Press Release

John Locke Foundation experts available to discuss issues of N.C. interest

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RALEIGH — From budgets and taxes to education and regulation, most of North Carolina’s important public policy debates could benefit from input that features a free-market, limited-government perspective. John Locke Foundation experts are available in the Triangle, Triad, and Charlotte to discuss a range of topics.

“We spend a great deal of time studying North Carolina’s economy, education, taxes, regulation, and other public policy debates, but it’s important to step away from the archives, databases, academic journals, and committee meetings to share our insights with the voters and taxpayers who need to make a range of informed decisions to guide the state toward a better path for the future,” said JLF President John Hood.

Hood has contributed to North Carolina’s policy debates for more than 20 years. His most recent comments have focused on research tied to his book, Our Best Foot Forward: An Investment Plan for North Carolina’s Economic Recovery.

In addition to Hood, JLF’s Raleigh office includes researchers with expertise covering a range of topics. Dr. Roy Cordato, Vice President for Research and Resident Scholar, is a Ph.D. economist whose work includes tax policy, price-control laws including minimum wage policies, and the state’s approach to global warming and other environmental issues.

Fergus Hodgson, Director of Fiscal Policy Studies, has focused his attention on state budget issues, including online taxation and long-term challenges associated with state government spending growth, unfunded liabilities, and debt tied to unemployment insurance benefits.

Jon Sanders, Director of Regulatory Studies, has studied issues including regulatory reform, hydraulic fracturing — fracking — for natural gas, film incentives, and other corporate breaks and giveaways grouped under the general heading “Carolina Cronyism.” Dr. Terry Stoops, Director of Research and Education Studies, serves as JLF’s lead expert on public schools, school choice, and other pre-K-12 education issues.

Outside of the research staff, JLF’s Carolina Journal unearths some of North Carolina’s most interesting political news. Publisher Jon Ham is CJ‘s primary media watchdog. Managing Editor Rick Henderson can address most hot-button political issues of the day. Executive Editor Don Carrington and associate editors Barry Smith and Dan Way can discuss their work covering topics such as the N.C. General Assembly, local government actions, and political scandal across North Carolina.

Vice President for Outreach Becki Gray and Director of Communications Mitch Kokai are veteran watchers of state legislative action. Gray monitors the General Assembly on a day-to-day basis for the Locke Foundation. Kokai spent years covering lawmakers for Triangle radio and television outlets before joining JLF as its primary media contact point.

In Charlotte, Lindalyn Kakadelis focuses on local and statewide education issues as director of the N.C. Education Alliance. Her background as both a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board member and statewide school choice advocate offers a unique perspective.

Michael Lowrey, Policy Analyst in Economic and Regulatory Policy, also works in Charlotte. Lowrey prepares JLF’s annual By The Numbers rankings of city and county tax-and-fee burdens. Lowrey monitors the Queen City region for the Meck Deck blog. He also follows statewide aviation issues and has researched local development policy, including roads, transit, and zoning.

Piedmont Publius blogger Sam Hieb follows Triad issues, especially local government action in the region’s largest cities.

“It’s impossible for any one elected or appointed official, reporter, producer, or taxpayer to keep up with every important development in North Carolina and its largest communities,” Hood said. “All of these boots on the ground help the John Locke Foundation cover a wide territory and a broad range of subject areas. We’re happy to add our research, investigation, and analysis to the mix of ideas that lead to a more robust debate about the proper course for North Carolina’s future.”

For more information, please contact Mitch Kokai at (919) 828-3876, (919) 306-8736, or [email protected].

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About John Locke Foundation

We are North Carolina’s Most Trusted and Influential Source of Common Sense. The John Locke Foundation was created in 1990 as an independent, nonprofit think tank that would work “for truth, for freedom, and for the future of North Carolina.” The Foundation is named for John Locke (1632-1704), an English philosopher whose writings inspired Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders.

The John Locke Foundation is a 501(c)(3) research institute and is funded solely from voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and charitable foundations.