Outside the Box


Opinion Roundup: After harrowing gunfire, calls for unity rise above politics

Posted June 15

Thursday, June 15, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion, commentary and analysis on the horrific shooting at a congressional baseball practice, the role crime is playing in Charlotte's mayoral race, a call for better recognition of unaffiliated North Carolina voters and more.

Cowardly gunman inadvertently brought out our best on Flag Day (Winston-Salem Journal) -- He was the worst of us but he’s bringing out the best in us. The cowardly gunman who rained rounds early Wednesday on GOP congressmen practicing for a charity baseball game against Democratic congressmen hit at some of our bedrocks: Flag Day, sports and, at least the pursuit of, bipartisanship. The gunman, fatally shot by Capitol Police, failed in whatever his warped mission was but inadvertently succeeded in reminding of us just how special our country is.

This is not politics (Greensboro News & Record) -- It was a classic American scene: Early in the morning, a group of men practicing for a baseball game against work rivals. But these weren’t regular guys. They were members of Congress. Nevertheless, they were playing in a public park, where anyone could come and watch.

Candidates, quit inciting fear over crime (Charlotte Observer) -- Charlotte mayoral candidates are using crime to gin up fear and win votes. They need to recognize crime is a complex issue with complex solutions.

We’re not all donkeys or elephants, but law ignores it (Fayetteville Observer) -- Too many of us still think in either-or political terms. What are you? Democrat or Republican? Lefty or righty? Donkey or elephant? And yet, that’s not even close to reality. Even within the two largest establishment parties, there are gaping and often angry divisions. And there are the smaller parties, like the Libertarians and Greens, also gaining adherents. Here in North Carolina, the fastest-growing political affiliation of all is none of the above. It’s voters registering as unaffiliated — those who want to participate in our democracy but want no part of anyone’s party.

LIZ SCHLEMMER: Fewer Tax Credits Means Fewer Films In NC (WUNC-FM analysis) -- Filmmakers have spent less and produced fewer projects in North Carolina in the past two years. That's when the state changed its film incentives program to a capped-grant program. Before the change, state taxpayers offered credits to filmmakers with a project cap but no statewide limit.

RUSTY JACOBS: Local Governments Could Get New Way To Raise Revenue (WUNC-FM analysis) -- Legislation in the state House could give local governments a new way of raising funds. Republican representative Stephen Ross of Alamance County is the primary sponsor of a bill to give municipalities the option of imposing a local quarter-percent sales tax.

Independent panel the only solution to gerrymandering (Wilson Times) -- New district maps may reduce racial disparities, but they are sure to preserve political advantages for Republicans. And if Democrats return to power in a wave election, the districts they draw after the 2020 census will be similarly slanted to favor them. The only way out of this maddening cycle is to establish an independent redistricting commission tasked with creating compact, competitive legislative and congressional districts.

DALE CARPENTER: WNC superintendents lead in challenging times (Asheville Citizen-Times column) -- For the last five years in my role as dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions at Western Carolina University, I have been privileged to sit frequently with our Western North Carolina public school superintendents as they discussed common issues, supported each other and planned in struggling times to lead their school systems serving more than 82,000 preschool through 12th-grade students. I learned the following things, some expected and some unexpected.

ROSE HOBAN: Passage of Congressional Health Bill Would Eventually Cost NC Jobs (N.C. Health News analysis) - A new analysis shows states benefiting from tax cuts at first, but eventually losing jobs as people lose their health care.


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