Hampton Dellinger - Live Blog, Sunday April 20, 7 p.m.

Join Hampton Dellinger, Candidate for Lt. Governor, at 7 P.M. on Sunday, April 20 for a live-blog. If you can't be here on Sunday evening, please leave your questions for Hamp here, so he has a chance to answer them.

See you Sunday!

This from Hampton lifted from comments by James.

Hi! This is one of the best parts of running for office – getting to “talk” to North Carolinians about the state and our future, and working together to find solutions. I stopped by to see if anyone had posted any questions – I’m impressed that there are already so many good ones. I’m headed out to a get out the vote rally in Durham, but I’ll be back by 7. Looks like I’ve addressed some of these issues in previous posts (I think its easy to search my prior BlueNC posts but I’d be grateful if someone could provide a link to them), or other forums, and I’ll give some thought to the new ones. Also, if I can’t get to them all tonight, I’ll come back over the next couple of days.

As those of you who have followed this race know, there are four candidates running on the Democratic side. I would not be running for this office unless I thought I was the best person to be the Democratic nominee, win the fall election, and serve as Lt. Governor. But no one person has all the answers. I have learned an enormous amount during this campaign from people I've encountered all over this state, and from my opponents.

Dan Besse, Walter Dalton, and Pat Smathers are all extremely nice personally. I’ve enjoyed getting to know all three, and their families and supporters. Dan, Pat, and I have a similar approach and record on a number of important policy matters. I have benefited from the number of joint appearances the three of us have had together. Dan has worked for years to preserve our environment. His dedication is inspiring, and his counsel should be sought by all our state's leaders. Pat brings to this race a keen personal understanding of how local government affects people in the most fundamental ways. His perspective on how we should support government closest to home is a valuable one.

And even though Walter has the most conservative record I’ve seen for a major Democratic statewide candidate in the 20+ years I’ve been active in North Carolina campaigns, we only need to look at the Republicans running for Lt. Governor to see that we could do worse. Greg Dority, who has been at or near the top of the polls for the Republicans, said in the debate last week that illegal immigration was too politically correct of a term and should be changed to “an invasion of criminal elements set on destabilizing our lawful society." And Dan had a great line when he said of Robert Pittenger – a global warming denier – “If Mr. Pittenger had been in politics a century ago, he would have declared that electricity will never work, and called it a conspiracy to destroy the candle industry.” Whoever the Democratic nominee is for Lt. Governor, I will work hard to see that he is elected in November.

Thanks again for your interest and thanks to BlueNC for setting this up. See everyone in a few hours!

Comments

Hampton

As you know, I am an extremist in my desire to rid our nation of Blackwater. What could our Lieutenant Governor do in relation to this issue. And what would you be willing to do.

Thanks for coming by, Hampton. Draining Blackwater is the one thing that could trump "environmental" for me right now.

Greetings & Blackwater

Just got in…..James, I appreciate the passion shown by you and other BlueNCers to hold a company accountable for operations that resulted in the death of many innocent people in Iraq. I support a full and open investigation of Blackwater, with state and federal prosecution and the revoking of the state's corporate charter as warranted, and I fully support David Price’s efforts to hold private military contractors accountable under U.S. law.

Blackwater is not our state’s only tie to seriously questionable activities committed in conjunction with the Bush Administration's conduct of an utterly irresponsible foreign policy. State officials must be willing to promptly and thoroughly investigate, and where warranted, take strong measures against North Carolina companies involved in illegal activities. As Lt. Governor, I won’t be looking to pass the buck to the federal government no matter who controls Congress or the White House. I believe in due process and the presumption of innocence, but if there is an injustice possibly taking place on North Carolina soil (or with a connection to our state), I believe state officials have a duty to investigate the activity and take every allowable measure to stop it if the charges are proven.

The experience with Blackwater is symptomatic of an additional, more entrenched problem, which is trusting private companies to perform responsibilities that should only be entrusted to government. The Iraq War offers perhaps the most egregious examples of what happens when the government outsources its duties, but it’s not the only one – we do it at the state level too. Mental health springs to mind, but there are other examples, and as part of my government reform plan I propose saving government millions of dollars and providing services more effectively by making sure government – and not private companies – do the jobs that government should do.

