Election 2008: On the Record

by Jordan Green

Barack Obama on the record

On help for the middle class: “If you want the next four years looking like the last eight, I’m not your candidate. But if you want real change, if you want an economy that works for you, that rewards work, not just wealth, that works for Main Street, not just Wall Street, if you want tax relief for the middle class, if you want to see millions of new jobs created here, if you want healthcare that you can afford and education that helps your kids compete, then I’m asking you to get to work.” (Sept. 27 Greensboro speech)

Christopher Cole on the record

On offshore domestic drilling: “I absolutely support domestic oil drilling. I don’t understand why that’s a controversy, especially if we consider the world security situation. Our oil supplies are coming from the most unstable portion of the planet. That makes us vulnerable to the conflicts that keep coming up there, terror strikes, as well as embargoes. Hagan is wrong when she says that won’t have any effect for ten years. By assuring future supply, the price now, which rose over fear over supply, would go down.” (Source: Sept. 16 interview) On Iraq: “They’re talking about permanent bases in Iraq, which I think would be a horrible idea. That would continue to stir up terrorist blowback. It would also expose American personnel to attack as the Marine Corps in Beirut in 1983. I also think we will see a time of conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Our personnel will be right in the middle of that.” (Source: Sept. 16 interview) On Afghanistan: “We’ve been trying that approach and it doesn’t work. The Afghan people have demonstrated that they aren’t concerned about the Taliban. I don’t want more Americans dying for something the Afghans don’t care about. I think it’s horrible to expand that conflict into Pakistan.” (Source: Sept. 16 interview) On alternative energy: “I don’t think the market is there yet for [alternative energy]. Think about technology: You can’t run your car on solar cells. With the level of technology that we have, gasoline gives more energy per dollar than any alternative. I would oppose any subsidies or price controls or any other effort by government to intervene in that development.” (Source: Sept. 16 interview) On same-sex marriage: “My position is that marriage shouldn’t involve government. As far as it does, it should be a state issue. I advocate equal treatment under federal law for taxes or immigration or military service.” (Source: Sept. 16 interview)

Kay Hagan on the record

On veterans’ healthcare “Perhaps no evidence is more indicative of how broken Washington is than the fact that [Veterans Administration] hospitals are forced to curtail services as they await Congress’ appropriation of funds for VA healthcare. In America, we would never accept a situation where seniors receive inadequate treatment because Congress has failed to provide the funds mandated by law to be allocated to Medicare. The same should be said for veterans’ healthcare, which is every bit as important and every bit as deserved. In the Senate, Kay will sponsor legislation that makes VA healthcare funding mandatory, so that veterans’ health will be insulated from Congress’ frequent failures to complete its appropriations process. This step will provide VA hospitals with reliable funding, will ensure uninterrupted care for veterans, and will allow the VA healthcare system to adapt in a timely fashion to meet the evolving needs of our newest veterans.” (Source: Candidate’s website)

Roy Carter on the record

On gun rights: “Roy is a gun owner. We do believe that we need to make sure weapons are not put in the hands of people will harm others. Roy does believe in the Second Amendment and doesn’t believe government ought to be telling people what to do in their own home with their own money. Roy is a firm believer the federal government ought to be working with local government to provide gun safety programs.” (Source: Interview with campaign manager Ryan Eller) On economic development: “Our opponent… voted against financing the Appalachian Regional Commission. Roy Carter has pledged that in his first term he will host a regional economic summit.” Eller said Carter would seek federal funding for mass transit and the Piedmont Triad Research Park in Winston-Salem. (Source: Interview with campaign manager Ryan Eller) On immigration reform: “Roy will say that any immigration bill is going to leave everyone with something they don’t like.… We cannot do what some would like to do, and… take all the sheriff’s departments and round up every illegal immigrant we can find, leaving their spouses and children here. The reason we can’t do that is because overnight our economy would crash.” (Source: Interview with campaign manager Ryan Eller)

Virginia Foxx on the record

Basic platform: • Foxx supported the surge in Iraq and thinks it is working. • Foxx supports making English the official language. • Foxx is against citizenship for “illegals.” • Foxx supports drilling in Alaska. • Foxx supports drilling offshore. • Foxx supports increasing CAFE standards. • Foxx supports smaller government. • Foxx is pro-life. (Source: E-mail from Todd Poole, Foxx campaign spokesman)

