Dome: Steve Royal says regional currency is the answer

From staff reportsOctober 1, 2012 

Steve Royal, the Republican candidate for state treasurer, says North Carolina and neighboring states should band together and form a centralized, regional currency.

“In coordination, if possible, with adjoining states, it could be possible to create an auxiliary currency to help stimulate the regional economy, a centralized currency using state-owned real estate as equity – in other words – real money,” said Royal, in a handwritten response to a candidate questionnaire distributed by the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation earlier this year.

Democrats have taken notice of the comment, which was one of three approaches Royal described as his vision for economic growth and job creation.

Janet Cowell, the incumbent treasurer and Royal’s Democratic opponent, said that “ideas like Steve Royal’s which are so far out of the mainstream threaten everything we have worked so hard to build.”

Royal said in an interview that he stands by the idea. He believes a state or regional currency backed by real assets, or one that is at least more hesitant to print extra currency, would hold up better than the U.S. dollar under current conditions.

“It’s like a fire department or a police station,” Royal said. “You build it even though you don’t want to use it.”

Royal said he is upset with efforts by the Federal Reserve to stimulate economic recovery, especially through quantitative easing.

Latino voter registration surges

Latino voter registration in North Carolina has increased tenfold since 2004, but Latinos make up only 1.2 percent of the state’s registered voters, according to a new Pew Hispanic Center report.

Latinos make up 11 percent of eligible voters nationwide, up from 9.5 percent in 2008. North Carolina has 196,000 Hispanic eligible voters; 24 percent of Hispanics in the state are eligible to vote.

The state’s percentage of white registered voters has dipped to 72 percent from 78 percent in 2004. About 22 percent of the state’s registered voters are black.

Rove vs. Gibbs at Duke

Here’s an election season can’t-miss: Presidential advisers Robert Gibbs and Karl Rove will debate foreign policy at Duke University’s Page Auditorium on Oct. 22.

Their debate, the same day as the televised presidential candidates’ debate on foreign policy, is entitled: “What’s at Stake for America’s Global Role in the 2012 Election.”

The 5 p.m. debate at Duke will be moderated by Duke professor Peter Feaver, who was a special adviser on the National Security Council staff in President George W. Bush’s administration.

The Duke event is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available after Oct. 10 through the Duke Box Office in the Bryan Center, or for a $6 processing fee at www.tickets.duke.edu.

Rove was a senior adviser to Bush from 2000-07 and deputy chief of staff from 2004-07. Gibbs, an N.C. State graduate, is a former press secretary for President Barack Obama. He’s now a senior adviser in Obama’s re-election campaign.

Staff writers Austin Baird, Lynn Bonner and Jane Stancill

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