Excellent.

I'd love for you to end up being Eliot Spitzer Without the Downfall. Great answer.

HA!

It was certainly tactful; it was certainly wide open. I guess it's a "great answer" if it made you feel better.

I didn't notice you trying to pin him down on the "moral" responsibility of Womble Carlyle for having the nerve to represent this company.

Make no mistake -- I think Blackwater is dreadful. But oh my -- what a squirmy, wiggly answer you settled for as "excellent."

Bru'

i beg to differ

No surprise, I am sure.

It surprises me, however, to hear someone who, by every measure and comment of yours I have read, at least appears to be a civil libertarian call out a mentuion of due process as "squirmy" and attack a law firm (for which hampton no longer works) for having the temerity to represent a client.

Strange what primaries do to people.

The way I read it, Hampton said he would expect state agencies to prosecute violations of the law, even if those violations are in some way sanctioned by forces inside the federal government (cough cough dick cheney cough cough). That's pretty dang nonwiggly.

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Not at all, Dr. Frank -

I guess you missed the discussion to which I'm referring.

I completely agree with Hamp's answer. I was not the person clammoring for a condemnation of a given law firm for representing a given client.

I was the person -- kind of out there without any support that I can recall -- who suggested that damning a law firm for its choice of client might actually be counter in principle and purpose to the Constitution that all officers of the law are sworn to uphold.

I was roundly condemned, as I recall, by one of this blog's hosts and, by implication, several others, for having the temerity to defend a law firm for its choice to represent an unpopular client. This discussion went on for a while and earned me multiple unpopularity points (to which I've added since).

I was the one who asked the host to ask Hampton -- and in fact I asked Hampton -- who, strangely enough, never answered -- whether Hamp agreed with the determination by at least two of this blog's hosts that W/C should be denounced (and in fact, one of our hosts printed the names of the lobbyists who worked for W/C on behalf of this client) for representing this client.

Never got an answer, and despite James' self-description of himself as an "extremist" on the subject of Blackwater, it doesn't appear that he sought one, either.

Brunette

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

OK, cool

sorry I missed the context.

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

lol

I'd love for you to end up being Eliot Spitzer Without the Downfall. Great answer.

So would Jolynn, I am sure!

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Resume...

We've heard you talk about your experience in the AG's office and working with the Governor...but besides those two staff positions, what other political/public service experience do you think has prepared you to be our next lieutenant governor?

And a brief follow-up (if that's allowed!), how have you been involved in building up your local Durham County Democratic Party and the state party? It just seems sometimes that there's a disconnect b/t our elected officials and our party organization...I just think it's important that we elect people who have supported building our party from the ground up.

Thanks, Hampton!

About my experience

Thanks for the question, captsfufp! As you noted, I have significant executive branch experience, and I think that experience will help me turn my progressive agenda into reality (more on this if you scroll down to response on this thread: http://bluenc.com/but-what-will-you-do-as-lieutenant-governor%3F ).

Beyond that, I have diverse private and public sector experience. I was a volunteer teacher at a local high school while in law school, then served as counsel for the NAACP at the Baltimore headquarters as part of the organization’s successful effort to install its finances and install new leadership after I graduated. And since leaving the Governor’s Office, I successfully challenged an agency’s decision to award the entire state government office supplies contract to a higher priced bidder with financial ties to the agency’s consultant.

I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts on the importance of building our party from the ground up. My family and I have been active supporters of the Democratic Party here in the Triangle for literally as long as I can remember, and I talk about some of my local and state political work in the link above. My earliest political memory is leafleting for Gerry Cohen’s Town Council run in 1973 (you can learn more about that at www.hd08.com/kids). I put up yard signs for Howard Lee in his bid for Lt. Governor in 1976.

