In an extraordinary act of political theater, the state Democratic chairman described and dismissed outright the sexual harassment claims against the party’s former top official and refused to immediately relinquish his post Thursday, despite intense national political pressure.
David Parker stood behind a podium, pale in the TV lights, speaking for 35 minutes using prepared notes and pausing long enough before answering questions to allow the laughter of children on the school playground next door to fill the cavernous room. Read the full story about the controversy paralyzing the Democratic Party and learn more about his investment in a Charlotte area development that put him in the public eye.
In other headlines:
--Activities for and against the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions have drawn more attention than the primary campaigns so far. The marriage campaigns have been working for months on their messages, but now that early voting has started and with less than three weeks until the May 8 primary, the pace and intensity of the efforts are increasing. Read about the competing campaigns' efforts here.
--As John Edwards’ trial gets closer to opening statements on Monday, prosecutors and defense attorneys are revealing evidence and witness lists that offer glimpses of the arguments to come. But the testimony of one witness listed for both the prosecution and defense, former Edwards speechwriter Wendy Button, could speak volumes for how the trial turns. Read the full story here.
--Schoolchildren are getting less foreign-language instruction and fewer art, music and physical education classes, and are in classrooms with more students because of budget cuts, superintendents told legislators Thursday. Read full story here.