days about what’s happening in the world of public policy. In the nation’s capital, the corrupt and illegitimate Trump administration is a perpetual, slow motion train wreck. Meanwhile, Congress is a frequently dysfunctional war zone in which some of the most conservative political leaders in modern American history are engaged in a pitched battle with far right extremists who want to repeal fundamental components of the national social contract.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The return of the “Know Nothings”

Anti-immigrant fervor spawns destructive (and utterly illogical) proposals on Jones Street

There are a lot of labels that have been applied to the ideology that has held sway in North Carolina policy and politics over the past six years. Some have been embraced by the politicians and pundits who have been running the show (“conservative,” “libertarian,” “fundamentalist” stand out) while others (“reactionary,” “backward-looking,” “right-wing”) have not.

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Setting the Record Straight Top Story

The far right forces a dramatic and worrisome change in national politics

The U.S. Senate is about to “go nuclear” to aid Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

For decades, members of both political parties in the United States Senate have discussed the idea of ending the “60 vote rule” – the requirement that the minority can demand a supermajority vote to pass extremely important and controversial legislation. In recent years, there has been some erosion in the rule, but as of today, the rule remains in place when it comes to the monumentally important matter of Supreme Court nominations.

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Weekly Briefing

Trump hypocrisy threatens again with massive proposed cuts to legal aid

The most litigious president in U.S. history says “no” to lawyers for poor people

No one ever accused Donald Trump of being consistent. If ever there was a politician for whom a gravitation toward blatant self-contradiction and 180 degree flip flops was embedded in the very fiber of his being, it would have to be the 45th president. Name an important issue of public policy and it seems a virtual lock that Trump will have staked out a position on all sides of it (and then probably contradicted each of them at one time or another with his own personal behavior).

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Must Reads Setting the Record Straight

General Assembly sends HB2 “repeal” to Cooper’s desk

Governor, some Democrats support effort in face of impassioned progressive opposition

In a strange and remarkable replay of the controversial one-day special legislative session that took place one year ago last week, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation today in a matter of hours that purports to repeal HB2 – the state’s infamous LGBTQ discrimination law. Surprisingly, the proposal also appears to have the backing of Governor Roy Cooper, who issued a terse statement of support last night.

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Weekly Briefing

Berger and Moore finally come out of their policy closet on HB2

At long last, legislative leaders admit state’s discrimination law is not about bathrooms

For more than a year now, North Carolina conservative lawmakers and advocates have been repeating the absurd and offensive mantra that opponents of HB2 – the state’s infamous LGBTQ discrimination law – want to force women and girls to make use of showers and restrooms alongside men disguised as women.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Roy Cooper’s lonely and courageous battle

It’s a difficult and sometimes nasty job, but somebody’s gotta’ do it

One of the hard and often underreported truths of American politics is the role that both luck and timing play in the perceived successes and/or failures of elected officials – particularly chief executives. Enter office at just the right moment – when, say, the economy is humming along and one’s political party enjoys a large majority – and elected office can be a lot of fun. Chances are you’ll have strong approval ratings, considerable clout in legislative decision making, lots of invitations to speak to large and friendly audiences and an opportunity to leave a significant imprint on your city, state or nation.

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Events Top Story

Crucial Conversation luncheon – One year anniversary of HB2

Amazingly, Thursday, March 23 marks the one-year anniversary of HB2 – the LGBTQ discrimination law that will forever be known by the name it received during a special one-day kangaroo session of the General Assembly.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Trump’s most dangerous action thus far

For Americans serious about resistance, this is a fight to join

Thirty years ago, filmmaker James Brooks wrote and directed a biting, prophetic and painfully funny takedown of American television journalism called Broadcast News. In one of the better moments in the movie, a frustrated news producer played by Albert Brooks expressed his dismay to a colleague (played by Holly Hunter) about the rise of a vacuous, but attractive and popular news anchor (William Hurt):

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