“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.
Coaching the Lawmakers
UNC champion basketball coach Roy Williams scored a classy three-pointer when he spoke before the NC General Assembly recently, as reported in The Herald-Sun on May 5. The reprint of a Fayetteville Observer editorial noted that Williams, at a joint session of the Legislature held to honor his NCAA championship team, took the microphone to talk for a moment about sacrifices “toward a common goal.” “What you do to help our state is the most important thing going on,” Williams was quoted as explaining to the august elected body…. Continue Reading »
Head for the Coast!
In tribute to its 250th anniversary, North Carolina’s Supreme Court will head to the Chowan County Courthouse in Edenton on May 9 for two hearings, one at 9:30 and another at 11 a.m. There is limited seating, so free tickets for the occasion will be on a first-come basis, as explained in this article from the News & Observer. For a bit more history of the courthouse, visit its page in the North Carolina History Project. An original wooden courthouse first ordered by the NC Colonial Assembly in 1712… Continue Reading »
Gun-Totin’ Debate Debate in Cherokee County
Cherokee County must have some rip-roaring commissioners’ meetings, at least based on a recent article in the Cherokee Scout that discussed state Sen. Jim Davis’s efforts to right an apparent wrong in state law Cherokee County commissioners can’t carry concealed weapons during commission meetings or in the combined courthouse/administrative facility that serves the county. I mean, over the years, Jackson County has had its share of gadflies and disputers, folks who would interrupt, hold-up signs and make a general huzzah and nuisance of themselves, while… Continue Reading »
Voices of Judicial Experience Speak Up
Proposed legislative changes to reduce the number of judges on the NC Court of Appeals from 15 to 12, and to end special appointments to all but the business court, have been deemed harmful to the state’s judiciary and its people by four of the state’s former chief justices: Republican I. Beverly Lake (2001-2006) and Democrats James G. Exum Jr. (1986-1994), Burley Mitchell (1995-1999), and Sarah Parker (2006-2014). As reported in today’s News & Observer. a letter from the four justices questions bill sponsors’ claims that a 20 percent reduction in judgeships… Continue Reading »
A Discussion of Tradition: “Business Progressivism and Social Conservatism”
It might help to understand the politics of this state if one reads this column by Rob Christensen, appropriately (ruefully so) appearing in the April 1 edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer: “Business Drive for Compromise on HB2 Follows An NC Tradition.”
What’s Not to Love/Hate About HB2 Repeal?
As the state of North Carolina plunges into HB2’s emotional repeal repercussions, it is essential to look closely at exactly what just happened in the North Carolina Statehouse. A “compromise” bill (HB 142, now Session Law 2017-4) entitled “An Act to Reset S.L. 2016-3” was ratified by a vote of 32 to 16 in the NC Senate (with 2 excused absences), and a vote of 70 to 48 in the NC House (2 excused absences), with a mix of Republicans and Democrats on either side… Continue Reading »