Commentary

Editorial celebrates career of truly great government watchdog

Bob Hall speaks to a crowd of peopleIt’s the day after Christmas so a lot of people are taking a bit of a break from politics and policy today, but if you do feel an urge to devote a few brain cells to the state of the world, here’s a brief and uplifting item to check out. The lead editorial at WRAL.com this morning celebrates the career of the great Bob Hall — North Carolina’s leading good government watchdog.

This is from “More participate in N.C. democracy thanks to Bob Hall”:

“Bob Hall’s mission at Democracy North Carolina the last 25 years can be boiled down to a dozen words: Keep elections and government clean. Get everyone who can vote, to vote….

It would make a long, but deserved, reception line as Hall, 72, prepares to retire this spring from leading the organization he created.

Hall’s efforts have strengthened our state’s government and politics by getting as many people involved as possible. Through it all, Hall has the proud distinction of having been praised and vilified, sometime in the same breath, by Democrats and Republicans alike.”

After documenting many of Bob’s accomplishments in promoting honest government and voter participation, the editorial concludes this way:

“He’s received well-earned recognition for his work, including a MacArthur Fellow Award (known as the ‘genius grant’) and the N.C. Press Association’s First Amendment Award.Hall’s determination and integrity has been critical to thwarting efforts to retreat on voting rights while exposing those who abuse the election process for personal gain or petty partisan advantage. He has also been outspoken against hyperpartisan gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts, supporting independent nonpartisan redistricting.

It is not glamorous work. It often creates bitter enemies. But Hall’s integrity and hard work gained even stronger allies. He has helped build a more inclusive North Carolina where more people than ever are able to participate in their government.

We salute Hall’s remarkable legacy – and more importantly — the example he offers to those who follow in his effort to make our elections fair, give everyone full and easy access to the polls and create a state that is more open and inclusive.”

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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