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WCNC Charlotte's Flashpoint

News & Politics Podcasts

Each week, WCNC Charlotte's Ben Thompson moderates a conversation with newsmakers and community leaders about politics in Charlotte - and across North Carolina and South Carolina. He'll take you inside the election, discuss the latest debate impacting your community, and speak directly with the lawmakers themselves.

Each week, WCNC Charlotte's Ben Thompson moderates a conversation with newsmakers and community leaders about politics in Charlotte - and across North Carolina and South Carolina. He'll take you inside the election, discuss the latest debate impacting your community, and speak directly with the lawmakers themselves.


United States


Each week, WCNC Charlotte's Ben Thompson moderates a conversation with newsmakers and community leaders about politics in Charlotte - and across North Carolina and South Carolina. He'll take you inside the election, discuss the latest debate impacting your community, and speak directly with the lawmakers themselves.






Former NC Gov. Pat McCrory focused on 2022 Senate race

Pat McCrory is running for U.S. Senate but he's making it clear, he wants to avoid the drama that surrounds Washington D.C. politics. "I'm talking about issues," McCrory said on this week's WCNC FlashPoint. The former Charlotte mayor and North Carolina governor weighed in on the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and the subsequent panic-buying that followed in cities like Charlotte. McCrory was mayor in 2008 when the city saw its last big gas supply issue. At the time, a hurricane had...


Looking ahead to the 2022 U.S. Senate race in North Carolina - Flashpoint May 9, 2021

This week on Flashpoint, we're looking ahead to 2022. That's when North Carolina will vote for a new U.S. Senator to represent citizens in Washington, and the race is heating up more than a year out. Dr. Michael Bitzer joins Ben Thompson for this week's episode. Bitzer is a professor of politics at Catawba College, and he says senatorial races in North Carolina draw a lot of national attention already, but a member of the Trump family possibly throwing her name in could shake things...


One-on-one with Sen. Thom Tillis after cancer diagnosis - Flashpoint May 2, 2021

This week on Flashpoint, Ben Thompson sits down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R - N.C.). Tillis was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery to tackle it instead of less aggressive treatments. Tillis says he's already back to work on Capitol Hill while still recovering from surgery. You'll hear the full interview on the podcast today. PLUS: We pivot back to the Queen City, where a question that continues to be asked has new answers...


Two sides of the housing boom coin in Charlotte - April 25, 2021

This week on Flashpoint, it's all about real estate in the Queen City, and we're looking at all sorts of angles. Up first: Ben Thompson chats with David Kennedy about the housing boom Charlotte is seeing right now. Kennedy is the president of the Canopy Realtor Association, and he says that there's a lot to like about an active market, but notes there still needs to be work done to ensure housing discrimination is tackled properly. Next: Ben chats with Colette Forrest, a community activist...


Flashpoint April 18, 2021 - Who's side are companies on?

This week on Flashpoint, Ben Thompson tackles two tough subjects: the trans rights debate, and racial inequity in healthcare. Up first: U.S. Representative Alma Adams, a North Carolina Democrat, has proposed a "Momnibus" bill, which has multiple bills rolled into it. The goal: to get Congress to address the inequities Black women face in healthcare, especially pregnant Black women. She relates to this personally; years ago, her daughter had a scare during pregnancy, and it felt like her...


Election fraud myths discussed -Flashpoint April 11, 2021

This week, Flashpoint's Ben Thompson sits down with a Winthrop professor who debunks myths about widespread elections fraud. Despite a long list of proposals in state capitols promising to secure our elections, the U.S. doesn't have a problem with election fraud, according to Dr. Scott Huffmon. "This is a solution that can't quite find the real problem," said Huffmon, professor of politics at Winthrop University. Huffmon also serves as the director of the Center for Public Opinion &...


Flashpoint April 4, 2021 - Talking transit with Sec. Buttigieg and Charlotte leaders

Ben Thompson goes one-on-one with US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg about Charlotte's 2040 plan, possibilities of expanding rail, and more. PLUS: Charlotte city leaders discuss the city's plans for transit and what could come. These stories and more, online: https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/politics/flashpoint/flashpoint-politics-charlotte-transit/275-f31da8b9-e7db-48a0-8603-622f0808ff6d


A look at COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County, one year later

As restaurants, stores and museums reopen at near-normal capacity limits across North Carolina, public health officials are displaying a cautious optimism. Dr. Raynard Washington, the deputy director of the Mecklenburg County Health Department, said his office continues to closely watch the numbers. There's been a recent plateau in downward progress. In the meantime, the county is getting more vaccines than expected from the state, and it's moving through prioritization groups at a...


City leaders split over Charlotte's growth plan

Some Charlotte Democrats are pushing for changes with the city's Future 2040 plan, which supporters say will make the Queen City more equitable, connected and affordable. The plan also tackles some of the city's ongoing problems, such as affordable housing, heavy traffic and long commute times. Policy 2.1, under the Neighborhood Diversity & Inclusion section, calls for allowing "duplex and triplex housing units on all lots where single-family housing is allowed." Currently, 84% of Charlotte...


