Columns


Colin Campbell: Flood Insurance Rules Failed Florence Victims

TRENTON — A few days after Hurricane Florence, home and business owners in Jones County began an unpleasant task: Cleaning out soggy, smelly flooded buildings and piling their merchandise, furniture and personal belongings outside on the curb. In an ideal world, filing an insurance claim would replace what’s lost and get life back to normal in Trenton and Pollocksville, two…


Colin Campbell: Utility Woes Endanger NC’s Small Towns

RALEIGH — What would you do if your utility bill for water and sewer increased to $500 per month? You’d probably end up selling your house at a loss and moving out of town. And while it might seem like a wild hypothetical, it’s a possibility in the tiny Columbus County town of Cerro Gordo, according to a study presented…


Colin Campbell: Hurricane Could Hurt Turnout, Shift Election Dynamics

RALEIGH – With so much attention rightfully focused on Hurricane Florence and its terrible aftermath in North Carolina, it’s easy to forget that there’s an election just over a month away. For a few days at least, politics took a time out. Both political parties used their platforms to post storm safety information. A few candidates announced they’d suspend their…


Colin Campbell: To Recover From Florence, NC Must Learn From Hurricane Matthew Mistakes

RALEIGH — If recent history is any guide, we’ll still be hearing about the Hurricane Florence recovery effort well into 2020. The recovery from Hurricane Matthew — which flooded large parts of Eastern North Carolina in October 2016 — was still creeping along as Florence hit the state. Just a week before Florence, Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration announced the hiring…


Colin Campbell: Incompetent Federal Investigators Want to See Your Ballots

RALEIGH — It’s amateur hour at the federal Department of Justice and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. The agencies won’t say what exactly they’re investigating, but they recently submitted subpoenas for a massive amount of voting records — including completed ballots — from North Carolina elections agencies. They want millions of documents spanning an eight-year period, and initially they wanted them…


Colin Campbell: Four Things We’ll Learn From NC’s Sleepy Primary

RALEIGH — A lot of North Carolina voters might have forgotten there’s an election primary coming up on May 8. TV viewers have seen few, if any, campaign ads. Only a few races have drawn news coverage, and none are statewide contests. Early voting turnout has been anemic so far. Sure, there’s a heightened interest in politics these days —…


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…