In Durham, I’ve volunteered for candidates like Philip Graham for School Board, Bill Bell for Mayor, Larry Hall for state House. My efforts have included organizing neighborhood meet and greets (a.k.a. “friendraisers”, rather than fundraisers), canvassing, working the polls, and fundraising.

At the state level, I worked for months without pay for the state Democratic Party in the summer and fall of 1989 after graduating from college. The party was at low ebb financially, and could not afford to pay anyone to write press releases or draft speeches. I did both. In 2004, I served as one of two volunteer statewide voter protection attorneys for the Kerry-Edwards ticket. Along with Bob Spearman, I helped recruit and coordinate attorneys in every county who sought to ensure that voters would not be intimidated or otherwise denied a full and fair right to vote.

I’d be happy to have my record of supporting progressive Democratic candidates compared with any other candidate seeking statewide office. And I believe good Democrats such as Anthony Foxx, Ty Harrell, Yvonne Johnson, Larry Kissell, Ed Ridpath, along with judicial candidates such as Wanda Bryant, Robin Hudson, Linda Stephens, Jim Wynn and others would confirm how much time and energy I’ve devoted over the years to assisting others willing to seek public office. Win or lose, I’ll keep up these efforts.

Friendraising.

Thats something we do in the not-for-profit world, in order to create lasting connections with donors, and build strategic partnerships. I see a lot of volunteer work in your past - has any of it been with 501(c)3 agencies? Which ones, and why?

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

name dropping

Hamp,
thanks for dropping my name in your post :)
I remember leafletting your neighborhood back in '73.
-Gerry

Non Profits and Gerry Cohen

Gerry, thanks for stopping by. Your 1973 “get your ‘rents to vote for me and I’ll get you bike paths”- pitch to bike-loving youngsters was a brilliant campaign tactic (AND good public policy!). I’ll never forget it. Hope we get a chance to work together for the public good next year on Jones Street.

As for “friendraising,” Linda, you’re right, political campaigns and nonprofits have a lot in common in that great grassroots support is so important to both. I learned a lot about that while helping the NAACP (I worked with the group’s General Counsel dealing with creditors, and dealt with group’s like the Ford Foundation and other potential donors large and small). I don’t know the tax status of all the others groups I’ve volunteered for but in addition to the NAACP, I’ve helped, among others, YWCAs and pubic interest groups such as the Welfare Law Center, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Righs Under Law. I helped these groups because they were working hard and effectively from what I could tell to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

As far as volunteering for Bell goes . . .

I can personally vouch that Hampton was out at a precinct passing out Bill Bell palm calms well after the sun went down. It was cold out, and while no doubt he'd been doing it for hours and hours, he was still cheerfully greeting voters with a good word about the mayor of Durham. (And for those of you who don't know, one out of every two or three voters scowls at you when you greet them, so it's not the easiest thing in the world to keep smiling.)

After the results came in it seemed silly to have ever been worried, I don't think Stith got even a third of the vote. But can you imagine the Civitas thugs running Durham? Fortunately Civitas and the John Locke Foundation have no idea how to do field work. They can spin a pretty story for the increasingly corporate press corps, but don't see them deigning to talk face to face to the average voter any time soon.

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

addressing institutionalized discrimination

Thank you for participating in this liveblog, Hampton.

When I recently interviewed candidate Dan Besse for my blog (would love to interview you as well!), we discussed the state of LGBT rights in the state. Dan said he, for instance, supports passage of the anti-bullying legislation already under consideration.

I noted that many people in North Carolina -- even many progressives -- are unaware that in NC 1) if you work for the state you can be fired from your job if you are openly LGBT; and with that 2) no partner benefits are extended to gay couples.

Besse's take during the interview:

I think there is a good chance that we can move forward on that issue, particularly the institutionalized discrimination issues beginning next year. This sounds like a plug for my campaign - imagine that -- but I think that our prospects of doing that are somewhat dependent in part on who we elect lieutenant governor. Because unlike the gubernatorial race, this has been a specific topic in this primary campaign. I know that the EqualityNC folks are tickled by this -- you have all four lieutenant governor candidates to a greater or lesser degree, seeking support from the community.

