Bev Perdue BlueNC Debate Thread

Welcome Lt. Governor Bev Perdue and thank you for participating in the BlueNC Gubernatorial Debate.

Bev Perdue and Richard Moore will face off in the NC primary election on May 6, 2008. Tonight is your chance to ask Bev Perdue the questions that will help you decide how you will vote in May. Please follow below the fold to view the debate, leave questions and respond to Bev Perdue's answers to your questions.

Comments

Pension Fund

You have accused your opponent of mismanaging NC's pension fund in your recent attack ads and on your "Know Moore" website. My mother has been a community college professor for the past 20 years and is quite happy with the state of her retirement at a time when the national economy is headed into a massive recession.

Is it not a fact that NC's pension fund is one of the few in the country that is completely funded, with a funding ratio of 106.1% compared to the national average of just 81%? And that Standard & Poor's has ranked NC's pension fund among the top 3 in the nation for the last several years?

Would you say that you disagree with these experts rankings? And, how would you respond to the claim your attack ads are causing unfounded fears among our state's 700,000+ retirees and employees as to the stability of their retirement savings?

NC and Grants

My question from the pre-event thread since we're discussing the budget...

For both candidates:

Currently the State of North Carolina receives over $200 million dollars a year in federal grants (from DOT, DHS, DHHS, etc.). Many North Carolina jobs are tied to the federal funding as either contractors or state classified "time limited" positions. Since the federal government is cutting back on monies to the states in the form of grants, as Governor, what will you to to protect the jobs of thousands of North Carolinians?

3rd topic: Military matters

Two questions:

Do you believe the US Navy has made a compelling case that an Outlying Landing Field should be sited in North Carolina? Under what conditions would you support efforts to locate an OLF in our state?

In the state of Illinois, legislation is being considered regarding military contractors. It sets three important limitations on their function and use:

1. No state funds may be used to contract with or purchase services from private military contractors for training of law enforcement or security Guards.
2. No military weapons or explosives may be used by private military contractors in Illinois except on secured U.S. military bases or regulated facilities.
3. No personnel trained by private military contractors may be used to patrol, guard, control, contain or arrest any Illinois resident.

Would you support and sign this kind of legislation if it were introduced and passed in the North Carolina General Assembly?

OLF

As I've said publicly numerous times, the OLF should not be forced upon on any community that does not want it.

this will be cut and pasted to the other thread

For both

With your stated stance of opposition, will you encourage the Governor to listen to Gates and Camden County today and remove these two sites from consideration by the Navy for this upcoming NEPA study?

You both realize that the old NEPA study is being canceled and a new NEPA process has not started? No federal registry statement supports this new NEPA study.

In 30 months one of you will be the next governor. Please do not make those two counties have to endure 30 months of anguish when you can act today.

First, I don't think it's

First, I don't think it's the job of the United States military to outfit mercenary armies.

The issue isn't whether security companies should exist and operate. It's what those companies are being called on to do by the federal government that's the issue – and if we want to change that – we need to go to the top and change the leadership at the federal level. End the demand and you end the supply.

commercial fishing

bradford
To either or both candidates: Is there anything you propose to stop or at least slow down the decline of the commercial fishing industry, which is hurting the culture of the coast at least as much as it is hurting the economy?

bradford

Wilson County 2400 students failed EOG's

Last school year there were 2400 students who failed the States EOG. Some of these students made A's and B's all year but had to go to summer school or repeat their grade. Is this a problem with other counties as well and what can you do to fix the testing in this state. FYI, Wilson only has around 11,700 students!

Rather than just formal

Rather than just formal testing at the end of the year, we should be doing more informal assessment during the school year for diagnostic purposes. That way we'll get information that's useful in identifying what kind of help that student needs to keep him or her on grade level.

At a more basic level....

how do you address the above concern about students who do A/B work throughout the year, but who fail standardized tests because of test anxiety? My wife was Phi Beta Kappa, 3.9 GPA, and a whole bunch of other awards I can't remember - but bombed every standardized test she ever took (SAT, MCAT). Were she in high school now, she might have failed the test and had to take summer school all over again.

Standardized tests don't work, but for some reason we've fallen for George Bush's idea that they are a good idea.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Testing

You are so right Robert P. Thats part of the problem here in Wilson and I am sure all over. It makes NO sense that kids pass all year long and when it comes with these test they bomb! I have seen these test and they are HARD! The State actually makes the EOG and EOC test. The NC Blue Ribbon Commission makes them up with the backing of GW thinking that these test are good, but where is NC again in education? Oh thats right 47?

They are Testing

They are testing in Wilson County 2 to 4 times a year. Its not working great here. Parents and Teachers have tried working with Central Office in trying to fix this problem, but Central Office does not see it as a problem. SuperIntendent Price does not understand that ALL students can not learn on the same level! He has stated this several times! Thats the problem here!

