Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Hurricane Michael; Nikki Haley Resigns; Land Deals by Council

On this edition of the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup…

Just weeks after the Carolinas were pounded by Hurricane Florence, another major Hurricane—Michael—hit the region again. How did North and South Carolina brave the storm this time around? We’ll discuss.

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has resigned her post as Ambassador to the UN after less than two years in that position. In a joint press conference, the President praised her work and Haley said she’s not running against him in 2020.

There was plenty of action taken by the City Council this week, in approving land deals to help with Charlotte’s Affordable Housing goals, and disagreement among members of council about a contract to clean CATS facilities and whether the contractor will pay its workers a living wage. We’ll talk about those items as well as reaction to the discussion of whether council members should move to four year terms.

Speaking of pay, CMS bus drivers have gotten a raise, in an effort to draw more drivers to jobs with CMS, and to stop the bus driver shortage that the system is currently struggling to fix.

Former Charlotte Mayor and former Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has a new job in the transportation industry- he’s joined Lyft as their new Chief Policy Officer.

Mike Collins will go over those stories and much more with our roundtable of reporters on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

Erik Spanberg, senior staff writer for the Charlotte Business Journal

Kirstin Garriss, government reporter for Spectrum News 

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

What’s Next for Nikki Haley?

CHARLOTTE, NC — Nikki Haley Resigns at UN Ambassador. Why Now and What’s Next for Her?

Nikki Haley rose quickly in politics, from governor of South Carolina to a player on the international stage as ambassador to the United Nations. She became a standout in the Trump administration, one of few high-profile women serving. She says she is stepping down at the end of the year because it’s time for a break, though many are speculating on the timing and what her future political plans may be. At a White House appearance with Trump on Tuesday, both expressed admiration for one another — and she denied plans for a 2020 run for office. (Mary C. Curtis)

U.S. Reaction to Syria Chemical Attacks

CHARLOTTE, NC — Russia has vetoed a U.S. draft resolution at the UN Security Council Tuesday that would have established an independent investigation into the suspected use of chemical weapons, much to the anger of Ambassador Nikki Haley, and the U.S. President Trump has blasted the Russia involvement and is vowing to take action

“Charlotte Talks”: Friday News Round Up

This week, the Charlotte City Council and County Commission both considered spending on a Major League Soccer stadium- with very different results.  Former Governor Pat McCrory is heckled in Washington D.C. and South Carolina’s Nikki Haley is headed to New York.  Host Mike Collins and our panel of reporters tackle those stories and more on the Charlotte Talks local news round up.

Nikki Haley, Once a Trump Foe, Moves to the Front of the Line

When South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, all smiles, made a strategic visit to New York last week to meet with President-elect Donald Trump, it was a different vision than most of those parading in and out to see the soon-to-be top guy. She was one of the first potential candidates who was not a white guy in a suit.

And now that the Indian-American Haley has been picked by Trump to be the country’s ambassador to the United Nations, we know why she was smiling. Chosen as the first woman and first minority chosen for a Cabinet-level position, the 44-year-old leader just may be the future of the Republican Party. Those who doubt that definitely have not been following the conservative Republican governor who has charted her own path, satisfying her base yet knowing when to seize the moment even if it means taking a chance.

 

The weird racial politics of South Carolina

South Carolina, the cradle of the Confederacy, is represented by African-American Sen. Tim Scott, and has an Indian-American governor, Nikki Haley – both conservative Republicans. Yet any idea that the state is progressing on the racial conflicts that have defined much of its history took another hit on Sunday. That’s when the Haley for Governor Grassroots Advisory Committee, her grass-roots political organization, asked for and received the resignation of one of its 164 co-chairs after his statements on racial purity came to light.

Civil-rights groups and Democrats had been pressuring the Haley campaign, which initially stood by Roan Garcia-Quintana, a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens. But his defense of his beliefs didn’t work out so smoothly. In an interview last week with The State explaining his position on the board of directors of the council, Garcia-Quintana denied that he and the group are racist. The council “supports Caucasian heritage,” he said. “Is it racist to be proud of your own heritage?” he asked. “Is it racist to want to keep your own heritage pure?”

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory balances hometown expectations, GOP austerity

“He’s got a very difficult balance to strike,’ said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. ‘The expectations that are there within his party may not mesh well with the expectations people in this state have.”

Tim Scott’s importance as GOP senator and symbol

Yes, the giddiness is almost embarrassing as Republicans congratulate themselves on making history with Congressman Tim Scott tapped to join the U.S. Senate – the only African American in the exclusive club of 100. And no, it’s hardly a quick fix for the party’s troubles attracting minority voters since Scott’s conservative political beliefs will hardly trigger a stampede to the GOP. But Democrats should not discount the man or his symbolism.

Scott’s conservative views and his raised by a hard-working single mom background strike a chord with Americans of every race. His humble thanks to “my lord and savior Jesus Christ” at the Monday announcement of the historic news didn’t hurt, especially in his Southern home. Democrats did nominate an African-American senator who is set to start his second term in the White House, a feat the GOP is far from matching. But in the 113th Congress, Scott will be the only black senator, and he will have an “R” after his name.