My question for you -- please discuss your position regarding breaking down the currently legal discrimination mentioned above in NC -- what you would do to address it?

Many thanks in advance for your response.

[By the way, these issues are personal for me -- I was recently offered a position with a state entity, a position that was extremely desirable for me professionally. I had to decline consideration because I cannot take a position where my spousal relationship (I was legally married in Canada) is not recognized in any legal way here. My current employer is private and has anti-discrimination protections -- and extends same-sex spousal equivalent benefits.]

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Wow, I did not know this.

1) if you work for the state you can be fired from your job if you are openly LGBT

Does that ever happen? Do we have any court cases to challenge this?

I Twitter, Therefore I Am.

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

I don't know if there are any court cases yet...

But there aren't any protections on the books such as exists for race, gender, religion, disability, etc. In fact, look what happened this week when the State Personnel Commission attempted to add inclusive language to the state personnel handbook.

Not long after that change went up on the state web site, the local anti-gay machinery went into high gear. Homo-obsessed House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Stam (pauls@ncleg.net) and the anti-gay bible beaters at the NC Family Policy Council publicly called for the removal of the fairness language. Because of a matter of the difference between "rules" and "policies" in the state, there's now a tussle over what this change means, as the non-discrimination policy has been adopted by the State Personnel Commission and it has not rescinded it.

In the end, the language adding the protections has been stripped from the web site over the fracas.

This will be handled in the end by the GA, and that's why it's important for LG candidates to be on the record regarding the issue.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Addressing Discrimination

Thanks for the question, Pam, and for your special efforts to bring much-needed attention to this issue.

I’ve said it before, and I’m happy to say it again: As Lt Governor, I will absolutely make it a priority to stamp out all forms of discrimination (I’ve said from the beginning of my campaign that state government should be a leader in discrimination-free workplaces, http://hd08.com/about/whyimrunning.html). I support partnership benefits for gay couples. I believe child adoptions should be governed by the “best interest of the child” standard and I oppose discrimination against parents based on sexual orientation.

The recent announcement that the 2008 State Personnel Manual includes a prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression was a great step forward. I will fight to keep that protection in place. And I was happy to see that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools recently adopted a policy addressing the bullying issue -- I would happily support an effort to do so at the state-wide level as well. Specifically, I would have supported the House version of the anti-bullying bill (sponsored by Susan Fisher of Asheville) which contained the language protecting children from bullying based on "sexual orientation."

I look forward to an interview with you. Please email me at hamp@hd08.com, and let’s set something up.

Photog

Yep. That's my dad.

Hamp Campaign person

He did look like David Price but not shorter. He had a camera and an oversize Hamton Dellinger for Lt Gov badge so I assume he was with the campaign looking for good shots of Hamp.

Yikes

Didn't realize that was his father.

Compulsory education to age 18

When you and I spoke at a function last year, one of the things on your mind then was arresting the horrible dropout rate in N.C.

Considering that there are numerous and complex factors involved ranging from academic to economic, aside from just increasing the age requirement, what other steps do you think government needs to take to solve this?

Dealing with the drop our rate

Good to "see" you again!

The most recent numbers I’ve seen show that 23,550 students dropped out in 2006-2007 – that’s more than 5% of the entire high school population of North Carolina. That’s an appalling figure, and lowering it is going to require broad educational reforms. But here’s what really struck me: three quarters of those drop outs are between the ages of 16 and 18. That’s why I’ve been pushing for more than a year to raise the age requirement, and why I think it’s an essential part of reducing the overall dropout rate. I’m glad to see that state Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee and others have been pushing the idea with the legislature as well.

Of course you’re right that raising the age requirement only a part of the educational reforms we need to lower the dropout rate and make our schools as effective as they can and should be. We need to tackle the problem from the other end as well, which is why I support expanding More at Four to offer voluntary high-quality preschool programs for 3-year-olds – studies have shown that quality pre-K education can be one of the most effective ways to lower the dropout rate, and more than pays for itself. We also need to make sure that our emphasis on state wide standards does no chill the creativity of our individual teachers, and we must do all we can to instill in all of our children not just the importance of education -- but a sense of the potential joy of learning.