Teresa Sue Bratton on the record

Basic pitch: “My name is Teresa Sue Bratton, and I’m running for the United States House of Representatives in the 6th Congressional District. For the past 26 years I have practiced pediatrics in Greensboro. I have cared for children, worked on committees, served on boards, been an advocate for health care, the environment and, most recently, energy policy changes. I believe that every American should have affordable healthcare coverage and I entered this race because my opponent voted against children’s healthcare six times. I feel that we need healthy families, a healthy economy, good-paying jobs. We also need a healthy environment with clean air and clean water, safe food, safe housing and an environment which is not going to be damaged and destroyed by global warming.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) On No Child Left Behind: “The idea that we bring each child to their full learning potential is absolutely essential. However, we have to look at what we’re… for, and to request the disabled child who is functioning at a five- or six-year-old level to pass a test for sixth grade and to punish the school and punish the teacher because he is not able to do that, is absolutely insane. What we have to have is annual yearly progress, and it has to be a reasonable amount, and we have to work to bring each person up…. There are good things about No Child Left Behind and that is helping teachers achieve their best potentials, their best levels of educational ability. We should not punish schools that fail; we should help and provide funds for schools that have shown they need more help.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) On the financial bailout: “We absolutely dug a hole and what we’re going to have to do, we’re going to have to change things at a lot of different levels. We have financial institutions that are failing because we deregulated and we changed a lot of laws ten years ago and we let people have the opportunity to use greed to try to make a lot of money. And they’re making us suffer along with them. We’re also going to have to make it possible for our people to start recovering. We’re going to need to increase educational grants, Pell grants for college.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum)

Howard Coble on the record

On the Iraq war: “I voted to give President Bush the authority to use military force against Iraq because Saddam Hussein refused to cooperate with the international community, he refused to address repeated violations of sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council, and he openly supported terrorist organizations…. The time has come for Iraq to assume responsibility for its own security. I have not voted to limit funding for the war because this transition of power should be managed by our military commanders on the battlefield in Iraq, not by politicians in Washington, DC, but it should be done as soon as possible. As you may know, I did not vote in support of the president’s plan to send a surge of troops to Iraq to help provide security….” (Source: Candidate’s website)

Ty Cobb Jr. on the record

On No Child Left Behind: “There is only one way for education to work, and that’s for people like you who are here because you care about things like that to oversee the local schools and make sure that your children and your grandchildren are getting the proper education. No child left behind. That is a perfect title. No child left behind. We know from our history of our country that a lot of the schools that educated our children were not nearly as adequate as those that educated other children. To me, that’s the goal. Now, was it adequately funded? No…. But it was at least an attempt…. There’s nothing wrong with going back and correcting the problems. But the idea of ‘no child left behind,’ I don’t think that anyone could say that that’s bad.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum)

Hugh Webster on the record

On the war on terrorism: “On September 11, 2001, we were attacked on our own soil by terrorists. And we attacked back. And I guess you could call that a strategy of confrontation. And I support that strategy of confrontation. At that time I had a son who was in the military…. I will tell you, and I will tell anybody that when you attack me I will hit you back and I’m gonna keep hittin’ ya until you are no longer a danger to me. Now, how long do we keep on? We keep on until you are no longer a danger to me.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) On No Child Left Behind: “Accountability for education. The reason we had the federal government… was because… there was an atmosphere of a lack of trust in what was really happening in our schools. Do I favor it? No, I don’t favor it. Was it adequately funded? No, it probably was not. I think our schools, we had better schools, better universities, better public schools here in North Carolina when they were under the control of the state of North Carolina. I don’t even understand why we are getting the federal government involved in education.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum)

