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On closed doors and open mics

RALEIGH — Most people my age can probably remember those “Schoolhouse Rock!” educational cartoons that once accompanied the rest of the Saturday morning cartoon fare. “I’m Just a Bill” described, at least in theory, how a Congress member’s idea can ...

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The rise and fall of Easley and Edwards

RALEIGH — Perhaps their shared circumstances are simply coincidence. John Edwards and Mike Easley, once two of North Carolina’s most prominent politicians, came to their positions with minimal help from the state’s political establishment. Edwards financed his own U.S. Senate ...

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On voters and state borrowing

RALEIGH — Despite their protests, Democrats in the state legislature can’t get around a simple fact: It’s now been 11 years since legislators asked for North Carolinians’ permission to borrow money. Nonetheless, legislatures controlled by Democrats have authorized more than ...

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The education power struggle

RALEIGH — “I’ve never known a governor that did not run as an education governor.” Leo Daughtry, the longtime state representative from Johnson County and himself a former gubernatorial candidate, didn’t exactly mean those words as endorsement of governors who ...

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It’s about services, not jobs

RALEIGH — Unlike so many, the Republican legislator wasn’t getting lost in the weeds of taxes and job losses. Rambling around the Legislative Building late at night, when typically only reporters, security and the cleanup crew are still around, he ...

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Enter the Gang of Five

RALEIGH — These days, mentioning Jim Black’s name around the North Carolina Legislative Building is nearly akin to uttering “Lord Voldemort” at Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School. But my most vivid recollections of the former House speaker have nothing to do ...

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