Opinion: A Veteran Takes on a House Incumbent — and Other N.C. Political Tales

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Purplish-red North Carolina is hard to figure out. That may be why national eyes tend to watch local, state and federal races for clues of political trends, particularly whether or not the Donald Trump phenomenon is fading. Or perhaps it’s just the state’s unpredictability and the entertainment value of its outsize personalities who make news, even when they wish they had not.

Mia Love is black, Mormon, Republican and blowing people’s minds

Mia Love is already getting more attention than most of her newly elected congressional colleagues. She is Haitian American, a woman, daughter of immigrants, Mormon, Republican and from Utah, all things that she seems eager to boast about, except when she isn’t, as those who contrasted her post-election speech with a subsequent CNN interview noted. But her own confusion about when to tout her history-making achievement and when to downplay it is more than matched with the contortions of others who are trying to figure her out.

 

The House now turns to the Violence Against Women Act

Even as most of the headlines coming out of Washington these days contain the word sequester, another bill is moving along, making progress without quite so much drama. But the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), passed in the Senate and due for action in the House, is no less important.

House Republicans last week released their own version of the legislation and are prepared to take it to a floor vote this week. While House Republicans are confident of the effectiveness of their bill, it has not resolved disputed differences with the Senate proposal.

“I cannot say enough about the revolution that was the Violence Against Women Act,” said Sarah Tofte, director of policy and advocacy for the Joyful Heart Foundation. “Those of us who work on these issues, who care about these issues, see it as forming the core of our country’s response on violence against women and girls.

 

 

How will the Violence Against Women Act fare in Congress?

A bill reauthorized twice since its inception in 1994 stalled last year. Will a new version gain bipartisan support?

Sanford vs. Sanford? Dream on, political (and drama) junkies

Pop some popcorn and take a front-row seat. The South Carolina electoral scene, endlessly mesmerizing in a train-wreck sort of way, could feature a Sanford vs. Sanford contest. Though it’s unlikely, that imaginary race tops the holiday wish list for anyone who likes politics with a heavy dose of soap opera.

Former governor Mark Sanford is seriously considering a run for the U.S. House seat now held by Tim Scott, a former top aide first told CNN late Thursday. On Monday, Scott was chosen by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to fill the Senate seat of Jim DeMint, who is departing to run the conservative Heritage Foundation. Mark Sanford’s ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, was on the short list to take DeMint’s place. Many observers, though, thought being nominated was honor enough for Haley’s long-time ally, especially helpful if she expressed interest in running to replace Scott. He is set to be sworn into the Senate in early January.

All the players in this particular game of political musical chairs are Republicans, this being South Carolina, a virtual one-party red state. Though all share conservative positions, each lugs very distinctive baggage.