Pat McCrory on the record

On ethical government: “We’ve had a power elite of five or six people running state government…. It’s especially gotten worse during the past eight years. In fact, one of the reasons I am running for government ‘— because it wasn’t something I had planned to do ‘— as a mayor, your mayor and other mayors across the state are beating our heads against the wall to get into — I think there has been arrogance, where we have to go visit the state officials to give opinions on what unfunded mandates are affecting cities and counties, what unfunded mandates are impacting businesses, the broken criminal justice system, which is gangs are now in cities like Winston-Salem, High Point and Greensboro…. I’m running because the governor should be going out and seeing the people, the mayors and school board members, businesspeople and community leaders, and find out what the issues are outside the beltline in Raleigh. That has not occurred here during the last eight years. There has been an arrogance, and what’s even sadder, there’s been corruption. We’ve had ten elected officials go to prison. It’s almost like we’ve got Louisiana politics in North Carolina. People don’t want to do business when they’re dealing with corrupt [government].” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On tax policy: “I do think what the governor can do is build relationships with these companies, first of all to make sure they’re paying the taxes that they need to, but also I do think the tax rates in North Carolina are encouraging businesses to leave North Carolina. We have the highest corporate tax in the Southeast, the highest income tax in the Southeast. In other words, we’re punishing people for investing in North Carolina. And I’m getting tremendous feedback as a mayor and as a gubernatorial candidate that, ‘Why would I move to North Carolina? I’ll just go across the border to South Carolina, or Virginia or Tennessee, where they have no income tax.’ One of the best-kept secrets in business right now is that those businesspeople who start a successful business and then sell it, they move to Florida because they avoid the incredible capital gains tax and corporate tax that we have in North Carolina. So we lose that talent. They move to Florida to avoid that tax and so they don’t reinvest that money back in North Carolina. So we need to look at, is our tax [structure] driving away future and successful entrepreneurs?” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On corporate incentives: “The bias I have for incentives is primarily for manufacturing, because if we quit making products and live on the service industry and rely on the government we’re going to go bankrupt as a state economy. We won’t have jobs left because there’s no one to pay the bill…. It’s a false economy, there’s no doubt about it. And that’s happening right now.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On increasing energy production: “My goal is to rejuvenate the economy by bringing the energy business to North Carolina. There’s no reason that we should not be in the energy business. Beverly Perdue rejected the clean-coal bio-plant [Duke Energy’s Cliffside plant] in Shelby, North Carolina, which would have hired eleven-hundred people.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On increasing the state minimum wage: “I think we should have minimum-wage increases, but it has to coincide with tax breaks for small businesses. It might discourage them from hiring, especially entry-level, part-time workers or at-risk youth. What I’d like to do is have different minimum wages for the part-time, summer worker that just wants to get their foot in the door. We may just discourage the small businessperson from hiring those people. So I would offer tax breaks along with that minimum wage requirement…. What you don’t want to do is lose jobs while increasing the minimum wage, and that’s a fine line.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On education: “The number-one feedback I get from employers is, ‘We can’t find technicians, we can’t find mechanics’…. We’re pushing four-year college degrees, when in fact there’s a labor need for technicians, mechanics and welders. We need to bring vocational training back into our high schools.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On healthcare: “First of all we need to help form consortiums so small businesspeople can join up with other small businesspeople to reduce their premium rates because many small businesses now are just not going to offer health insurance because of the high cost. We need to give tax breaks to small businesses to allow them to give health insurance to their employees.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On the looming shortfall in funding for the state employees’ healthcare plan: “Right now the healthcare for all government employees is under-funded by about $700 million. The governor, the lieutenant governor isn’t dealing with it. Whoever is the next governor is going to have to deal with a one-year, $700 million liability…. You’re going to end up paying for it, and so am I.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On No Child Left Behind: “I don’t think the federal government should be that actively involved in a state responsibility. I do think it was a good idea by the president to have some parameters on what you need to accomplish, but we’re probably over-testing. We went from no testing at all to too much testing, and now the teachers are caught in a bind. It’s a horrible system, and anytime the federal government tries to set up one system for all the states you know it’s not going to work.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On gangs: “We need to take their assets away. We need to give severe penalties, especially to gang that recruit eleven- and twelve- and thirteen-year-old kids out of our schools to sell drugs on the corners of the streets right here in Winston-Salem. The gang legislation that passed was a joke.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On immigration enforcement: “We have to enforce the law. The first ones we have to concentrate on are those illegal immigrants that are breaking even more laws, because they broke one law when they came here. They’re breaking more laws when they have false IDs, usually five or six different aliases, when they drunk drive, when they commit felonies, when they break into homes. “First week as governor I will demand — I hope it’s President McCain and Palin as the vice president — I will demand a federal detention center and deportation court in North Carolina. We’re the tenth largest state, and we do not have a detention center.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On new domestic oil drilling: “I think we ought to be able to start drilling not only for oil but natural gas…. Natural gas, we think that has the best potential for offshore drilling. Listen, as long as this country is dependent on Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Russia – and other countries that don’t even like us — we’re in trouble. “I’m a proponent of nuclear power. I’m a proponent of green coal. I’m a proponent of solar. And we need energy conservation. I’m a conservative who believes in conservation…. “Why should North Carolina be exempt from the energy crisis? If we’re good enough to fill up our gas tanks with offshore drilling off of Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana or Cuba — which China is about to do — why are we exempt from that? I think we’re total hypocrites if we don’t do it right here…. “Beverly Perdue, at least two weeks ago, said that she’s one-hundred percent opposed to offshore drilling, and it won’t happen under her watch. She’s right; it’s going to happen under my watch.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10) On transportation: “Get the politics out of the DOT. It’s become so political, where even my opponent is using DOT members for fundraising during the gubernatorial campaign. We’ve got to take the politics out of the DOT, and put the roads where the congestion is, put the roads where the environmental issues are, put the roads where the safety and bridges are in trouble, and not put the roads just where the powerful politicians just happen to live.” (Source: “Triad Today” interview with Jim Longworth, Sept. 10)