I hope you’ll check out my full education plan www.hd08.com/EdPlan.

Mr. Dellinger

I have a few inter-related questions about one of your specific proposals:

I heard you speak at the mental health forum several weeks (possibly months) ago and was intrigued by your suggestion that you would put forth a comprehensive budget proposal as Lt. Governor even though the position has no formal role or power in the budgetary process (at least that was my understanding of your comments, apologies if I misunderstood or misremember).

Why do you think this is more effective than using your influence as a statewide official for more targeted advocacy of specific budget items?

It seems like it would cause unnecessary tension (to put it lightly) between yourself and the (hopefully also Democratic) Governor of out state, my concern is that you would lead the position of Lt. Gov. to be even more marginalized than it already has been over the last couple decades.

Thanks for the question,

Thanks for the question, hadrian – I’d like to answer it in two parts.

As for the specific point about the budget, I think we’re actually on the same page. My plan is to have a list of budget priorities available for the Governor and legislators to consider, with the purpose of showing how it is possible to achieve progressive goals and meet the balanced budget requirements enshrined in our constitution. As I’ve said, we can do this simply by re-ordering our priorities – I would put mental health reform, education, and compensation for victims of forced government sterilization would be at the top of my list, not tax cuts for millionaires. I hope that will not cause tension with the Governor, and if puts pressure on the Senate to create a budget that serves all of the people of North Carolina, not just big business and big donors – well good.

More broadly, I think your question is really one about what the office of Lt. Governor is and should be. Personally, I think it’s good for the state to have a strong Lt. Governor who is willing to stand up and fight for issues like education, mental health, and government reform that require the kind of long-term, sustained attention that is often hard for a Governor to provide….particularly given that the Lt. Governor is independently elected in North Carolina. The best way to fight against the increasing marginalization of the position is to take firm positions and fight for them, and I intend to do just that. There was a thread about this a few months ago – I’d love it if someone could track that down for us.

Mental Health

The State has often repeated the line about how Community Support services were overutilized to the tune of millions of dollars. However, as folks in Raleigh know, when big providers starting going under, Community Support was created as a service definition without many guidelines. As area programs like New Vistas in Buncombe County went bankrupt and closed, private providers scrambled to try to provide services for tens of thousands of people left without psychiatric and community services. Many of these private providers utilized the vague Community Support definition to fill the gap left by the closure of so many formerly-public providers. While there were a few who tried to game the system, the majority were busily trying to rescue it from utter collapse.

How would you explain the failures of the mental health reform?

Without an adequate understanding of the problem, we're not likely to come to any lasting solutions.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Gordon, thanks for all you

Gordon, thanks for all you have done getting candidates to talk about mental health reform. The transition of our mental health system has been far too difficult for too many people with disabilities and their families. When the system comes up short, those in need of assistance all too often end up in jails, general emergency rooms, and senior care facilities, none of which are properly equipped to meet their needs. This is not fair or equitable for anyone.

The concept behind our last effort to reform our system – the push to get people in need of help out of institutions and into less restrictive communities settings – wasn’t the problem as I see it, but the execution of that plan has obviously left a lot to be desired. As I said earlier, mental health reform is one of those situations where outsourcing basic government responsibilities has resulted in our state spending more money than we should have for inadequate services. We left it to private companies to care for those with mental health needs, including those with developmental disabilities or addictive diseases, then we failed to hold those companies accountable when they failed to do so.

On top of that, we just did not put the funding into the reform efforts that we needed to in order to make it successful – instead, we have balanced our state budget on the backs of those with disabilities, even as the situation continued to deteriorate. When passing Mental Health Reform, the legislature believed that it could fix a complex and fragile system without spending substantially more money. They were wrong and we now see the effects.

