Charlotte’s Very Own Authoritarians

A push is underway in the Queen City to advance a kinder, hipper slate of GOP candidates for municipal office. But underneath self-consciously cool, mostly millennial packaging lurks a tolerance for the authoritarianism that defines today’s Republican Party. The contenders themselves told us so. When candidate filing opened in March at the Mecklenburg County Board […]

“Never Trump” and the Politics of Integrity

While darkness has enveloped much of American politics since Donald Trump descended his escalator to announce a bid for the presidency, one bright spot has offered some hope that decency would yet prevail in politics and the public square: the work of so-called “never Trump” Republicans. Faced with a candidate and president plainly unfit for […]

Charlotte Pride’s Sponsors In Bed With Anti-Gay Politicians

Big businesses like to showcase their expertly curated pro-LGBTQ bona fides — and those of us who very much want to believe in right-thinking corporate benevolence take them at their word. Who can blame us? The acts of symbolic support are everywhere: Skyscrapers glow in celebration of gay liberation. Business logos take on rainbow hues […]

The Shamelessness and Cowardice of Charlotte Democrats

Local television news reporter Joe Bruno put it nicely. After disgraced former mayor and convicted crook Patrick Cannon filed this month to run for an at-large seat on Charlotte City Council, Mayor Vi Lyles released a statement responding to his attempted political comeback: “There are a number of at-large city council candidates. As long as […]

Dan Bishop’s First Amendment Folly

A property dispute landed Messrs. Willis and Smith in the North Carolina courts in September 1789. The legal contest arose from Willis’s attempted purchase of land from the absent H.E. McCulloch, who had “carried … beyond the sea” the deed proving his ownership of the property. With the deed missing, how could Willis prove McCulloch […]

Charlotte’s Municipal Bungling Hurts Women

When hundreds of anti-choice zealots marched outside a health clinic last month, Charlotte’s noise ordinance limited the harassment and heckling they could heap on women seeking care. The city’s code prevented protesters from using amplified sound too close to the facility and cordoned off certain areas in front of the doctor’s office to create room […]

Media Help Cops Convict An Innocent Dead Man

Law enforcement recently accused a dead man of committing a string of decades-old sex crimes, and Charlotte’s media unthinkingly went along, declaring the cases closed and the suspect guilty. “Genetic genealogy helping solve cold cases tonight in Charlotte,” WCNC anchor Fred Shropshire intoned earlier this month during an evening broadcast. “Charlotte-Mecklenburg police detectives have ID’d […]

The Casual Corruption of Mayor Vi Lyles

Maybe Patrick Cannon spoiled us when it comes to spotting municipal corruption in Charlotte. In 2014, investigators captured video of the disgraced former mayor taking cash bribes of about $50,000 in exchange for promises to do favors for federal agents posing as developers. So egregious was Cannon’s behavior, which resulted in a resignation, federal charges, […]

Cooperative Media Do Charlotte D.A.’s Bidding

When a jury recently handed him defeat, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather nonetheless declared victory — with the help of local media. The D.A.’s self-serving announcement came in a tweet from his office, accompanied by a press release and a news story from WSOC. “Jury convicts domestic violence offender in car chase, shooting,” the […]


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