Recent Articles

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 »

“We’re Still in Their Debt Today”

The North Carolina House of Representatives met yesterday in the historic chambers of a building I have a personal connection to: the State Capitol in Raleigh. My personal connection comes via a stone mason from Ireland named Lemuel Holder, who helped to construct that building and then construct a family lineage that traces down to me. It’s a proud heritage. Raleigh’s News & Observer reported on the “throwback” meeting, where the House met from 1840 to 1963. The legislators were honoring the 242nd anniversary of the…   Continue Reading »

Thank You for a Speech for the Ages

Politically Purple NC has the underlying theme of exploring the endemic propensities and culture of the publisher’s home state of North Carolina. Last week, the mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, gave one of the most eloquent speeches this writer has read in some time, and it so embodies the spirit of culture-analysis that PPNC strives to provide that it begs sharing here. Landrieu speaks to the cultural impact of slavery and the soul-searching corrections that must be pulled from our innermost sanctuaries of prejudice and/or…   Continue Reading »

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on NC Districts

The ruling on Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court declaring two North Carolina congressional districts illegal has drawn great attention to the state’s court battles over redistricting as well as voting rights laws. The Carolina Public Press offers an analysis of the court’s action by political writer Kirk Ross: “Expect Supreme Court Ruling to Influence Upcoming Redistricting Cases.”

Coming Soon — to a Highway Near You?

I lived for 13 years in the state of Vermont, where billboards along roadways are not allowed. There is signage available — discreet but thoroughly visible directional signs along exit approaches that lead you to various businesses or landmarks — but there are no billboards. This form of advertising was banned in 1968 (yes, you read that right) in order to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape in the Green Mountain State. I have always contended that the happy tourists who travel around the…   Continue Reading »

The High Price We Pay for Marketing

By Mark Jamison, Guest Columnist I recently had an exchange with a local official that explains a fundamental misconception about journalists and journalism and in doing so gets at the heart of a creeping cynicism that threatens the very fabric of our society. The official (I’m being nonspecific because I’m not interested in embarrassing or singling out an individual) referred to the Sylva Herald, my local paper in Jackson County, as a “media partner”. The political philosopher Michael Sandel has written about our shift from…   Continue Reading »

Disaster Relief for NC Falls Far Short of Request

In a news bulletin this morning, Raleigh’s News & Observer quotes Gov. Roy Cooper expressing “shock and disappointment” in the meager provision of federal disaster funding for Hurricane Matthew recovery. The paper reports that Cooper has “expressed his dismay” in an appropriation that amounts to $6.1 million, which is less than 1 percent of the state’s request for aid ($900 million). Read the full story here.

  • 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.
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