POLITICAL WRAP: Impeachment Trial; Voter Rights; UK Election

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After this week’s impeachment vote, debate will continue over a possible Senate trial. Majority leader Mitch McConnell says he’d like it to go quickly. But President Trump has talked about calling witnesses, ranging from Hunter Biden, to the whistleblower, to Congressman Adam Schiff.

Also, this week voting rights are back in the spotlight after a ruling by a circuit court judge in Wisconsin. 234,000 voters, flagged as having possibly moved, will be taken off the registry. The ruling is expected to hurt Democrats in a state President Trump won in 2016.

And in the UK, a landslide victory for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party. Johnson is promising to “Get Brexit Done,” while President Trump calls the election result a possible “harbinger of what’s to come” in the 202o U.S. election.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: MLS Announcement Coming Tuesday; Murder Of NoDa Business Owner

Some of the stories we’ll cover on this week’s Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup…

dual announcement about Major League Soccer in Charlotte is expected on Tuesday by Mayor Vi Lyles and Panthers owner David Tepper. Charlotte is widely expected to receive the newest expansion team for MLS. We’ll talk about the week’s latest developments on soccer, including some possible team names.

The newly formed Truist Financial Corporation (formerly BB&T and SunTrust) is quickly making its mark on Uptown. The bank’s Charlotte headquarters will be in what’s now the Hearst Tower. They’ve bought the high rise for more than $450 million and will rename it the Truist Center.

Elyse Dashew is the new chair of the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board. The vote was unanimous to make Dashew the new chair, after two terms as vice chair of the board.

The beloved co-owner of a favorite Charlotte sandwich shop was murdered this week in Charlotte, with robbery a likely motive, leaving family, friends and former customers to looking for answers, and remembering Scott Brooks. The killing is Charlotte’s 104th homicide of the year.

Although the Charlotte Catholic Diocese’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse has not yet been released, several announcements by the Diocese have been made in recent weeks involving accusations of misconduct by Charlotte clergy- including one this week from St Matthew Catholic Church, the Rev. Patrick Hoare, who has been placed on administrative leave following the announcement of the allegation.

Mike Collins and a panel of local journalists will fill you in on these stories and much more on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

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

Jonathan Lowe, anchor/reporter for Spectrum News

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV Reporter

Ann Doss Helms, WFAE Education Reporter

This election, black voters will not lie low and take one for the team

OPINION — Republicans often say that the Democratic Party takes black voters for granted. They are right.

Of course, the GOP then does nothing to appeal to those voters. In fact, with the actions and words of its leaders on everything from gerrymandered districts (see North Carolina) to fair-housing enforcement (or the lack of it), the Republican Party, which once claimed broad support as the party of Lincoln, takes deliberate action to repel them.

So, election after election, Democrats count on GOP radioactivity to drive African Americans to vote for the “D.” What choice do they have, after all?

When does partisan gerrymandering cross the line?

OPINION — “I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats,” said Rep. David Lewis, a Republican member of the North Carolina general assembly’s redistricting committee. “So, I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country.”

He added: “I propose that we draw the maps to give a partisan advantage to 10 Republicans and three Democrats, because I do not believe it’s possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats.”

If that is not quite a smoking gun, it’s definitely toasty to the touch.

Will quotes like that — transparently revealing the politics behind a policy that favors one party — be enough for the Supreme Court to meddle in the political maneuvering of partisan gerrymandering? This week’s hearings take on a North Carolina case and its mirror in Maryland, where Democrats are accused of skewing a district.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in NC Gerrymandering Case

CHARLOTTE, NC — Both Republicans and Democrats do it, that is, draw voting district maps that advantages their side when they have the power, in order to stay in power. But with data, research and computer mapping, it is more possible than ever for politicians to choose their voters, rather than the other way around. In cases from North Carolina and Maryland, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether the practice of partisan gerrymandering has gone too far

GOP greets North Carolina election scandal with crickets, excuses and misdirection

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — America might know the name of the next president before voters in North Carolina’s 9th District have a representative in the House.

OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

But one sure thing is that Mark Harris, the Republican who thought he won last fall, attended an orientation for new members of Congress and was picking out an office — won’t be the new congressman. He cited health reasons in taking himself out of the race that has no end in sight.

If She Didn’t Give Up on Democracy, Neither Should We

OPINION — If you don’t know Rosanell Eaton’s name, it’s time to learn exactly who she was and why her life and life’s work matters. She is the antidote to the cynicism infecting politics in 2018, a hero of democracy when democracy is under siege. She cared about her country and its highest principles, demanded her basic human and civil rights and brought others along with her.

Rosanell Eaton would not take “no” for an answer.

Her 97 years of life were full of the kind of accomplishments and resistance that truly make America great. We can mourn Eaton, who died on Saturday, and then honor her by following her example.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Rae Carruth Released; Early Voting Numbers Up; Trump Visits CLT

On this edition of the Charlotte Talkslocal news roundup…

After nearly 2 decades behind bars for conspiracy to murder, former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth is a free man. We’ll talk about his release this past Monday.

Electric scooters are back in the news as city council decides against local regulation of the scooters to increase safety, and instead are waiting to see what the state legislature does about the issue.

President Trump is set to visit the Queen City on Friday- he’ll be at Bojangles’ Coliseum campaigning for Mark Harris. We’ll look ahead to that visit, which might bring traffic tie-ups to town.

And the Mega Millions finally had a winning ticket for the $1.6 billion prize, and it was sold in South Carolina.

Join host Mike Collins for those stories, an update on the suburban charter school conversation for area suburbs and much more with our roundtable of reporters on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

Alex OlginWFAE Reporter

Erik Spanberg, senior staff writer for the Charlotte Business Journal 

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

Joe Bruno, city/ county government reporter for WSOC-TV

One Person, One Vote. Is It That Complicated?

OPINION — I admit that voting is and has always been a celebratory ritual for me, even if the candidate is running unopposed, the office is state agriculture commissioner or my district’s makeup means my one vote won’t make much of a difference.

I watched three older siblings march for civil rights, and I am well aware that many brave folks died protecting my right to cast that ballot. While a little rain or a busy schedule might provide an excuse to “sit this one out,” it’s never enough to outweigh the legacy left by a Medgar Evers, who served his country in World War II and was murdered in front of his Mississippi home for, among other civil rights activity, leading voter registration drives in the country he protected.

Mine is not a controversial stand — in fact, it’s patriotic. You would think our country’s leaders, without regard to party or politics, would be on my side.

You would be wrong.

Opinion: Dems to African-American Women: This Time We Mean It

So why was Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, making an appearance at this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans, an event known for its high-powered mix of music, culture and empowerment, geared to engage black women globally? Did he see and enjoy “Girls Trip,” the 2017 mega-hit about the reunion of four black female buddies, set against the backdrop of the festival, and decide to get in on the fun, maybe take in a Janet Jackson concert?

Or was he connecting with his party’s most loyal base, which has carried the electoral load for years, and has also expressed dissatisfaction when that contribution was downplayed or overlooked?