Recent Articles

A Good Idea Is A Good Idea

In their recent staff editorial, the editorial board of the News & Observer hit the gerrymandering nail on the head. Included is this reference to perhaps the wisest grandmother of nonpartisan redistricting, the Iowa method: “One better approach to redistricting is found in Iowa, where partisanship has been drained out of the process almost entirely. Iowa’s legislative and congressional districts are drawn by a nonpartisan state agency without regard to voter registration data or previous election results. The legislature has up to three opportunities to approve…   Continue Reading »

Maniac’s Mountain: The Wood Stove

PPNC is pleased to introduce a new “culture” column, Maniac’s Mountain. It is written by the award-winning columnist Mark Jamison of Jackson County, and features many of the characters that populate his rural life. That would include humans as well as animals, though PPNC Exclusive columns feature the fearless foursome of Maniac, Otis the three-legged dog, Mellow the feline, and Spooky Cat. We think you’ll love this quartet tremendously. And for the record, most of the Maniac columns arrive in the wee hours by email. They are…   Continue Reading »

Sailing With Shredded Flags

Editorial by Nelda Holder     It is my alarming observation that the state of North Carolina, my own home state and host to my immigrant great-great grandfather, a stone mason from Ireland (who helped build the Capitol in Raleigh), is currently sailing with shredded flags straight into a hurricane. Battered by numerous constitutional issues that have involved no less than the lifeblood of our nation—the right to vote—we are now facing a monumental storm that is being fed by political climate change. And yes,…   Continue Reading »

Jeopardizing Balance in the State’s Judicial System

By: Nelda Holder At a time when the state of North Carolina is under the judicial microscope for unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in its legislative redistricting, a new set of maps that scramble the state’s established judicial districts has received a loudly voiced “Slow down!” from various quarters. The new maps, released in a mid-summer tweet by Rep. Justin Burr of Albemarle (R-Montgomery/Stanly), reshape judicial lines across the state in ways that affect the entire court system. Judges and district attorneys may be running in different…   Continue Reading »

Environmental Questions Grow Over “GenX”

As reported October 5 by Steve DeVane in the Fayetteville Observer, tests are to be expanded in the area of the Bladen County Chemours facility where high levels of “GenX” (used to make nonstick coatings on cookware) have been discovered. According to the article, around 150 people attended a meeting Thursday with Sheila Holman, assistant secretary of the NC Department of Environmental Quality, to discuss questions concerning the chemical release and its potential effects. Meanwhile, in Raleigh, the NC General Assembly overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of HB-56,…   Continue Reading »

How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away

by Nelda Holder The legislative version of redux is trying the patience of any number of North Carolina citizens and Statehouse watchers, not to mention a large number of advocacy groups and even some of the legislators themselves. In 2016, the last year of the 2015-2016 biennium, the North Carolina General Assembly held one regular and five special sessions. Obviously this in-and-out practice was attractive to the leadership (while keeping the general public on their toes), and the 2017-2018 two-year cycle saw the leadership deviate…   Continue Reading »

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Versus Department of Environmental Quality

The 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, planned to carry fracked gas through West Virginia, Virginia, and eastern North Carolina, is knocking at the door of NCDEQ for a necessary water quality permit. Environmental activists are knocking, too — at least metaphorically. They have been staging a protest in front of the department’s office, with several participants holding a water-only fast as the day of permit reckoning approaches. See a report on the climate activists and the project in the September 13 Indy Week: “N.C. Climate Activists Hold…   Continue Reading »

Redistricting Rules Don’t Shy Away From Partisanship

The rules for North Carolina’s critical, court-ordered redistricting were announced yesterday with a promise by Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett County) that the process “will be an inherently political thing.” The rules include protecting incumbents, which Democratic Minority Leader Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake County) called “ridiculous,” noting that “We will protect the incumbents elected using unconstitutional maps. See the full News & Observer report by Will Doran.

Covering the State: From West to East

The state of North Carolina is roughly 500 miles long and 150 miles wide. The well-known “Murphy to Manteo” description takes on new meaning if you drive it, but the political issues and attitudes that change along the way mean the depth of the state is gigantic. So while the Murphy slice of NC life is currently in the throes of preparing for an invasion of solar eclipse tourists on and near the 21st of August (invasion of the sun-snatchers?), in the middle of the…   Continue Reading »

Governor Announces GenX Discharge Action; Forum Set for Tonight

Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday that the NC Department of Environmental Quality will deny a permit that would allow the discharge of the “GenX” chemical compound into the Cape Fear River. Cooper said the state will seek help from the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency regarding risk determination involved. The river is the source of drinking water for more than 200,000 people in Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover counties. A public forum is planned for tonight on the issue at…   Continue Reading »

Eastern NC Versus the Atlantic Coast

Family land, cultural heritage, energy plans, environmental decisions are embroiled in the pending decision regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s proposed transmission line in Eastern NC. Reporter Sam Killenberg of the News & Observer spells it out in today’s business article: “Debate Rages as Atlantic Coast Pipeline Nears Construction.”

Will Unaffiliated Voters Finally Get Their Day?

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court that would have a dramatic effect on election law in the state of North Carolina. According to Raleigh’s News & Observer, Carrboro lawyer Michael Crowell is challenging the new law that recently merged the Elections Board and Ethics Commission in the state (an action that is under additional legal challenge) because the newly constituted board has no provision for unaffiliated voter representation to its membership — in a state with over 2.6 million voters registered as unaffiliated. For…   Continue Reading »

  • Mission

    PoliticallyPurpleNC examines -- from a nonpartisan angle -- the legislative decisions of the North Carolina General Assembly and their potential effects on the citizens of the state. It does so in a setting that includes context -- historical background and social implications. PPNC encourages rational, nonpartisan evaluation and advocacy for the good of the whole.
  • February 2018
    M T W T F S S
    « Jan    
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728