Michael Munger on the record

On his qualifications: “The three issues that I want to work on are roads, education and improving the economy. My particular qualifications for those are 25 years working as an analyst. And working in state and local government I can bring some new ideas. And in particular, when you look at the kinds of experience that I have compared to my competitors, Pat McCrory and Bev Perdue, there’s some things that I’m not. I’m not bought and paid for by interest groups. I am not part of the machine that runs this state as a political cartel.” (Source: Sept. 23 candidate forum) On accountability: “One of the ways to ensure accountability is to have a vibrant system of political competition. One of the key elements in that is access to the ballot. North Carolina has very restrictive ballot access laws. And across the state what you find is that if you don’t have third parties asking questions and raising issues that the two state-sponsored parties don’t want answered, what will happen is that the two parties will converge to the center and then auction off policy, and they’ll do it behind closed doors. And you actually see that in our General Assembly in what’s called the ‘pay-to-play program.’ We have something called the ‘pay-to-play program’ where it’s clear that in order to get something passed you have to make a contribution to the members of the General Assembly. What we’ve seen in the last couple years is that three members of the General Assembly have been led away in handcuffs — it’s not really clear exactly why — including the speaker of the House. So we lack transparency. We lack a system that produces political competition. Third-party candidates, even if they don’t win, provide a window.” (Source: Sept. 23 candidate forum) On access to higher education: “I used to teach at UNC-Chapel Hill, and there were quite a number of students at UNC with cars that cost more than my house. They were not paying a whole lot of tuition. There’s a provision in the state constitution, which I think is a mistake, which is that education at our premier state institutions should be offered at as low a price as possible or as free as possible…. How can we make sure that your economic background doesn’t determine your economic future? How can we ensure that people who are poor but have worked really hard to get into our premier universities all over the state — we have a wonderful university system — how can we make sure that their economic background doesn’t determine their future? So I would say that we ought to charge tuition that’s actually much closer to the actual cost, and use those funds to ensure that we have scholarships for every deserving student in our higher education system.” (Source: Sept. 23 candidate forum)

Bev Perdue on the record:

On corporate incentives: “Over the past few years, North Carolina has created hundreds of millions of dollars in financial incentives to attract businesses and jobs to our state. As governor, Bev Perdue will lead an effort at the National Governors Association to put an end to this practice; however, as long as the 49 other states continue to offer such incentives, North Carolina must be prepared to compete — but our incentives must be targeted, accountable and performance based.” (Source: Candidate’s website)

