Columnist: Tom Campbell

Jul. 26, 2015 @ 03:26 PM

The verdict on the state’s election laws trial

Two weeks into the hearing over North Carolina’s 2013 election laws, we have reached some conclusions.


Jul. 16, 2015 @ 01:58 PM

Judges’ mandatory retirement serves state poorly

We expect an announcement soon that Superior Court Judge Howard “Howdy” Manning Jr. will be retiring upon reaching the mandatory judicial retirement age. Our state will lose a dedicated and effective judge because of an arbitrary codicil in what is already a bad system for judicial selection and retention.


Jul. 15, 2015 @ 12:28 AM

Is it time for ballot initiatives in North Carolina?

Many cheered when the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that independent redistricting commissions are constitutional. Enthusiasm in North Carolina was muted; we neither have nor have much hope for such a commission, because our legislature must approve the process and, regardless of whether ruled by Democrats or Republicans, it has shown little interest in giving up the power to draw Congressional and legislative districts.


Jul. 04, 2015 @ 10:39 PM

No idea about voter ID

No one in authority has said why both houses of our legislature mysteriously, rapidly and overwhelmingly passed modifications to their 2013 election law changes or why Gov. Pat McCrory just as unceremoniously signed them into law. The trial challenging voter ID and other provisions was due to begin shortly and the changes left the judge, lawyers on both sides and the public trying to determine how to proceed.


Jun. 13, 2015 @ 09:44 PM

The education fork in the road

Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” With presidential vacancies in both the University of North Carolina and community college systems we may have reached such a fork. Further, there are persistent rumors that Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson will not seek re-election next year, so all three branches of our education system could be looking for top leadership. It’s an ideal time for serious examination of how we organize, fund and administer public education.


Jun. 13, 2015 @ 11:47 AM

The education fork in the road

Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” With presidential vacancies in both the University of North Carolina and community college systems we may have reached such a fork. Further, there are persistent rumors that Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson will not seek re-election next year, so all three branches of our education system could be looking for top leadership. It’s an ideal time for serious examination of how we organize, fund and administer public education.


May. 30, 2015 @ 11:17 PM

Trapped in my own home

After 31 years living in the same home my wife and I decided to downsize and simplify our lives. The maelstrom we got as a result was frustrating, time consuming, expensive and anything but simple.


May. 19, 2015 @ 11:31 PM

For both parties, it’s the same old song

Don’t you find it interesting the ways ideologues and politicians respond to news happenings? Interesting, but disappointing. We keep hearing the same old song repeated over and over.


May. 16, 2015 @ 12:48 AM

Thank a teacher, not just one week a year

Everyone can remember one or more teachers who had a significant impact on their life. During Teacher Appreciation Week we recognized and were grateful to them, but thanking our teachers is more than just raising their pay, as many repeatedly suggest. 


May. 09, 2015 @ 08:38 AM

Popping the cork on archaic alcohol regulations

When North Carolina “popped the cork” on the alcohol limit in beers sold in our state, we saw an immediate increase in diversity and choices, with an explosion of some 140 breweries. We became the brew-capital of the South but this law, as well as our entire system of laws involving alcohol, needs revising.


Apr. 11, 2015 @ 12:15 PM

A dramatic and effective civics lesson

We got a refresher lesson in civics recently, one we hope will stick in our memories for many years. North Carolina, following the example of other states, was set to pass a law in the name of religious freedom, but civic groups and corporate America found it distasteful and discriminatory and raised their voices in strong protest. Elected officials got the message and are backing down.


Jan. 31, 2015 @ 09:53 AM

The realities of ‘serving at the pleasure’

Steve Logan, former East Carolina University head football coach, recently remarked that things don’t usually turn out well for head coaches. The same is often true for anyone who serves “at the pleasure” of someone or some group. UNC President Tom Ross is the latest example.


Jan. 01, 2015 @ 05:53 PM

15 Tar Heels to watch in the year ahead

No matter how good the crystal ball, it is impossible to predict what will happen in 2015. Perhaps it will be easier to identify the people likely to either make or respond to North Carolina news events.


Dec. 27, 2014 @ 11:29 PM

The Grinches who stole the tax credits

Gov. Pat McCrory and others are advocating the restoration of the historic preservation tax credit. They raise the larger question of how North Carolina can have tax reform (that supposedly closes loopholes) while allowing loopholes?


Sep. 20, 2014 @ 09:51 AM

The mentally ill are better off in jail

If anyone you love is mentally ill, God help you, because the odds of getting adequate help elsewhere are about as good as winning the lottery. I speak from experience. My brother is bi-polar.