• 64°

Editorial: NC must avoid ‘bad government’ brand

Was a Wake County Republican legislator so spooked by his chances in a fair fight last week that he threw in the towel?

Three-term N.C. Sen. John Alexander told The News & Observer of Raleigh that he decided not to run for re-election because he wanted to spend more time with his grandchildren.

Some progressives say the real story is that Alexander preferred retirement to running in an ungerrymandered district. The old map had seemed tailor-made to draw him into a winnable district. The new map placed Alexander in the same district as a Democratic incumbent.

Either way, the election landscape is shifting. The redrawn maps are now under court review.

Meanwhile, North Carolina has been looking bad (again) to the rest of the nation — and not just for the extreme gerrymandering that prompted a panel of judges to order the revised districts in the first place.

Most recently, there were the shenanigans by state House Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican, to time a vote on overriding Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the GOP-drafted state budget when few Democrats were around to oppose it. (And allegations by Democrats that they had
been snookered into believing there would be no vote that day.)

Before that was ballot fraud in the election in the 9th Congressional District.

And before that was House Bill 2, the ugly “bathroom bill” that forced transgender people to use restrooms that comported to the genders listed on their birth certificates.

And before that, numerous attempts by Republicans to reduce the power of a Democratic governor barely before Cooper could warm the seat.

All of a sudden, a state once nationally regarded as smart and forward-thinking was looking like less the home of Research Triangle Park and more like a banana republic. (Columnist Paul Krugman of The New York Times held up North Carolina as an example that “Republicans don’t believe in democracy.”)

Of course, some portrayals of the state in national media have gotten it wrong. For instance, the Democrats who were absent for the veto override vote were not attending 9/11 commemorations.

But on the broader brush strokes the national media were right. We are a mess.

As for John Alexander, you should know he’s a moderate. He is married to a Democrat and was one of only a handful of Republicans to call for the repeal of HB 2.

Then again, Alexander also appeared to try to persuade a legislative staffer to draw district lines that were more favorable to his re-election prospects before announcing his fishing plans with the grandkids.

Beyond that, the division and the deception and the quest for world domination by Republicans now — and the Democrats before them — need to end.

The redrawn districts will be a start. Better yet maps should be drawn by an independent commission.

It would be nice to see a sense of fairness in elections, versus manipulation and self-interest.

Then maybe North Carolina, which once was known as “The Good Roads State,” won’t need to be rebranded as “The Bad Government State.”

— Winston-Salem Journal



Rowan-Cabarrus Community College unveils tenants, training partners at Advanced Technology Center


Blotter: Salisbury man charged with drug, assault crimes


City of Salisbury to resume normal operations, return to in-person council meetings


Dreams of flight become reality at ASCEND summer camp


Base salary for SPD officers increases to nearly $42,000 next week


‘He loved people:’ Larry Ford leaves behind legacy of legal achievement, community service


Statewide pickleball tournament at Catawba College in September expected to draw hundreds of visitors


Resources still available for those dealing with lingering impacts of pandemic


Shoutouts: Misenheimer completes master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College


State expands Principal of the Year to charter schools

High School

All-county baseball team: Norris Award winner Honeycutt made the most of a dozen games


Partners in learning raises $3.2 million for new facility


Tar Heel Boys State creates miniature government at Catawba College


NC medical marijuana legalization gets hearing in Senate


N. Carolina bill ending extra $300 benefits heads to Cooper


New COVID-19 positives in Rowan at lowest point since start of pandemic


Rowan Wild’s animal camp makes a comeback at Dan Nicholas Park


Health officials say financial incentives helped vaccination rates; lottery drawing today

Granite Quarry

Granite Quarry adopts budget that keeps tax rate flat


Airport Advisory committee endorses plans for expansion at Mid-Carolina Regional

China Grove

China Grove will celebrate 40th Farmers Day with week full of festivities


Pistons win in NBA draft lottery; Hornets will get 11th pick


Officers in Locust arrest drivers who tried to flee; one was on motorcycle reported stolen from Rowan


Panel OKs NC Senate budget bill; Dems pan policy provisions