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fr house120Rep. Roger West’s, R-Marble, announcement that he wouldn’t be running for re-election left a void in N.C. House District 120, and two Republicans are vying to fill it. 

fr ralyState Republican lawmakers were strongly chastised for penning Central Elementary School’s death warrant during a rally prior to the Haywood County School board meeting last week.

haywoodOn the right track or wrong track? That question was posed to candidates running for Haywood County commissioner and could offer insight for voters on which ones most closely align with their own views.

maconEven though all five of the candidates running for two open seats in the Macon County commissioner primary are Republicans, they all have a fairly different stance on the county’s role when it comes to spending and setting policies.

op frJust a few more dollars, that’s all. When you get your car fixed or a new dishwasher installed, now you’ll have to pay the 7 percent sales tax on the labor provided by the mechanic or the repairman. As you pay, give a nod to the state legislature’s decision to tax a few more services as part of its ongoing reform that moves North Carolina further toward a reliance on consumption taxes versus income taxes.

A new ranking released this week by WalletHub pegs North Carolina as the 50th worst place in the country for public school teachers. We managed to beat out West Virginia but have been passed by economic powerhouses like Mississippi and Washington, D.C. (there were 51 spots, including D.C.) The ranking is based on median starting salary, pupil-to-teacher ratio and per pupil spending. Our 50th spot was — you guessed it — up one spot from last year.

op frI would wager that I despise politics just about as much as you do. Whatever your political affiliation, we would probably agree that the system is broken, that politicians on both sides of the aisle are too beholden to special interests, and that all too often, we end up voting against someone far more passionately than we ever vote for someone. Maybe that is just a different way of saying that we usually vote for the lesser of two evils.

Another thing that we might agree on is that politics is much too often the Theater of the Absurd, in which candidates — many of whom are extravagantly wealthy — are rebranded as “common folk” to appeal to the electorate. Without question, the vast majority of political ads we see these days are attack ads, ad hominem attacks on the character of the opponent, but on those occasions when we do get a glimpse of the candidate, the staging will be very studied and precise, calculated in such a way to convey the same message: he or she is just one of us.

op frThe North Carolina Senate has become emboldened in its partisanship over the last couple of years, and there appears to be no end in sight. Under the leadership of Sen. Phil Berger, the president pro tem, and his troops — including our own Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin — it has ventured so far to the right and is making moves that are so politically heavy-handed that even Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP-controlled state House often call foul.

fr meadowsU.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, recently paid the political price for not toeing his party line.

op frTurning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world ….

— The Second Coming, William Butler Yeats

The dissension among Haywood County Republicans took a decisive turn last week at the party’s convention, signaling a new era for the GOP in Haywood. The question many are now asking is just how the new group will lead. One thing  for certain is they won’t be leading from the center, not this group.

fr GOPA new guard sewed up its takeover of the Haywood County GOP at the party’s annual convention last weekend.

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