Walter Dalton on the record

On education: “On the education budget we’ve increased spending more every year since I’ve been there. I was happy and proud to be co-chair of a budget that was called ‘the best education budget in the history of North Carolina.’ We’re one of the top states for education in the nation. The dropout rate is unacceptable. It is not only a North Carolina problem, it is a national problem and we have to address it. I was proud to see that Johns Hopkins says that we’re doing more than most states. But how do you fix it? We have to customize education; focus on the child; find a goal beyond high school that they can focus on; find a mentor, someone in the school that will stay with them; and find parental support, if not parental support then support in the community that will stay with them. That tripod will help get that child through school. The adage was ‘we can’t use the graveyard method anymore; that means line ’em up in rows and expect ’em to be quiet.’ We have to engage these children and find creative ways to help them learn. I was very proud to sponsor and be the author of the Learn and Earn bill that was in the General Assembly. It’s won two national awards. It focuses beyond high school, getting a technical degree or two years of college within five years of entering high school. In those programs, the drop-out rate is going down dramatically. The middle-college concept is getting great national attention. We also need to look at raising the compulsory age to eighteen, but that in and of itself is not a solution. We have to make sure these children are ready to engage in the new economy.” (Source: Sept. 17 debate) On science and math learning: “We have to focus more on the ‘stem curriculum’: science, technology, engineering and math. China next year will graduate, I think, 700,000 engineers. We will graduate 75,000. I think India will graduate 300,000. Again, Learn and Earn addresses that because what it does is it allows a college or community college to join with a public school system and have a curriculum that focuses on the stem curriculum: science, technology, engineering and math. Hopefully that will entice students to come into that. Again, it accelerates their learning, and I think we will see more people going into those arenas…. We do need more technology in the classroom. That’s why I sponsored a bill and we approved a constitutional amendment to see that the civil fines and forfeitures that come into our state are then disbursed to a technology fund that that goes throughout this state, to help fund technology for all of our schools. We need to make a greater investment there. And what we really need to do — we have a great School of Math and Science — what we need to model that through virtual learning, through the Learn and Earn program to make sure that that goes to every part of this state and to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to be engaged in that. Again, the creativity factor, not the graveyard approach. Get people involved, get kids interested, let them know that is the future economy.” (Source: Sept. 17 debate)

Robert Pittenger on the record

On charter schools: “We have a situation today where we have a cap on charter schools. That doesn’t make sense. We need to have tax credits for families so they can pull their kids out of schools that aren’t functioning right. All these different reforms should be enacted. They’re opposed by the education association. However, Senator Dalton opposed them as well. These are important reforms. We need to open up the system and create a more vital system with more options for families…. Technology is another very important part of this component, and we’ve got to fund technology. Unfortunately, my opponent has increased funding by fifty percent. The amount that went towards education was reduced by five percent, so it’s very difficult for me to understand his priorities in education.” (Source: Sept. 17 debate)

Bob Crumley on the record

On immigration and gangs: “Everywhere there’s been massive influx of illegal immigrants across the United States there’s been right behind them an influx of illegal gangs so it is entirely predictable that as the influx of illegal immigrants came so would come the gangs. What did we do about it? Virtually nothing.” (Source: “Carolina Talk” interview with Curtis Wright)

Les Merritt on the record

On same-day registration and voting: “I am strongly in favor of that issue.” (Source: Sept. 17 interview) On oversight of elections: “It is certainly part of our role. If we don’t provide that oversight, then who does? There wasn’t any organization that looked over the shoulder of the board of elections…. over the course of the last year, they’ve done a very good job of cleaning up those voter rolls.” (Source: Sept. 17 interview)

Goodwin on the record

On health insurance: “Health insurance is the number-one issue as it relates to insurance not only for North Carolinians but for all Americans. Working in the legislature and all as assistant commissioner, I’ve worked side by side with legislators to help with the passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. That’s helped provide coverage for those children whose families cannot receive care from Medicaid but do not earn enough money as a family household to afford private insurance. We need to develop more pools, yes have more competition, but we need an insurance commissioner who understands this process. The insurance commissioner is limited by state law and federal law with health insurance, so there is a tremendous role to lead by example using the bully pulpit to focus on affordable, accessible health insurance. Competition’s part of it, but we need to make sure that folks are not left behind and that’s where a strong regulator comes into play.” (Source: Sept. 23 candidates forum)

Mark McMains on the record

On health insurance: “Insurance companies must encourage all doctors to accept insurance by paying them a customary and usual fee for their services. Insurance companies need to stop promoting participation in their companies based on below-standard fees. This will only result in lowering quality of healthcare in this state. People should be able to choose a physician and be properly compensated without increased costs. Health-insurance companies need to allow college students to be covered under their parents policy for up to 24 months after graduation or until they obtain a full-time job. Wellbeing promotes good health, thus lowering health costs. These students are our future and they are in our hands now, we will be in their hands later. Free drug care for the elderly of North Carolina is ideal. These people should not have to live their golden years worried about paying for the medications they need to survive. Drug and insurance companies should work together to absorb the cost.” (Source: Candidate website)

John Odom on the record:

