Articles by Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell: More Deaths Likely if Prison Reform Doesn’t Happen Soon

RALEIGH — Most of us don’t have to deal with the most troubled agency in North Carolina government, but the crisis in our state prison system is bad enough to make headlines nearly every week. The attention largely stems from the October 2017 inmate attack at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City that left four staffers dead and exposed…


Colin Campbell: Hurricane Matthew Recovery Hampered by Red Tape

SEVEN SPRINGS — Most of North Carolina seems to have forgotten about Hurricane Matthew. It’s been about 18 months since the floodwaters ravaged Eastern North Carolina towns, and the news cycle has long since moved on to other natural disasters and the 10,000 political controversies in Washington. One might think 18 months is plenty of time for residents and businesses…


Colin Campbell: If You Can’t Beat Your Opponent, Disqualify Them

RALEIGH — A hot new trend is sweeping North Carolina campaigns this year: Trying to get your opponents disqualified and kicked off the ballot before Election Day. I’m surprised this tactic hasn’t been used heavily before. Why go to the trouble to raise money and campaign on issues when you could just knock out the other candidate on a technicality…


Hurricane Matthew’s victims still awaiting FEMA grants 18 months after storm

Nearly 18 months after Hurricane Matthew, recovery in the small Wayne County town of Seven Springs has been uneven. Several local businesses are back open and some residents have returned. But across the street from the bustling Mae’s Restaurant, another storefront looks like the Neuse River floodwaters just receded yesterday — the front wall is bashed in and office furniture…


Colin Campbell: Republicans Helped N.C. Green Party Get on the Ballot

RALEIGH — Supporters of lesser-known political parties were disappointed with North Carolina’s presidential election ballot in 2016. Did you want to vote for Nutrition Party candidate Rod Silva, who ran for president with the slogan “Make America Healthy Again”? Only an option if you lived in Colorado. Or perhaps you were eager to back Prohibition Party candidate James Hedges? The…


Colin Campbell: Bipartisan School Safety Agreement is Possible — But Not Gun Control

RALEIGH — More so than any other school shooting, the recent Parkland, Fla., tragedy has inspired North Carolina politicians to Do Something. But what’s the Something? Everyone seems to have a different idea, and it’s unclear what — if anything — has enough support to pass the legislature. N.C. Democrats, predictably, are joining the students from Parkland in calling for…


Colin Campbell: Legislature Sets Dark Example for Sunshine Week

RALEIGH — Last week was Sunshine Week, the annual event where news organizations promote government transparency and analyze how well our public records and open meetings laws are working. This year, 10 North Carolina news outlets teamed up to examine whether government agencies are following state law on closed-door meetings. The law requires city councils, school boards and other government…


Colin Campbell: More Ballot Choices Won’t Really Mean More Competition

RALEIGH — For the past three election cycles, I haven’t been able to choose my representatives in the state House and Senate. Sure, those offices appeared on my Election Day ballot. But the choice was between the incumbents — Rep. Darren Jackson and Sen. Dan Blue — and simply not voting. There was no Republican alternative. No third-party candidate. Not…


Colin Campbell: After Harassment Claims, Legislature Must Make Reforms

RALEIGH — The #MeToo movement has hit North Carolina’s legislature — a place that’s so far ill-equipped to handle sexual harassment allegations against powerful lawmakers. Democratic Party leaders, including Gov. Roy Cooper, are calling for the resignation of Rep. Duane Hall, D-Wake, after several women accused him of sexual comments, inappropriate touching and unwanted kisses. The allegations were first reported…


Colin Campbell: Let’s Take Politics Out of Administering NC’s Elections

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper wants to take politics out of the redistricting process, but he also thinks he should control elections administration in North Carolina. Legislative Republicans, meanwhile, want to take partisanship out of the elections board, but they’re determined to keep it in the process of drawing legislative and congressional districts. None of this is surprising: The old…