Testing is not working we need a better solution!

One military question from another thread

scharrison has posed this on another thread. I thought I would bring it here:

What is your position on having a huge mercenary army headquartered in our state?

Do you think it's fair to our tens of thousands of military families, some of whom are on food stamps, that the Federal government pays these mercenaries so much more than active duty soldiers?



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Collective Bargaining

Our state employees work incredibly hard, yet they are denied a basic right that all other private employees are afforded; the right to collectively bargain with their employer.

Do you support allowing public employees in North Carolina to collectively bargain with state and local governments (this does not preclude no-strike clauses from being a part of any contract)?

A question from another thread

Issues of importance to LGBT North Carolinians
Submitted by Pam Spaulding on Mon, 03/31/2008 - 7:32pm.

To both candidates:

* Do you support a state amendment barring gay and lesbian couples from civil marriage or any other legal arrangements that approximate rights granted to opposite-sex couples in a civil marriage?

* Do you support passage of anti-discrimination measures that would protect state workers from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity?

* Do you believe that health and pension benefits should be extended to same-sex partners of state workers?

Thank you for your consideration.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

thanks, Linda

I look forward to an answer; when running for re-election, Governor Easley declared in a debate that if a marriage amendment ever hit his desk, he would sign it, so these are relevant questions to ask the candidates.

--P.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

I hope we see an answer.

I'm not willing to estimate the number of people in NC that this affects directly, but it affects everyone indirectly. Civil rights are civil rights, and if you're for them, you're for them. Or...not.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Wilson County Grading on Physical Ability

Some Wilson County Schools are grading children on their Physical Abilities, they receive a letter grade based on the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge. The problem is that each child is built different, and ex. of the test, if you do not run a mile in 10 minutes you will not receive an A, and it goes down depending on the time. The Local Boards do not see this as discrimination, the State does not see it as discrimination, but Federal does. Do you see this as a problem to our children and what would you say to fix this?

PE

What's important is getting our kids active, not grading them on physical ability. That's why I've made such a push to get kids physically active at school.

Thanks

Thank you Mrs. Perdue, that is exactly what the schools need to be concerned with, is getting the children ACTIVE! Not discouraging them for what they can not do!

4th Topic: Education

A parent wrote in asking about the high cost of attending UNC. What do you say to working people in North Carolina about the dramatic increases in UNC tuition?

And this from a reader:

Do you think the lottery has fulfilled its promise to the citizens of North Carolina? If not, what changes would you support?

I am the only candidate with

I am the only candidate with a plan to make university education affordable now for hard working, low-wage families. In addition, I will make community college or vocational tuition free for all students.

My College Promise does more than make college affordable -- it will be an important tool in lowering the drop-out rate. It's a contract with students early on that if they stay in school and graduate, give back to their community, and stay out of serious trouble that family finances will not be a barrier to higher education.

Free College - Who Pays?

I see that both candidates have a plan to send students to college free of charge. To either candidate - how do you propose to pay for this plan?

lottery

We must stay vigilant to ensure that lottery proceeds go to education, and that those funds are used to supplement (not replace) general revenue. As governor, I would work for a constitutional amendment to make sure the funds go to education.

Thanks for the answer

I'm not a fan of the lottery, but if we're going to have it, it should definitely be in Al Gore's lock-box for education only.

:)

How will you improve public transit?

Public transit and efficient land use go hand in hand in accomodating our exploding populations without impairing our quality of life.

What do you think is best for transit? What funding mechanisms?

public transit

Thanks Greg,

We need to invest more in public transit across North Carolina. The Lynx system in Charlotte is a great first step. But the key to success is a local funding source. Congrats to Mecklenburg County residents for supporting their local half-cent sales tax. If mass transit is going to work in other parts of North Carolina, that’s where it needs to begin.

I would support granting more authority to local governments to raise revenue for mass transit. The state government can also help fill in the gaps in funding.

The state government should also do more to encourage public transit ridership. That is a key to the federal funding formulas. As governor, I will explore ways to promote and financially add to federal initiatives like the commuter check program which reduces the cost of public transit ridership.

Teachers for our Schools

What can you help to do to bring and keep teachers teaching in NC. Wilson County has one of the highest turnovers and we need your help in keeping teachers. There are classes today March 31 with substitutes teaching because the teachers are droping like flies.

great question

There are two issues at hand, retention and recruitment. First, to retain teachers we should pay and respect them like the professionals that they are. Bev's goal would be to pay a competitive salary, comparable to other highly trained professionals. During her tenure as Senate budget chair in the 90s she helped raise teacher pay form 43rd in the nation to 21st. Bev thinks we need to get back to that commitment.