On health insurance: “We do not have any competition in the market. We almost have a market with one particular insurance company, so we need to make it so that other companies can come in and be competitive in that market. We also have to work with the different agencies to make that happen.” (Source: Sept. 23 candidates forum)

Mary Fant Donnan on the record

On developing the state’s workforce: “The Department of Labor has two functions which affect workforce development. One is the apprenticeships and the other is individual development accounts. The apprenticeship is the larger of what the department does, and I think it’s a tremendously great opportunity to provide skill-based training for traditional-based occupations where we continue to have shortages, such as electricians and plumbers, and also to help grow small businesses in those segments which are everywhere in our state. It’s also a time when we can look at, what does it mean to have bio-manufacturing? How do we have clean manufacturing, and clean workplaces, and nanotechnology and have very hands-on, intensive learning?… The great thing about apprenticeships is they blend work-based training and education, so if it’s youth apprenticeships it’s for high schools but also doing work-based training. For people over 18 or with a high school degree it’s work-based training plus community college training. So it’s a great way to bring our systems together to help folks get on career paths that both pay a living wage and create a wonderful connection to the community. “I’m a also a big fan of IDAs, I want to say, because we have not had any advocacy from our labor commissioner, who introduced the bill for IDAs in the nineties, but who remains silent despite the fact that today’s crisis, there’s a training element that’s really important for retraining workers and helping people save and make money to improve their skills. There’s also a piece in that, ironically, that ironically has to do with helping low-income workers buy their first house, and it’s been one of the programs with one of the fewest foreclosures of any segment and yet it’s targeted for folks that traditionally don’t get a chance to get a loan, but it provides good financial literacy. It’s a very positive thing that the state has done for working families, and we need to have some advocacy on that.” (Source: Interview, Sept. 23)

Don Vaughan on the record

On transparency and accountability: “North Carolina needs to have more open government than we’ve had in the past. I truly believe that the meetings law and the public records law needs to be enforced in North Carolina. That’s certainly a very good starting point. One of the reasons I’m running for election is to represent you. I served on the Greensboro City Council for 14 years. I was very open; I was very accessible. I would expect that of any leader in the North Carolina General Assembly. You’ll certainly find that in me.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) On mental health: “Those people that billed the state improperly in North Carolina, that’s fraud and they ought to be criminally prosecuted. They have taken your tax dollars and they have not properly used those. I would encourage the state to prosecute those that have over-billed. The mental health system, as you’ve read in the newspaper, has still got more revamping to do…. It’s certainly something I’m going to tackle when I’m [in Raleigh] and take a very hard look at.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum)

Joe Wilson on the record

General pitch: “The things that I see that’s important to me, the reason that I’m doing this is — I’m not a career politician. I’m not any type of politician. I’m an average person just trying to take care of people and represent average people that are out there every day. That’s my strength in this thing. I’ve not been on city council for fourteen years, and I’ve not been on any commissions or boards or anything like that. I’m just like you, and I just want to do what’s right, and while I may not have the experience of my opponent I do have the knowledge to do what’s right and I know how to get things done. I’ll spend your money just like it was mine.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) On transparency and accountability: “If you know anything about me — last year I ran for city council — I have a blog, I have a website, and you have direct access to me in my day-to-day activities, my day-to-day life. If elected — when elected, I should say, hopefully — my office will be available. There will be phone numbers available anytime you want. I intend to use web-based communications. And if that doesn’t work for you then we’ve still got a telephone. Anything you want to know about what’s going on, I’ll post everything that I’ve sponsored, every bill I’m working on. Any questions you’ve got I’d love to get ’em, and that’s the way I will do things in Raleigh. It’ll be just exactly like you sitting here.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) On mental health: “Having never been in office myself I look at these problems — one thing I thought would even the playing field… where you have the same benefits for mental illness as you do for physical illness. In any program across the state, any dollars that we’re spending that we’re not getting value for, you can believe that I’ll be looking after it and I’ll do something about it. I do say mental health is very complicated. Something I just learned while I’ve been running for office is most of the people you see on the streets are mental health patients that have run out of benefits. So revamping the mental healthcare system, we’ve got to work to get the benefits in place. And of course, we’ve got to stay on top of the money that’s spent more.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum)

