Archives by: Billy Ball

Billy Ball

About the author

Billy Ball, Managing Editor, joined Policy Watch in January 2016. In his 15+ years as a North Carolina reporter, he’s covered public schools, state and local politics, courts, the environment, criminal justice and immigration for publications like The Independent Weekly, The Sanford Herald andThe Monroe Enquirer-Journal. During that time, he’s won more than two dozen state, regional and national awards for his reporting and writing, including recognition for investigative reporting, commentary, and news features. In 2018, he won first place from the N.C. Press Association for political reporting. And his 2014 reporting on the death of Michael Anthony Kerr, which earned him a national award for “media impact” from The Media Consortium, exposed the mistreatment of a North Carolina inmate with mental illness in solitary confinement. His reporting led to ongoing reforms in how the state handles prisoners with a mental illness. Billy is a graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism.
billy@ncpolicywatch.com
919-861-1460

Billy Ball's articles and posts

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).

...
Read more 0
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.

...
Read more 0
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.

...
Read more 0
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.

...
Read more 0
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...

...
Read more 0
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...

...
Read more 0
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? 

...
Read more 0
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 ...
Read more 0
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.

...
Read more 0
Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

How NC’s broken politics made a disaster of Medicaid again

Tuesday’s inevitable announcement of a delay in North Carolina’s Medicaid transformation is an unqualified disaster. We will labor over who to blame. Republicans will castigate Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who vetoed the “mini-budget” funding transformation in August. 

...
Read more 0

Send this to a friend