Legislative Activity

 

Tea Parties Move to Next Step: Solutions

Tea Party gatherings April 14 in North Carolina showed that the movement is undergoing the necessary if sometimes difficult process of growing to meet further challenges. The “tax day” rally in Greensboro drew about five hundred people; a similar event in Raleigh attracted a sparser crowd. But it would be…

 

Civitas Action Scores Show Much More Conservative Legislature

The 2011 Civitas Action Conservative Effectiveness Scores and Rankings are in and they reveal a legislature much more conservative than in past years. Civitas Action compiles a list of votes that can clearly be defined as conservative or liberal and scores legislators accordingly. Legislators with the highest scores are considered…

 

What Do Statements of Economic Interest Reveal About Your Legislator?

The 2011 Statements of Economic Interest (SEIs) for North Carolina legislators are now available on the Civitas Institute’s website, Carolina Transparency. According to the North Carolina Commission on Ethics, “The State Government Ethics Act requires the disclosure of financial and personal interests” by state legislators and other covered persons. All…

 

Basnight’s Reign Underscores Need for Term Limits

After the 2010 election, North Carolina witnessed the end of the longest political regime in the state’s history: the 17 year reign of Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight (D – Dare). The event serves as a sobering reminder of how skilled politicians can wield enduring power, and underscores the…

 

Constitutional Amendments in the September Session

The legislature has already had a successful session, overriding several of Gov. Perdue’s vetoes and approving redistricting maps for both U.S. Congress and the state legislature.  On September 12, the legislature will meet again in a special session lasting an estimated three days to discuss potential constitutional amendments.  These amendments…

 

Guilford County Redistricting Draws Unfair Criticism

This article originally appeared in the Greensboro News & Record “Counterpoint,” on 8/10/11 Recently the state legislature crafted a redistricting plan for the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. Unfortunately, most of the awareness has been created by the plan’s opponents, whose shrieking, hyperbolic letters are much ado about nothing. The…

 

New Maps Rankle Old Majority

So the maps are out, and not surprisingly, so are the hecklers. The General Assembly recently released the legislative redistricting maps that will be in place for the next decade.  These maps have been met with  an understandable fury of protest by Democrats who will soon face Republican-drawn districts for…

 

Tourists Tamed by Precarious Pumps

Last spring, several of my friends and I drove to Florida for vacation. I had no idea the drive would turn out to be a highly calculated pilgrimage from gas station to gas station, plotting every stop with the precision of a paranoid mapmaker. Oh how naïve I was. Imagine…

 

Government Size on the Rise? Lobbying a Telltale Sign

Here in North Carolina, lobbying is becoming a microcosm of our state’s government.  The number of lobbyists located in the state has steadily grown over the past fifteen years.  The question is why? North Carolina defines lobbying as “influencing or attempting to influence legislative or executive action through direct communication…

 

Bev’s Vetoes: Politics over Principle

“This bill is a dangerous intrusion into the confidential relationship that exists between women and their doctors,” she said.  “The bill contains provisions that are the most extreme in the nation in terms of interfering with that relationship. Physicians must be free to advise and treat their patients based on…

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