Alma Adams on the record

General pitch: “In the House I serve as appropriations chair, I helped write your budget. I believe in economic opportunity and accessible quality healthcare for all. I have been a fighter for you in Raleigh. I’ve been able to get things done, from the recent passage of the minimum wage, which I led that fight for ten years to getting the $3.1 billion bond referendum for our universities and colleges. I’m happy to be here tonight. I thank you for this opportunity. I appreciate the support that you’ve given me and I would ask that you send me back to Raleigh because I have been your fighter. I’m gonna continue to fight for you to do what’s right.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) On gangs: “I do support intervention…. What we’ve done is to put $14 million in the budget for gang prevention and intervention…. It has to be balanced, and that’s what we tried to do…. The other thing we’ve done is to put $22 million into drop-out prevention…. This community, Guilford County, got over a half a million dollars. In fact, a portion of that grant, for $150,000 came right here to the program that they’re doing at New Light [Baptist Church].” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) On mental health: “I think most of the members of the General Assembly would agree that mental health does need to be revamped…. We actually look at this budget from the subcommittees up to the big appropriations chairs. One of the things that was done to reduce the excessive spending for the things that were not being done properly, is we’ve expanded in-patient services, opened up a new hospital, included additional psychiatric beds throughout North Carolina. We’ve included some walk-in crisis and immediate psychiatric after-care. So we realize that there are some issues. I think we need to monitor that system and look at the problems that we’ve seen that have been made public to us through the press. We are looking at that and trying to revise what is wrong…. I think that many of the problems people are concerned about we are in the process of addressing.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum)

Olga Morgan Wright on the record

General pitch: “I’m running for the seat because I want to continue to fix a system that is broken: our education, our lack of jobs in the district and our issues concerning our homes. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, but if it is broke then I believe we must take whatever steps are necessary to work together to fix that. If you have a car take it to the repair shop and if the mechanic tells you that the repairs are beyond fixing then you trade it in. So I’m asking that you trade your vote and get a representative in that wants to serve your interest.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) On transparency and accountability: “One thing I would like to see in the General Assembly is when you talk about Charlotte, there was a group of citizens from Greensboro that visited Charlotte. One thing we brought back was that the local officials and the state officials meet on a regular basis, and then in turn these representatives should then meet with the citizens. We all see how legislators and our candidates when it’s time to vote, but not often do we see them after the vote. One thing I would like to do is to continue to have meetings after the election so that the people will know what I am doing for them…. I want to see citizen legislators. The legislature was originally formed in the interest of the people, not the other way around. I’m a candidate who wants to represent the people, to be your voice versus the candidate or the official coming back.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) ‘

Maggie Jeffus on the record

On transparency and accountability: “We do need an open process. My door is always open if you ever come to the General Assembly to visit. My name is in the phone book. I take calls. Oftentimes people will call and apologize; don’t apologize, that’s what you’re supposed to do, either in Raleigh or in Greensboro. Speaker [Joe] Hackney has suggested something that I think is a good idea — that we televise the General Assembly meetings in the House. I don’t know if the Senate has agreed to do that or not, but he has started study committee to look at that particular issue.… When we’re deliberating the budget, I guess the eight of us on the House Appropriations Committee, our door is open, up in 612. The door is always open. People can come in, and do frequently, to listen and see what happens. I do agree that we should have more transparency.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum) On gangs: “I believe Representative [Alma] Adams has told you about the bill and what we have done. I also support the prevention issue that is part of this bill. The bill did go through a lot of scrutiny. I think it was actually two sessions before it actually did get passed, and it was changed many, many times. But they wanted to be sure that it was right and we’re going to see how it works. We may want to redo or fine-tune it in the next session…. I think the prevention starts early — early chidhood. If we can prevent our young people from going to the gangs, it will be a real step ahead.” (Source: Sept. 16 candidate forum)

Jim Rumley on the record

On taxes: “We can’t raise taxes when people are hurting.” (Source: Sept. 21 interview) Argues that savings could be achieved in the state budget by addressing the Department of Transportation’s surplus of idle vehicles. (Source: Sept. 21 interview) Alternative energy: “The amount of energy [utilities are required to produce from alternative sources] is probably not enough. We should be generating more wind and water. There are parts of North Carolina where wind energy is very feasible. [We should say to the utilities:] ‘If you’re going to provide energy, you’ve got to do it in these ways.’ The energy companies need to realize that they are going to fall behind. If they don’t do it, people like me are going to do it…. The university and college system can be the big conduit [for developing alternative energy production]. I think the state Department of Agriculture can, too.” (Source: Sept. 21 interview)