Local News Roundup: Ripple effect of leaked Supreme Court draft opinion; $3.2 billion proposed budget for Charlotte; Cawthorn in the headlines again

The leaked draft Supreme Court opinion on the possible overturning of Roe vs. Wade has people talking all over the country about the potential impact of the ruling. We’ll talk about how overturning Roe vs. Wade would impact North and South Carolinians and what local people are saying about it.

No property tax increases are in the plan for the Charlotte’s new budget, with employee bonuses and raises at the top of a $3.2 billion proposed budget. We’ll talk about some of the budget details and reactions.

Madison Cawthorn continues to make headlines, this time after a nude video was released.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police holds a news conference calling attention to a series of sexual assault cases in Charlotte. We’ll talk about the cases highlighted and why.

And despite work to improve them, Mecklenburg County’s park system ranks among the worst in the country.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all the week’s top local and regional news on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.

Guests:

Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health reporter

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter

When did admitting mistakes become weakness for Republicans?

In 2002, Trent Lott of Mississippi tried, awkwardly, to make amends.

What did the then-Senate majority leader do to merit penance? Waxing poetic and perhaps feeling a bit nostalgic, Lott gave a speech honoring the 100th birthday of fellow Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, the onetime Dixiecrat who once broke off from the Democratic Party with a group of the like-minded to form the States’ Rights Democratic Party, built on segregation and steeped in white supremacy.

“I want to say this about my state,” said Lott, harking back to Thurmond’s 1948 folly. “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”

First, Lott backtracked by saying he did not mean what he clearly said, calling the celebration “lighthearted.” Next, the apology, “to anyone who was offended.”  “A poor choice of words conveyed to some that I embraced the discarded policies of the past,” he said in a statement. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

He resigned as majority leader after receiving criticism mostly from Democrats but also from some Republicans, worried they might lose support of Black conservative voters for whom whistling Dixie was a step too far.

I’m not sure if Lott’s motive was genuine moral growth or reading the room. But at the very least, it acknowledged that longing for the bad old days was not a good thing.

For reasons exemplary or political or both, anything that name-checked the divisive and ugly politics of Dixiecrat days of glory was seen as a drag for a politician and his or her party. This was true even when the words honored Thurmond, a longtime senator, one whose hypocrisy moved front and center when his Black daughter, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, in 2003 claimed her truth and her birthright.

Was 2002 really that long ago? In political years, apparently, yes.