Please visit my website (sorry to keep saying that, I just want to leave time to answer as many questions as I can!) for a statement I released last summer about steps we should take going forward, and you can read statements from a number of statewide candidates at ncmentalhealth.org

"We left it to private

"We left it to private companies to care for those with mental health needs, including those with developmental disabilities or addictive diseases, then we failed to hold those companies accountable when they failed to do so."

The first part of this sentence partly answers the question of what caused the problem, and the second part demonstrates a possible misunderstanding on your part.

Private companies were asked to provide the services, but the state was left administering the money and the guidelines for reimbursement. Reimbursements for many services are so low as to make it impossible for businesses to make a profit, and that's what private businesses are supposed to do. Service guidelines changed with such frequency that it was almost impossible to keep up. My company didn't have to branch out into more-difficult populations with more difficult paperwork from the State, but we chose to when our big area provider went bankrupt. By choosing to serve people that ought to be served by a social safety net, we almost put ourselves under as well. We're looking to scale back those services as much as possible now, so the State had better get a safety net together soon.

As to holding private companies accountable for having "failed to do so", it's important for the State to take primary responsibility for (1) as you stated, underfunding the reform; (2) continuing down a bad road well after the providers and consumers were shouting at you to stop; (3) intransigently clinging to the failed leadership of Carmen Hooker Odom; (4) doing nothing and hoping this problem would go away.

You were in the LG office, Hampton, and I'd like to know how many times between 2001 and 2006 you and the Governor had any serious discussions about the mental health system collapse. Because from where I was sitting, it looked as though the Governor's office ignored the coming crisis and then condemned the private providers when it became clear that the reform was a failure.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Does not compute...

Private companies were asked to provide the services, but the state was left administering the money and the guidelines for reimbursement. Reimbursements for many services are so low as to make it impossible for businesses to make a profit, and that's what private businesses are supposed to do.

ONly if you're building roads, stripping land for malls, or selling goods from China. If you're caring for poor, disabled people then....

Actually, pretty much all health professionals are screwed by Medicaid/Medicare.

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

That's why we need the safety net

As a for-profit practice, it's not realistic for my agency to serve primarily state-funded clients. I continue to serve those funded through the state and federal governments, but I have to balance it with private insurance and self-pay clients if I want to make a living at it.

It's not like I'm getting rich doing this stuff. Our agency tried to help pick up the pieces during the crisis, and we've been getting burned ever since. Blaming private providers for the crisis insults those who went out of our way to help.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

More on Mental Health

Gordon, I think we actually agree on most of this. I wasn’t trying to lay all the blame at the feet of the private providers – as you said, caring for those in need is the state’s responsibility, and as you suggest, a private company’s top priority is to make money, not necessarily to serve the interests of the community. That’s why my government reform plan calls for the state to stop outsourcing jobs it should be doing itself – the state reports to its citizens, a private company to its shareholders or owners, so the incentive structures are very different for each. When we do use private companies, we need to make a private company’s incentives line up with those of the people, not just in mental health but in other areas as well (think about our current energy incentives under which companies make more money when we use more energy – we should be providing incentives for conservation and the development of sustainable energy sources). One way to help the incentives line up is to hold private companies accountable. This article on Arizona’s negotiations with ValueOptions is the type of thing I’m talking about: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0121mentalhealth0121.html.

As for your other question, I left the Governor’s office in mid 2003. I’ve been talking about the need to improve North Carolina’s mental health system since I announced I was going to run for Lt. Governor in November 2006.

Again, thank you for your commitment to those North Carolinians dealing with mental illness.

This can't be stressed enough.

That’s why my government reform plan calls for the state to stop outsourcing jobs it should be doing itself

Precisely, Hamp. I agree with you on this. Freemarketeers think that businesses like Gordon's should be able to pick up the slack, or make ends meet, or make it work, and perhaps if enough private infrastructure were in place before the change was made, or if reimbursement rates truly reflected market rates, that would have happened.

But I think one of the problems with the Freemarketeers is that they see the government as something other than "We, the People." When government is doing something it is supposed to be doing, like providing services for people who are sick, it is really us, doing things for ourselves, not some weird, outside entity.

