Longleaf Politics

Original reporting and in-depth analysis of North Carolina news

9 N.C. candidates with enough cash to upset an incumbent this November

By Andrew Dunn Money isn’t everything in politics — but it is an important thing, particularly if you’re a challenger trying to upset an incumbent. It’s obviously crucial to establishing name recognition and turning out voters. But perhaps more than that, money is a useful proxy to determine which candidates have actual traction. I scoured Read more about 9 N.C. candidates with enough cash to upset an incumbent this November[…]

Why does North Carolina need a partisan elections board anyway?

It’s easy to get bogged down in the politics right now as N.C. Democrats and Republicans battle over control of the State Board of Elections. I do it, too — the most recent Longleaf Politics email focused on the power struggle. I even called it “kind of sophomoric.” [Note: If you’re not signed up for Read more about Why does North Carolina need a partisan elections board anyway?[…]

The definitive explainer on North Carolina’s redistricting mess

[Note: This story was last updated February 13 as candidate filing begins] By Andrew Dunn Trying to tease apart everything that’s happened since North Carolina Republicans re-drew legislative maps to favor their party is mind-numbing. But with redistricting continually back in the headlines, we’re giving it a shot. The story has been nearly impossible to Read more about The definitive explainer on North Carolina’s redistricting mess[…]

Dear N.C. media: Rev. Mark Creech is irrelevant and doesn’t actually represent Christians

Some of the most important entries in a journalist’s Rolodex are the people you can count on to oppose something you’re writing about. News stories need balance, after all. Bonus points if they’ll give you an inflammatory quote to spice up a story. The Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of The Christian Action League, is one of Read more about Dear N.C. media: Rev. Mark Creech is irrelevant and doesn’t actually represent Christians[…]

North Carolina just took a big step forward on pre-K education. Expanding further would be much more expensive

By Andrew Dunn While a long-awaited deal on elementary school class funding gobbled up most of the headlines, the General Assembly’s change to pre-K spending could actually be an even bigger deal. The short version: With these changes, every low-income family that wants a slot in a free public pre-K program should be able to Read more about North Carolina just took a big step forward on pre-K education. Expanding further would be much more expensive[…]

It’s OK to question the UNC System’s diversity programs

By Andrew Dunn Chancellors of North Carolina’s top public universities are vigorously defending their campus diversity programs against what the left is perceiving as attacks by the Republican-led legislature. But the truth is, the UNC System’s diversity efforts are desperately in need of an overhaul. Both sides of the aisle should be able to agree Read more about It’s OK to question the UNC System’s diversity programs[…]

54 top young political stars in North Carolina

While the Boomer generation still controls the halls of power in North Carolina, a younger crop of leaders is already beginning to emerge. Longleaf Politics set out to recognize 40 rising political stars under the age of 40. We ended up with 54. This list draws from the ranks of elected officials, lobbyists, media members, Read more about 54 top young political stars in North Carolina[…]

These 7 maps show why the redistricting free-for-all won’t be fair for all

By Brian Francis In a previous post, I suggested that all redistricting is gerrymandering. [Longleaf Politics story: Redistricting reform is just a search for a better gerrymander] While we intuitively dislike the idea of politicians picking their voters in a way that prevents voters from picking their politicians, I suggested that any redistricting effort will reflect Read more about These 7 maps show why the redistricting free-for-all won’t be fair for all[…]

North Carolina once again struggling to balance the economy and the environment

By Andrew Dunn Between its mountains, beaches and rolling pine forests, North Carolina is a state of immense natural beauty. But it’s also a state in desperate need for jobs everywhere outside of the I-85 corridor. The announcement this week that North Carolina would allow a controversial new natural gas pipeline to move forward reinvigorates Read more about North Carolina once again struggling to balance the economy and the environment[…]

5 simple yet genius ways NC Policy Watch manipulates the media

By Andrew Dunn Just as traditional media began their decline, NC Policy Watch was founded in the mid-2000s as the publishing arm of the N.C. Justice Center, a left-wing activist and advocacy group dedicated to economic and social justice. Over the following decade, it’s become an integral part of the North Carolina political ecosystem. With four Read more about 5 simple yet genius ways NC Policy Watch manipulates the media[…]