Soul searching time for the GOP

When N.C. GOP Director Todd Poole emailed a list of state job openings — some 300 vacant positions in all — to dozens of Republican operatives asking them to spread the word to party friendlies, some political fallout was to be expected.

State voting changes dissected, debated at political forum

Changes to the voting laws in North Carolina will have only a small effect on voter turnout, according to a Western Carolina University political analyst.

District elections could be a partisan game changer in Jackson

In what he characterized as simply starting the discussion, Jackson County Commission Chairman Jack Debnam broached the idea of changing how voters elect county commissioners.

Appointment signals Meadow’s rising clout in Washington

U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows was appointed as one of the country’ two representatives to the United Nation’s General Assembly last week.

Tourism tax increase at root of complaints lobbed against Maggie mayor

Two Maggie Valley aldermen recently indicated that they have a laundry list of grievances against the town’s mayor, but there is one complaint that stands out among the rest.

Opponents of Maggie mayor try but fail to remove him from office

As the Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen called its monthly meeting to order, it was the last item on the list that had town hall overflowing — a call for a hearing to consider the mayor’s alleged misconduct.

Man’s quest to flee town limits ends in charges

A candidate for Maggie Valley alderman was indicted this month on eight felony charges, including forgery. 

The July 19 indictment alleges that Joe Maniscalco forged documents and knowingly tried to pass them off as valid records in an attempt to get out of paying town property taxes.

N.C. should take politics out of redistricting

op frBy Martin Dyckman

Blackbeard, North Carolina's most famous pirate, was a fitting precursor to the modern brigands at Raleigh. As Scott McLeod's column pointed out last week (www.smokymountainnews.com/opinion/item/11167), there’s no apparent limit to their ruthlessness or to their scorn for the Old North State’s progressive traditions.

Their new tax deal — rhymes with steal — will save the richest of their constituents $10,000 on the average while raising rates on the poor and eventually shorting education and health care by some $700 million a year.

Maggie logjam shows no sign of breaking ‘til fall election

The Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen have been mired in gridlock for nearly nine months.

With only four town board members at the moment — instead of the typical five — stalemates have ruled the day. From major issues to petty ones, the board has been marked by tie votes and split opinions. Infighting has become the typical interaction at meetings these days.

Help wanted: Engaged citizens with environmental ethos

out frDo you consider yourself an environmentalist or an environmental activist? Do you feel frustrated with the way issues dear to you are being handled by local and state decision makers? Instead of sitting on the sidelines and attempting to influence the political process from the outside, you might want to try becoming part of it.

A new campaign by the Western North Carolina Alliance, a regional environmental organization, is asking local conservationists, tree huggers and eco-activists to consider taking the plunge into the political realm.

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