alex kotch

Special interests ramp up outside election spending, but is it working?

December 18, 2015 - Super PACs, "social welfare" nonprofits, and other outside groups are spending record amounts on ads in the 2016 presidential race, more than triple the total at this point compared to four years ago. But are the ads effective? We consider lessons from North Carolina, a key swing state that in recent elections has attracted record amounts of outside money.

NRA spent heavily on Southern senators who voted against gun safety

December 10, 2015 - Twenty-two out of the South's 26 U.S. senators voted against two gun-safety measures the day after last week's massacre in San Bernardino, California. All but one Southern senator voting "nay" received direct campaign donations from the National Rifle Association, benefited from outside political spending by the NRA, or both.

Dr. King's 'I Have A Dream' speech was born in North Carolina

August 12, 2015 - An N.C. State University professor has restored old reel-to-reel tapes from a public library in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, proving that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first uttered his renowned "I Have A Dream" refrain in the eastern North Carolina city in 1962, nine months before his historic speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

DATAVIZ: Tar Heel Power Broker Profiles

February 10, 2015 - In a new report, "Tar Heel Power Brokers," Facing South/Institute for Southern Studies ranks the top 101 most influential special interests in North Carolina politics through a combination of lobbying power and political spending in N.C. state-level elections. Use this interactive graphic to look up any special interest and learn about its spending and lobbying.