Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell: Bathroom Brawl Is Back Again

RALEIGH — Just when you thought North Carolina had moved on from debating bathrooms, House Bill 2 is back in the headlines thanks to a surprise move by Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper wants to resolve a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and LGBT groups that challenges the HB2 replacement law that Cooper signed in March. The replacement law — the…


Colin Campbell: Appointing Judges Could Work — If It’s Done Right

RALEIGH — In next year’s election, you might find yourself picking dozens of judges on an insanely long ballot. Or you might never vote in a multiple candidate judicial election ever again. Legislative leaders are considering a wide range of options for overhauling how North Carolina chooses its judges — from the state Supreme Court to the local District Court…


Colin Campbell: Wacky Rules Complicate Municipal Elections

RALEIGH — If the rules for Raleigh’s municipal elections had applied to last year’s governor’s race, Pat McCrory would have had the power to send voters back to the polls in December. It would have been the same election without the Libertarian candidate — and given Gov. Roy Cooper’s narrow margin of victory in November, it’s anybody’s guess who would…


Colin Campbell: An Assault on Newspapers, Transparency

RALEIGH — Imagine this hypothetical scenario: Someone wants to build a factory in your neighborhood, a change that would bring noise, pollution and heavy truck traffic. Your local government has to hold a public hearing and OK the proposal first, but that’s already happened before you even heard about it. The bulldozers have arrived to start construction, and it’s too…


Colin Campbell: Time for Fireworks in Raleigh — Again

RALEIGH — The legislature is coming back to town Oct. 4, and as usual, sticking it to Gov. Roy Cooper is at the top of the agenda. Overriding the governor’s vetoes is one of the main reasons we’re seeing the third extra session since the legislature ended its regular session back in June. Every extra session brings another round of…


Colin Campbell: Take Time with Judicial Tinkering

RALEIGH — While legislative and congressional districts are redrawn every 10 years to match population changes — so everyone’s vote counts equally — North Carolina’s judicial districts haven’t been redrawn in decades. Five of them haven’t changed since 1965. Still, Rep. Justin Burr caught many people by surprise when he unveiled new proposed maps on Twitter in the hectic final…


Colin Campbell: Don’t Let A Coin Toss Pick Your Mayor

RALEIGH — The decision to oust the incumbent mayor of North Carolina’s largest city came down to a margin of just 3,398 voters — 0.6 percent of the registered voters in Charlotte. Pathetic voter turnout in municipal races is nothing new, and the 8.73 percent turnout for the Charlotte City Council primary is actually an increase over past years. It…


Colin Campbell: Matthew Recovery is the State’s Problem Now

RALEIGH — While the nation focuses on Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey, North Carolina still doesn’t have the money it needs to rebuild from Hurricane Matthew. Yes, it’s been nearly a year since widespread flooding hit the eastern part of our state. Yes, federal and state politicians have touted multiple rounds of recovery funding. But after 11 months, many homeowners…


Colin Campbell: Opinion Shifting Fast on N.C. Confederate Monuments

RALEIGH — The days of North Carolina’s many Confederate monuments could be numbered after Gov. Roy Cooper declared war on them — just one day after he chastised protesters who toppled a monument in Durham. The governor’s announcement that the monuments “should come down” came as a surprise because a 2015 law bans Cooper and local governments from taking down…


Colin Campbell: Redistricting Could Boot Out Incumbents

RALEIGH — The jury’s still out on whether court-ordered redistricting will reduce Republicans’ power in the legislature after the 2018 election, but it’s becoming clear that the new districts could force out some incumbents from both parties — including a few African-American lawmakers. The legislature’s Redistricting Committee set criteria Aug. 10 to guide their mapmaking consultant, Tom Hofeller, and the…