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Grow that government!

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JIM HARPER Guest Columnist What does it take to make a state-level Republican policymaker work to grow the power of the Obama Administration? Not much! Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is a case in point. In the wake of a shooting at a Macy’s in Mount Vernon, Washington, late…

North Carolina makes dramatic gain

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist North Carolina almost made another top-10 list this year — but don’t worry, our state seems likely to make the cut in 2017. The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan institute based in Washington, has long published a report called the State Business Tax Climate Index. It ranks…

Reader’s Forum

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Why vote? My mother is 94 years old and loves to vote. She told me recently that she will not vote this year because she can’t support either candidate. That’s not an uncommon story in this election cycle. Nearly two-thirds of polled Americans don’t like either candidate. I share my…

Stop targeting military budgets

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ED FEULNER Guest Columnist Ever seen this bumper sticker? “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.” Unfortunately for the writer of this little zinger, it’s also wrong. In…

Working to eliminate traffic deaths in NC

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The question is, why not? On its face, it seems an impossible goal — to end all traffic deaths in North Carolina. And yet, an effort called N.C. Vision Zero proposes a campaign to do just that, and toward that end has launched a website, ncvisionzero.org, to make people aware…

City should react to local pay study

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Lincolnton’s City Council will likely discuss on Thursday the findings of a study that evaluated the salaries of city employees. We already know that the Piedmont Triad Regional Council, which conducted the study, has pinpointed several areas where the city’s salaries are lagging behind other similar municipalities. It’s important that…

Who’ll wear the coattails this House?

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist North Carolina’s latest poll numbers have me thinking about coattails. That is, how one candidate on the ballot helps or harms his or her partisan running mates. A bit of history: After the Reagan landslide of 1980, North Carolina Democrats, who still controlled state government,…

The ‘pardon Snowden’ case just got stronger

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PATRICK G. EDDINGTON Guest Columnist On Thursday, the Department of Justice Inspector General (DoJ IG) issued a long overdue Congressionally-mandated report on FBI compliance with the PATRIOT Act’s Section 215 “business records” provision between 2012 and 2014. It is the first such report issued that covers the initial period of…

Unfunded state promises spark debate

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Judging by what makes the front pages, the top of the newscasts, and the list of “what’s trending” on social media, North Carolina politics consists of spirited debates about H.B. 2, spirited debates about voting laws, spirited debates about teacher pay, and spirited debates about why…

What’s next for HB2?

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So, what happens next? When it comes to HB-2, we have two sides that have dug in, refused to budge and are complaining that the other side won’t compromise. Gov. Pat McCrory and some leaders in the Republican-controlled legislature have said they’ll repeal the “bathroom bill” that’s made North Carolina…