Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

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Bills seek to end permits for concealed handguns

Two new North Carolina House bills aim to do away with permits for carrying concealed handguns and eliminate the state’s ability to regulate concealed weapons.

The moves, which have failed to get traction in previous sessions, have been denounced as dangerous by leaders in law enforcement and gun control advocates. But groups and lawmakers supporting the bill say it’s the next step in North Carolina’s recent history of gun deregulation.

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Conservative NC legislators eye national constitutional convention

The flurry of bills in the current session of the North Carolina General Assembly include some real political firestorm issues - guns, abortion, public education.

But several new bills dealing with a much more esoteric issue deal with a growing national controversy: the movement to amend the U.S. constitution.

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Legislative leaders condemn Superior Court order placing confirmation of Cooper’s cabinet on hold

A N.C. Senate confirmation hearing was postponed Wednesday morning after a court order restraining the Senate from holding hearings to confirm Gov. Roy Cooper’s cabinet nominees.

Larry Hall, the former Democratic N.C. House member tapped by Cooper to head the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, chose not attend the meeting at which he was to be vetted.

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Five questions with Gunther Peck

Gunther Peck is an associate professor of History at Duke University specializing in 19th and 20th century American social and cultural history, comparative immigration and labor studies.

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NC political, historical experts reflect on Trump presidency

In a tumultuous first two weeks in office, President Donald Trump has broken with norms and precedents of his office, spawned dozens of lawsuits, generated historically low public approval numbers and some of the largest protests in U.S. history.

Historians and political scientists in North Carolina agree the Trump presidency is, in many ways, without precedent. They are also expressing concern about Trump’s impact on the institution of the presidency, the functioning of the nation’s government and the standing of the U.S. in the world.

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The Path Forward: HB2 in the new age of Trump

The new reality of a Donald Trump presidency has thrown into question a number of evolving civil rights struggles.

As many LGBT North Carolinians and their allies feared, November’s election may have radically changed the legislative and legal future of the controversial House Bill 2.

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Governor Pat McCrory has called the General Assembly back into special session to consider repeal of House Bill 2

The announcement came after the Charlotte City Council voted Monday morning to repeal its own ordinance granting LGBT protections, including the ability of transgender people to use public restrooms that match their gender identity. The repeal is contingent ...
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McCrory sidesteps goodbyes, presses for sale of “crappy” historic buildings

Gov. Pat McCrory was jovial at his last Council of State meeting this morning, even cracking a few jokes, but he was also blunt and made no concessions about his feelings on developing dilapidated state buildings. What he ...
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As Cooper gains votes, McCrory gains Durham recount from State Board of Elections

The State Board of elections Wednesday ordered a partial recount of ballots cast in Durham County in the Nov. 8 election.

The board voted 3-2 along party lines to recount more than 90,000 votes reported late on the night of the election because of a software problem.

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State Board of Election has confidence in the counties; McCrory digs in, demands a recount

County boards should go on counting ballots in from the Nov. 8 election, the State Board of Elections unanimously voted Tuesday - and the authority over how they deal with challenges should remain at the local level.

At issue: The hotly contested gubernatorial race between Republican Governor Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper.

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Meet the people challenging the election and their fellow voters’ eligibility

The voters are felons. They’re dead. They voted in two states. They took advantage of same-day registration, which can’t be trusted. Election officials were tired and must have made an error. The tabulators may have malfunctioned. The memory cards were hinky.

The theories of why the 2016 election was allegedly botched, rigged and flubbed range from the believable – a felon still on parole unknowingly voted – to outlandish – someone might have broken in to a locked box in a locked room in a locked board of elections and entered ballots into a locked machine.

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Durham Board of Elections grants NCGOP attorney evidentiary hearing over ballot count; social justice activists protest

His shoulders slumped and his head bowed, Bill Brian, the Republican chairman of the Durham County Board of Elections, seemed burdened by the vote he was about to cast. “I’m having a difficult time,” he told a standing-room only crowd that had gathered in the county commissioners chambers.

With a short break to call an ambulance for someone who had collapsed in the back of the room, the probable cause hearing entailed an hour of testimony, some of it fanciful, about the integrity of Durham’s election results.

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Trump’s coattails fail to help McCrory; HB2 anger motivates split-ticket voters

North Carolina was a legitimate swing state this year, having gone narrowly to President Barack Obama in 2008 and narrowly to his Republican challenger Mitt Romney in 2012.

The state leaned conservative this year, part of a series of swing state Republican flips that put presidential candidate Donald Trump over the top in the electoral college.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

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McCrory camp raises “grave concerns” about Tuesday’s race; election officials suggest provisional and absentee ballots may not shift outcome

As Tuesday’s election night stretched into a tense Wednesday morning, Attorney General Roy Cooper claimed victory in his hard fought battle to unseat N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory. But the embattled Republican governor vowed that the race wasn’t over ...
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Voter intimidation or just a really bad joke?

Election workers call foul over voter frustration, political stunts in final hours of this heated campaign season

It started with a Facebook comment, progressed to a campaign worker wielding a baseball bat at the polls and has ended up in court.

This year’s struggle between the Republican and Democratic parties in Lee County, a small community of just over 35,000 registered voters, has been one for the books.

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Election Day data dive: Acts of nature influence Robeson County early voting turnout, while elsewhere humans meddle in the election outcome

voting-line-adobestock-400North Carolina’s robust early voting turnout of 45 percent, while laudable, has not trickled down to some of the eastern counties hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew in early October. Turnout is below the state average in 29 of the 38 counties that experienced the worst flooding and the highest number of road closures.

Although many factors influence the decision to vote, a natural disaster is certainly one of them.

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