I think that's a big difference in perception, and if we can find a way to bridge that gap, we can go a long way to building bridges to understanding on our state and our country.

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

Thanks, Hampton

I don't have much hope for any sweeping improvements, but if you win maybe you can do something effective where others haven't. It looks to me like we're trending back towards the system we abandoned for the reform.

Safety net services and efficient, fair reimbursement for private providers

I do appreciate the debate you and the other candidates have been raising about the need for a better system.

p.s. Sorry about the mistake in my previous comment about your whereabouts.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Same Questions

Thanks for stopping by BlueNC, Hampton. We appreciate you sharing your views with us.

I thought I'd start with the same two questions I asked Dan Besse when he liveblogged here some time ago:

1. The role of the Lt. Governor is, in my opinion, the most misunderstood role in state government. I consider myself a pretty well-informed voter and even I'm not sure if the Lt. Governor's in a capacity to make some of the changes that some candidates have been suggesting on the campaign trail. So, my question is: what do you see as the scope of the Lt. Governor's job and what are the job's limitations?

2. Article IX, Section IX of the North Carolina Constitution says, "The General Assembly shall provide that the benefits of The University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense."

It seems that the debate over the cost of higher education in North Carolina has been one over the phrase "as far as practicable." If elected Lt. Governor, you'd serve as presiding officer of the NC Senate and as an ex officio member of the State Board of Community Colleges. In those capacities, how would you define "as far as practicable?"

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

You’re right, nctodc, the

You’re right, nctodc, the Lt. Governor does have a unique job, part-executive and part-legislative (insert your favorite Dick Cheney/fourth branch of government joke here), which is why I think my experience in the executive branch will be so valuable. One of the best summaries I’ve seen came from Robert P on the thread I mentioned earlier: http://bluenc.com/but-what-will-you-do-as-lieutenant-governor%3F#comment-73268 - and you can scroll down Robert P’s post to see how I would use the different part of the Lt. Governor’s job to advance a progressive agenda.

As to your question about the cost of higher education: I am committed to living up to our constitutional mandate. The tuition cap finally slowed rate hikes in the UNC system but only after they increased 71 percent from 1999 through 2004. As a result National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education gave North Carolina a grade of "F" for affordability in 2006, and members of the class of 2006 who graduated with debt had an average of $17,000 to repay. I’ve been talking about making higher education affordable and made easing the burden of student debt a cornerstone of my higher education plan (available at www.hd08.com/highered).

My higher education plan (www.hd08.com/highered) offers solutions for making higher education more affordable and for easing the burden on student debt. Although I love our college sports teams, we need to keep athletics and academics in their proper prospective, and we need to be more interested in success in our classrooms and labs than on the field. We should not keep raising tuition while simultaneously paying for athletic scholarships at private colleges, charging in-state tuition for scholarships for out-of-state athletes, and giving our coaches multi-million dollar contracts.

Damn

This is right on the money.

we need to keep athletics and academics in their proper prospective, and we need to be more interested in success in our classrooms and labs than on the field.

On the money, indeed.

In fact, Mayor Smathers worded it better during last weeks debate.

hamp

Has been talking on that particular issue for months, if not years. I think it is great when our candidates share priorities, don't you?

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

I-95

What are your views on converting I-95 to a toll road.

I-95 Answer

I am opposed to making I-95 a toll road. Tolls and fees have become increasingly popular ways to raise revenue because they are politically convenient – they give politicians the money they need while allowing them to claim that it’s not a “tax.” The problem, of course, is that these take money from citizens for government use – wait a minute, that sounds like a tax! - and they do so in a regressive manner: Obviously, a low-income family is going to feel the effects of a toll more than a millionaire paying the same amount per use. We should not be cutting income taxes on the richest North Carolinians in favor of regressive across-the-board tax and fee increases that hit those with lower incomes the hardest, and we really shouldn’t be doing it when high gas prices are making things all-the-more difficult.

