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Lawmakers reject chance to create fair maps

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BOB PHILLIPS Guest Columnist This month, North Carolina lawmakers had a golden opportunity to adopt fair, nonpartisan standards for drawing new legislative voting districts. Instead, they opted for politics as usual, keeping partisanship at the core of a deeply flawed redistricting process. The General Assembly has been ordered by a…

Guest View— Questions arising about Atlantic Coast Pipeline

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As we draw close to the final approvals for the $5 billion, 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, there’s a growing chorus of voices saying, “Hey, wait a minute — what about this?” We’re pleased that someone with some clout — someone who can issue necessary permits for the natural-gas pipeline —…

Focus on long-term growth

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH — So far in 2017, North Carolina is adding jobs at a slower pace than the national and regional averages. That’s a noticeable change from recent trends — but it’s a reason only for concern, not for panic or pontification. Through July, the state’s economy…

Persistence in gerrymandering

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH – If there is one indisputable observation to make about the state’s Republican legislative majority it is this: They are relentless in their efforts to protect their disproportional power. After winning control in the outlier 2010 elections, they have spun this purple state into…

Confederate Monuments and a Whiskey Speech

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G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist Is there some way to help President Trump recover from the damage caused by his comments relating to events in Charlottesville and the future of Confederate monuments? Perhaps he could issue a statement of his position following the model of the classic “If-by-Whiskey” speech given by…

Guest View— Celebratory monuments versus historic artifacts

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With a movement afoot to remove Confederate statues from public spaces, it’s important to distinguish between monuments and places that are markers of history, and monuments and places that are objects of praise for a person or cause. We preface this by condemning the vandalism of Confederate monuments in Wilmington,…

Turning the teacher pipeline into a mighty flowing river

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FERREL GUILLORY Syndicated Columnist You have probably seen the commercial on TV or online. Advertising a travel website, the commercial depicts a frazzled teacher who has lost control of her classroom, yearning for a vacation while her kindergarten students create bedlam behind her. All in all, it is an insulting…

Measuring value added is essential

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH — What difference does it make? No, I’ve not become jaded, defeatist, or desperate. I’m naturally optimistic. While perfection is impossible in our world, things can be better than they are. Through purposeful action, all of us can help make that happen. As a conservative,…

Guest View— New GOP-drawn districts are unfair

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As he does so often, Bob Phillips, head of Common Cause in North Carolina, had it exactly right with his comments on some pitiful, harshly partisan legislative districts as redrawn by Republican lawmakers, or rather by their hired consultant. Made necessary by federal court rulings that found some of their…

Grading the audience

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RICHARD PERMENTER Guest Columnist It’s pretty common for the press and citizens to judge a congressman’s performance at public gatherings. How about judging the audience? Here’s my grading system for the audience at Wednesday’s town hall meeting with Rep. Patrick McHenry. I don’t grade on a curve, and my agreement…