Charlotte's affordable housing crisis: Should the city change its zoning laws?

Charlotte's affordable housing crisis is nothing new, and now city leaders are addressing proposals that could bring solutions to people in need. First, Ben Thompson is joined by Taiwo Jaiyeoba, assistant city manager and chief city planner, to discuss the Charlotte 2040 plan. Next, City Councilman Tariq Bokhari discusses a proposal to add more duplexes and triplexes in the city and the elimination of exclusive zoning for single-family housing. Bokhari also shares his concerns over the...


The hidden cost of the COVID-19 pandemic

On this week's FlashPOINT, we're looking at Charlotte's affordable housing crisis and the hidden cost of the coronavirus pandemic. There was nearly 1,000 evictions in the last few months of 2020 in Charlotte alone. These are folks who have fallen between the cracks despite the moratorium on evictions. Plus, we discuss efforts to make Charlotte more inclusive for LGBTQ citizens and protections local leaders are considering as the state's ban on local ordinances has expired.


2022 US Senate candidate Jeff Jackson

If you thought the new year would mean a break from partisan politics, think again! We start this week's show with North Carolina State Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Democrat from Charlotte, who tells us why he chose to run for U.S. Senate in 2022 and why now is the right time to make that announcement. Then we're joined by Charlotte City Councilmen Larken Egleston and Tariq Bokhari for a roundtable discussion about WCNC's report on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police still arresting low-level drug...


Is another non-discrimination law in Charlotte's future?

After focusing for months on the 2020 election and COVID-19 pandemic, this week's FlashPoint with Ben Thompson is all about Charlotte! Guests on this week's show include City Council members Larken Egleston and Tariq Bokhari. Topics on this week's program include Charlotte's biggest obstacles entering 2021, as well as renaming streets that are named after Confederate generals and white supremacists. Is the matter of renaming streets worth considering during the pandemic? In 2017, Charlotte...


FlashPoint Preview: Sunday, Dec. 6

After spending weeks focusing on the 2020 presidential election, this week's episode is all about Charlotte. Years after the Queen City's non-discrimination ordinance caused shockwaves across North Carolina and ultimately cost the state billions of dollars (and an NBA All-Star Game) will Charlotte move to create another non-discrimination ordinance? Charlotte City Council members Larken Egleston and Tariq Bokhari discuss how Charlotte can avoid another House Bill 2 disaster now that the...


The 2020 election is over: Where do we go from here?

Election Day is behind us and absentee ballots are still being counted in several states that could determine the final outcome of the presidency. On this week's show, Ben Thompson is joined by Michael Dickerson, director of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, who explains the absentee ballot counting process and what poll workers have to do in order to accurately count every vote. We also discuss how provisional ballots cast by those who requested an absentee ballot could impact...


2020 Election Preview

We're now less than 3 days away from Election Day 2020 and the stakes couldn't be higher. Now that early voting has wrapped up, it's down to in-person voting and any remaining absentee ballots that will come through the mail. Ben Thompson is joined by Catawba College political science professor, Dr. Michael Bitzer, who breaks down voter turnout, record early voting and what we can expect after the election and why we won't have the "official" results for several days or weeks. Then we're...


FlashPoint 2020 Election Preview Special Episode

We're less than 2 weeks until the 2020 election and all eyes are on the Carolinas, where President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are focusing their campaigns. On this special edition of FlashPoint, Fred Shropshire and Sarah French break down what's happening in our area as Election Day gets closer. Ben Thompson examines why North Carolina is so important to both candidates. And we get an idea of why so many campaign ads are featured on our TVs. Ashley Daley joins the...


Why North Carolina matters so much in the 2020 election

We're less than a month away from the 2020 election and all eyes are on North Carolina, where President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are focusing their campaigns. But it goes far beyond the state level, with campaigns going so far as to target specific neighborhoods. Ben Thompson is joined by Michael Dickerson, the head of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, as they gear up for a busy early voting period and expected heavy voter turnout November 3. Plus, we hear...


North Carolina election officials preparing for influx of absentee ballots

On this week's episode of FlashPoint on WCNC Charlotte, Ben Thompson is joined by former Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx, who talks about what he's been up to lately, why he's backing Joe Biden in November's presidential election and if he'll ever return to politics. North Carolina voters are on track to set a record when it comes to absentee ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ben is joined by the man responsible for making sure it goes smoothly, elections director for Mecklenburg County,...


Reflecting on the RNC in CLT

The Republican National Convention is in the rearview mirror and the race to the White House is on! Ben Thompson is joined by North Carolina State Rep. Chaz Beasley and former Vice-Chairman of the NCGOP, Wayne King to discuss the RNC and they each make the case for their party's candidate in November's election. In Segment Two, Ben is joined by Dr. Micahel Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College, who offers his analysis of the RNC, Trump's acceptance speech and an update on...