To aid recruitment, across the board salary increase will help, and Bev has proposed expanding the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program. You can read more about that proposal here.

You can read all of Bev's education proposals here.

Justin
Bev Perdue Campaign

I am a high school student

I am a high school student in North Carolina. NC currently has a state policy that schools must use a seven point grading scale. This means that a 92 is a B, 84 a C, and 76 a D. Most other state have a 10 point grading scale. Under this system each of those grades would a letter higher. This means North Carolina students are not as competitive nation wide as students from other state. Would you change this policy?

NATIONAL GUARD DEPLOYMENTS

As of April 2006, over 39,000 Guardsmen were serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom (over 150,000 to date), 14,000 in Operation Enduring Freedom (over 50,000 to date), and 652 in Operation Noble Eagle. Since 9-11, over 250,000 Soldiers have been mobilized under USC Title 10 authority (federal orders) and over 350,000 under Title 10 or Title 32 (federal and state orders).
I am currently and have been a member of the North Carolina Army National Guard since 1996. I have personally deployed to Iraq once. I was stationed in Iraq for over 12 months and was on active duty for almost 15 months. With an ongoing battle in Iraq what is going to be your stance about deploying YOUR National Guard soldiers to Iraq? I am aware of the paragraph in my oath "to defend against all enemies both foreign and domestic." However, what concerns do you have regarding the depletion of our resources and its effect on our ability to respond in the event of a natural disaster such as another Hurricane Floyd?

Bev at home

I'm at Bev's house tonight helping out. Here's Bev trying to log in around 7:30.

I like a nice clean desk

I know lots of people were thinking the candidates didn't really sit at their keyboards. Thanks for the picture . . . we now have proof!

Her desk is too clean :D

Thank you Bev, Justin and Zach and all the other folks at the Perdue campaign who helped make this happen.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Her trash can's full ;)

I can see it now: right before the picture was going to be taken, Bev blurts out a desperate, "Wait! Just give me a second!" (paper crumpling sounds, foot stomping accumulated trash into can, foot stuck in can, Lt. Governor on the floor kicking the can with her free foot trying to dislodge stuck foot, mumbled curses, can back in place, sweater straightened out, smile back in place) "Okay! Take the shot!"

Wow, that was fast.

Lieutenant Governor Perdue, you're welcome to stick around for as long as you like. We'll be here all night.

Thank you again for your willingness to join us. You have a lot of supporters here and you are kind to indulge us in this messy experiment in democracy.

Thanks!

Thanks again for inviting me. It was a lot of fun. I'll answer the rest of your questions over the next few days. Keep'em coming.

Remember a lot of answers can be found at my website www.BevPerdue.com, especially under the the Building a New North Carolina section.

Thank you ma'am.

We really appreciate your visit and your good spirit in embarking on this historic journey with us. Thank you.

Don't forget to check out

the other thread of questions that was opened up this morning... there are many good inquiries there, too. Thanks for taking the time to make some history here tonight!

Healthcare and State Employees

To both Democratic candidates:

This question is in three parts dealing with state insurance programs.

Background Information:
Currenlty the state covers the cost of an employee's (only employee) health care premiums. If a spouse or anyone else is to be added to the insurance, then the costs totally skyrocket in which the employee has to cover. Most of the time, this is too costly for the employee to pay.

Part 1: If I can get all health insurance for my wife and I better and cheaper ($650/mo) than what it would cost the state and I combined ($1,078/mo), would you support the state providing me my normal employee insurance premium (or percentage thereof) to be refunded back to me and applied to the cheaper insurance to save us all money?

Part 2: Why does the current state health insurances penalize those of us who are married and who cannot have children by charging us as much or more than those that are married and with children or dependents?

Part 3: As Governor, would you work with legislature to abolish the existing lobbying by insurance companies AND change how legislature "chooses" our (state employee's) health benefit packages?

That was a very fast hour!

Lt. Gov. Perdue, I can certainly understand if you can't stay past the alloted time, but would you be willing to answer the questions we were unable to get to later and email them to James for publication here?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Thank you, Bev Perdue

We enjoyed it and hope you'll think about attending the blogger barbeque bash on April 27. I'll be sending you an invitation.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Vegeque

I'll be working on something other than coleslaw sandwiches for vegetarians.

That's good 'cause some vegetarians

don't eat coleslaw if it is made with mayo (because of the egg).

Just sayin'.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Not to worry

we'll have lotsa beans and push huppies, too.

Sorry James

We live in a state where even the vegetables aren't vegetarian.

I'll take responsibility for the meat-free protein.

Thanks.

I was thinking those beans might come with ham or something. I'll happily leave the vegging out to you!

So I can't use cow manure

for fertilizer?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

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