Jeremy Loeb

National Trust for Historic Preservation

A House GOP tax plan working its way through Congress would have a huge impact on Asheville with the elimination of the federal historic tax credit.  Of all North Carolina municipalities, only Durham had more projects benefit from the credit between 2002 and 2016, according to the D.C. based National Trust for Historic Preservation.  

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Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer got a resounding vote of confidence earlier this month, winning re-election with more than 80% of the vote.  She stopped by BPR to speak with Jeremy Loeb about the election results and to look forward to her second four-year term.  She also discussed possible actions the city might take in response to a legislative effort to force districts for council members, something Asheville voters overwhelmingly rejected.

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Gerrymandering, where one party draws political maps that skew in their favor, is an issue that’s playing out in courts across the country.  Few regions have been impacted more heavily than Western North Carolina.  In Asheville, activists staged a creative event Saturday to draw attention to how our Congressional maps are drawn.  BPR's Jeremy Loeb was there.

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Election Day is Tuesday for a number of municipalities across the state.  Polls will be open from 6:30am to 7:30pm.  Smaller races are often decided by much more local, personal issues than state and national races.  That could be true in Mills River, the small town 20 minutes south of Asheville in Henderson County.  BPR’s Jeremy Loeb reports an industrial factory being built across from an elementary school has become an issue in a race there involving the town’s mayor.  

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There’s been a big change atop one of North Carolina’s most prominent civil rights organization.  The influential leader of the North Carolina NAACP is stepping down to lead a national effort focused on the rights of the poor.  BPR’s Jeremy Loeb reports on the man stepping up in his place.

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New York Times political columnist and frequent commentator for NPR's All Things Considered David Brooks sat down with BPR's Jeremy Loeb for a discussion about the state of our country and media during the Trump presidency.  

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The issue of how much partisan gerrymandering is too much is before the U.S. Supreme Court.  The court heard oral arguments Tuesday on a case out of Wisconsin challenging maps there for being too lopsided in favor of Republicans.  That case could have huge implications in North Carolina, which has a nearly identical political situation, and where a similar case is winding its way through the courts.  For the latest, BPR's Jeremy Loeb spoke with Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper. 

State lawmakers are heading back to Raleigh with major items up for consideration.  Republicans are pushing for a redrawing of judicial district lines that critics say would favor their party.  They also want to sweep away Democratic Governor Roy Cooper's vetoes.  Colin Campbell, editor of the Insider Government News Service, spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb about session and about donations from the National Rifle Association to WNC Congressman Patrick McHenry.

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Waynesville Democrat Joe Sam Queen lost the most closely-contested state legislative race in 2016.  Fewer than 300 votes separated him and Bryson City Republican Mike Clampitt.  Now Queen says he'll try to win back his seat from Clampitt in 2018.  It will be the fourth contest between the two in the 118th district, which includes Jackson, Swain, and Haywood Counties.  Queen won the first two before losing in 2018.  He spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb about why he's running again.

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Senate Republicans' efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are once again floundering.  The bill currently lacks enough support.  But many times the effort has been called dead, only for it to reemerge.  The bill would need to pass by Friday.  Health groups are scrambling to find out the impact.  The Kaiser Family Foundation found that the original version of the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill would have cost North Carolina more than 8 billion dollars in federal funding.  Rachel Garfield is a senior researcher with Kaiser and one of the authors of the analysis.  She spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb.

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Recent hurricanes Irma and Harvey were a stark reminder of the catastrophic impacts of climate change.   But the words “climate change” have become so politically polarizing that some even avoid saying them.  In Asheville, that’s not the case. 

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Democratic Representative Brian Turner of Buncombe County stopped by our studios in late July for a chat with BPR's Jeremy Loeb.  They covered his amendment to the Asheville districts bill, the overall redistricting process underway in the General Assembly now, a renewable energy bill signed by Governor Roy Cooper, and much more.  

Pisgah Legal Services

"They don't have anywhere else to turn."  Pisgah Legal Services executive director Jim Barrett was referring to the roughly 2,000 people that could lose access to their services due to cuts in the state budget.  Pisgah Legal Services is one of three aid groups across the state that will feel the impacts of the cuts.

This week on the WUNCPolitics Podcast, a conversation with Jeremy Loeb, Morning Edition Host and reporter at Blue Ridge Public Radio.

Jeremy joins Jeff on this politics podcast to discuss redistricting, the powerful U.S. House members from Western North Carolina, craft beer, and what he misses most about WUNC - where he used to work.

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Western North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows met face to face with supporters and detractors during a town hall debate last night near Hendersonville that was largely dominated by health care.  BPR’s Jeremy Loeb was there.

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