Colin Campbell

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…


Colin Campbell: Bills That Look Boring — But Aren’t

RALEIGH — The legislature’s one-day session on Aug. 3 was initially supposed to be about overriding Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes, but that’s not what happened during the 10-hour meeting. Cooper had issued a proclamation calling for the session after he vetoed four bills from the regular session. The Democrat’s proclamations don’t carry much weight around the General Assembly, so Republican…


Colin Campbell: Privatizing School Bus Safety

RALEIGH — Drivers who pass stopped school buses could get fined up to $1,000 under a bill that Gov. Roy Cooper signed on July 25 — but the hefty fine isn’t why legislators from both parties opposed the measure. The technology is similar to red-light cameras: Systems operated by a private company automatically take photos of offenders’ cars, and the…


Colin Campbell: To Win the Legislature, Look to Rural Counties

RALEIGH — When Gov. Roy Cooper recently rolled out his new initiative to “Break The Majority” in the Republican-controlled legislature, his first interview wasn’t with a North Carolina news outlet. It was with POLITICO — the Washington-based magazine that’s a must-read for D.C. insiders. “Can Roy Cooper show Democrats how to win again?” the bold headline read. Cooper told the…


Colin Campbell: It’s Time to Raise Legislator Pay

RALEIGH — A fellow reporter and I tried recently to make a list of N.C. legislators who have traditional, 9-to-5 jobs. Our list was short. Few can balance the legislature’s grueling schedule with the demands of a boss and set hours. Imagine telling your supervisor that you won’t be available most weekdays for roughly half the year. You’d probably get…