Mostly Common Sense at Common Sense Event

BY: - January 25, 2007

Speakers at this morning's Common Sense Foundation "Legislative Preview Breakfast" in Raleigh dished out some decent helpings of common sense to the 40 or so folks in attendance. Senator Janet Cowell (who had to leave early to attend a mandatory ethics session for all members of the Senate) and Rep. Alice Graham Underhill offered their takes on any number of […]

Gaga for Google

BY: - January 25, 2007

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” That was my high school biology teacher’s favorite expression. He used it every time he wanted to remind us about the trade-offs in nature. Nothing is gained without something else being lost. Even when the trade-offs aren’t immediately apparent, they still exist. It’s true in nature and […]

Cannibalism or Tabasco?

BY: - January 24, 2007

The N&O had an article about addiction Wednesday in which an intervention specialist (and recovering junkie) likens addiction's effects on families to cannibalism.  But just last night Tom Shaheen, our lottery czar — sorry, our Education Lottery czar — implied that a gambling problem is more like an excess of hot sauce.  Have you seen […]

New Poll Tests Easley v. Dole, Troop Surge

BY: - January 24, 2007

Public Policy Polling, an increasingly influential and prolific Raleigh-based polling outfit, has just released a poll that takes the temperature of likely voters on two highly interesting topics: 1) How would Governor Easley fare in a 2008 general election challenge of Senator Dole; and 2) voter attitudes on the war in Iraq. Here are two of the highlights: […]

Paying for School Construction

BY: - January 24, 2007

With North Carolina's public schools systems facing drastic and immediate needs, what is the state government to do?  Ben Matthews, Director of School Support for the Department of Public Instruction, presented the current infrastructure need projects for the next five years to the "Infrastructure Responsibilities and Funding Subcommittee" of the G.A.'s Fiscal Modernization Study Commission […]

Justice Center Hires New Director

BY: - January 24, 2007

After a long search, the N.C. Justice Center, North Carolina's most important anti-poverty advocacy group, has hired a new director. It was worth the wait. The choice, Melinda Lawrence, is an experienced civil rights lawyer with deep roots in the state's progressive advocacy community. She starts February 5. Read the Center's media release here. 

Pro-Choice Event Honors Young and Old

BY: - January 23, 2007

Yesterday's Roe v. Wade commemoration (it was the 34th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision) by Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina had a nice touch. The group presented an award for youth leadership to a young pro-choice organizer named Natalie Fixmer and honored the career of retired state lawmaker Bertha "B" Holt with the unveiling of a new "Legislative Courage […]

Welcome to The Progressive Pulse, the new NC Policy Watch blog

BY: - January 22, 2007

For some time now, NC Policy Watch has served as one of North Carolina’s most prolific and reliable sources of news, analysis and progressive commentary on state public policy matters. With a large and growing menu of products – daily commentaries in the Fitzsimon File, in-depth analysis in the Weekly Briefing, links to important news […]

Smith and the recurring myth

BY: - January 22, 2007

Senator Fred Smith is at it again, repeating the most often quoted myth about the budget passed by last year's General Assembly. The Goldsboro News-Argus quoted Smith in its legislative preview story Sunday. "We should have a strategic plan," Smith said. "Last year, we had a $2.8 billion surplus and they used every bit of […]

Basnight enthusiastic about circumventing legislative process

BY: - January 21, 2007

Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight met with reporters late Friday afternoon to talk about the upcoming General Assembly session and many of his remarks made it into the weekend legislative previews, including his thoughts about Medicaid, education, and mental health. But most stories left out Basnight’s troubling and disturbing defense of special provisions in […]

Millions of North Carolina Citizens Never Vote, But Presidential Excitement Could Yield Record Turnout

BY: - February 20, 2006

A new county-by-county analysis of voting shows that at least 2.5 million North Carolinians – two out of every five adult citizens – have not cast a ballot in the past eight years. They didn’t vote in the 2000 or 2004 presidential elections or anytime else. Most of them are registered to vote and just […]