Outside the Box


Opinion Roundup: Power struggle at the polls

Posted May 25

Thursday, May 25, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion and commentary on where U.S. election law fights are headed, why defunding the Governor's School would be a mistake, how military construction projects are helping N.C. and more.

LINDA GREENHOUSE: Election wars at the Supreme Court (New York Times column) -- While it’s been obvious for years that election law — the rules by which votes are counted, district lines are drawn and campaigns are paid for — represents a front in the culture wars, we don’t usually think of it that way.

Supreme Court issues a welcome ruling for voting rights (Washington Post) -- Race was an impermissibly dominant factor in the drawing of two North Carolina congressional districts, the court determined.

MITCHELL SIMPSON: Defunding Governor’s School would be grievous misstep (Charlotte Observer column) -- The NC legislature would make a big mistake if it were to defund the Governor’s School.

Military construction budget helps buoy the NC economy (Fayetteville Observer) -- There are some little phrases that can send a big shiver down the spines of elected officials around here. This one, for example, could do it every time: “The next round of BRAC.” We’ve seen mention of Base Realignment and Closure throw politicians and chamber of commerce members into a tizzy, igniting big public-relations campaigns, lobbying efforts and a host of “We love Fort Bragg” festivities.

Cause for cooperation (Winston-Salem Journal) -- A state audit released last week should be jarring for anyone who depends on public health care for behavioral problems. Several Republicans and Democrats in Raleigh are actually in agreement in their criticism of the problems at Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions.

Energy Efficiency Can Be Increased with No Out-of-Pocket Costs (Public News Service) -- As the mercury climbs, so will the energy bills for consumers. Energy-efficiency measures can go a long way in reducing usage, but their cost often presents a roadblock for thousands of families. Programs known in the industry as on-bill financing allow homeowners to pay for the cost of weatherization through their electric bill – essentially using the savings to pay off the cost and preventing out-of-pocket additional expense. A new report from Appalachian Voices in Marshall, N.C. highlights the need and potential impact of such a payment system, according to Rory McIlmoil, the environmental group's energy savings program manager.

Constraining Student Aid (Durham Herald-Sun) -- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the UNC system’s other campuses continue to keep their spending of tuition money for need-based assistance to students from low-income families fairly flat, despite rising educational costs.


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