Commentary

Christensen: 10 gubernatorial questions worth debating

rchristensen@newsobserver.comSeptember 29, 2012 Updated 6 hours ago

  • Steep yourself in politics The N.C. Museum of History shines the light on politics past and present with two events this month featuring Rob Christensen. What: N.C. Battleground State: A panel discussion on how the battle for president, governor and Congress is progressing. Moderated by Christensen. Panelists: Democratic consultants Gary Pearce and Brad Crone, Republican consultant Carter Wrenn, John Hood of the John Locke Foundation and political scientist Andy Taylor. When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct., 4 What: Tar Heel Political Commercials: Hide the Children. Christensen revisits some of the more famous political commercials that have aired in the state since 1984. When: 2-3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21 Where: Both will be at the N.C. Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh

On Wednesday, the first of three televised gubernatorial debates will be held between Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory.

This is a key moment in particular for Dalton, the lieutenant governor, who trails the former Charlotte mayor in all the polls. The one-hour debate will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast across the state.

Here is my list of 10 questions I’d like to see posed to the candidates.

For Dalton

1. Things have not gone well in North Carolina for the past decade. Unemployment is persistently high. We’ve had a series of scandals involving Democrats. The Republicans are bringing some fresh approaches. Why shouldn’t the state try a Republican governor?

2. The legislature is likely to remain in GOP hands next year. How can you be effective in dealing with a legislature that is likely to be hostile to your programs?

3. The Republicans have tried to tie you to Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue. You say you are your own man. Name three things in which you disagree with Perdue.

4. You have criticized the Republican legislature for cutting funding for the schools,the universities and for other programs. And yet they were able to balance the budget in the face of a large shortfall without raising taxes. Would you be able to restore funding for these programs in what are still tight financial times without raising taxes?

5.You have supported giving incentives to new companies locating in North Carolina. Are taxpayers being played here? Is this policy fair to existing North Carolina businesses?

For McCrory

1. You have campaigned for repealing the new health care law and yet studies have shown the number of uninsured North Carolinians is on the rise. If elected, how would you deal with Obamacare, and if it should be blocked by Congress, how would you handle the problem of the state’s uninsured?

2. You want to cut corporate taxes and lower the top rate on income taxes and eliminate the inheritance tax. You say you want the tax changes to be revenue neutral. How do you cut those taxes without raising taxes on the middle class?

3. The Democrats have sought to link you to the Republican legislature and suggest you will be a rubber stamp for them. Can you name three things in which you disagree with the actions of the Republican legislature?

4. The Democrats have made an issue of how you make a living for the Charlotte law firm Moore & Van Allen. You are not an attorney and you are not registered as a lobbyist. Please explain to voters how you earn your living.

5. You support opening up vigorous exploration for oil and gas off the North Carolina coast and also in shale deposits in the eastern Piedmont, neither of which is close to where you live in Charlotte or where you grew up in Jamestown. How certain are you that exploration will not result in environmental damage – and if it does, would you be willing to shut it down?

Christensen: 919-829-4532

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