We do, however, have substantial challenges in our transportation system. I hope you’ve seen a theme through my answers that I’m not afraid to push for current investments– whether in education, energy policy, or other areas – that may cost something now but will more than pay off down the roads. Mass transit is a perfect example. Voters in Mecklenburg County showed overwhelmingly last year that they are willing to pay a little more today for a mass transit system that works. Instead of just building more and bigger roads, we should be focused on mass transit solutions throughout the state to environmental and congestion problems that will only get bigger as we continue to grow.

I’ve called for expanding drivers’ ed to “transit ed,” where students learn not only the rules of the road but options for, an the importance of, using mass transit and non-motorized transportation. And I’ve called for a single state-wide mass transit card that can be used on all forms of mass transit in every part of the state.

I know...this will be a great live-blog

...of course, I think they're all great!

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.

Greetings!

Hampton Dellinger for Lt. Governor

Hi! This is one of the best parts of running for office – getting to “talk” to North Carolinians about the state and our future, and working together to find solutions. I stopped by to see if anyone had posted any questions – I’m impressed that there are already so many good ones. I’m headed out to a get out the vote rally in Durham, but I’ll be back by 7. Looks like I’ve addressed some of these issues in previous posts (I think its easy to search my prior BlueNC posts but I’d be grateful if someone could provide a link to them), or other forums, and I’ll give some thought to the new ones. Also, if I can’t get to them all tonight, I’ll come back over the next couple of days.

As those of you who have followed this race know, there are four candidates running on the Democratic side. I would not be running for this office unless I thought I was the best person to be the Democratic nominee, win the fall election, and serve as Lt. Governor. But no one person has all the answers. I have learned an enormous amount during this campaign from people I've encountered all over this state, and from my opponents.

Dan Besse, Walter Dalton, and Pat Smathers are all extremely nice personally. I’ve enjoyed getting to know all three, and their families and supporters. Dan, Pat, and I have a similar approach and record on a number of important policy matters. I have benefited from the number of joint appearances the three of us have had together. Dan has worked for years to preserve our environment. His dedication is inspiring, and his counsel should be sought by all our state's leaders. Pat brings to this race a keen personal understanding of how local government affects people in the most fundamental ways. His perspective on how we should support government closest to home is a valuable one.

And even though Walter has the most conservative record I’ve seen for a major Democratic statewide candidate in the 20+ years I’ve been active in North Carolina campaigns, we only need to look at the Republicans running for Lt. Governor to see that we could do worse. Greg Dority, who has been at or near the top of the polls for the Republicans, said in the debate last week that illegal immigration was too politically correct of a term and should be changed to “an invasion of criminal elements set on destabilizing our lawful society." And Dan had a great line when he said of Robert Pittenger – a global warming denier – “If Mr. Pittenger had been in politics a century ago, he would have declared that electricity will never work, and called it a conspiracy to destroy the candle industry.” Whoever the Democratic nominee is for Lt. Governor, I will work hard to see that he is elected in November.

Thanks again for your interest and thanks to BlueNC for setting this up. See everyone in a few hours!

As requested!

Here is a link to all of the posts that come up with the tag "hampton dellinger". I can't filter for content, so please forgive me, Hampton, if some of them are not positive.

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

Nice Commercials

Hamp - I just wanted to say that while I have been a Dan Besse supporter for some time, I really like your television commercials. I know that the rhetoric can get pretty negative in this race, and to be honest the negativeness from your campaign has at times really been a turnoff. But I think that your positive tv ad really shows you at your best. It is all too rare these days to see candidates speaking directly to voters about what they want to do if elected. Your positive and uplifting ads are really giving me serious second thoughts on who I will cast my vote for.

If you can't tell - I am already so sick of the Governor's race. I was a strong Richard Moore supporter but really have been turned off by his negative ads. Perdue made a really smart move by going all positive. She's got my vote now.

Best of luck in the campaign.

Thanks Paul Roe. Will I see

Thanks Paul Roe. Will I see you next week at the BlueNC gathering in CH?

Thanks

for the personal response. Unfortunately, I have to be out of town and will have to miss everyone.

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