Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory traded accusations about each other during the third gubernatorial debate Wednesday. Here are a few checks of the claims from the debates.
Claim: (Dalton) has supported the exact same policies Gov. Beverly Perdue has enacted in the past four years that have failed and failed miserably and resulted in North Carolina having the fifth highest unemployment rate in the nation.
Speaker: Pat McCrory
Context: This election season, McCrory has repeatedly tried to link Dalton to the unpopular incumbent governor. In this statement, he makes two claims one about Daltons ties to Perdue and the second about whether their administration is responsible for the states unemployment rate.
The first claim connecting the two Democrats is tenuous. Unlike other states, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately. As lieutenant governor, Daltons main job is to preside over the state Senate, and he doesnt collaborate often with the governor.
Dalton disagreed with at least three of Perdues recent vetoes, such as the legislation that put in place a framework for fracking in the state. He would have made it law. He also would have vetoed a bill concerning planning for the sea level rise, which Perdue signed. Dalton additionally disagreed with Perdues handling of a Department of Transportation toll project memo earlier this year.
But at the same time, Dalton said in 2009 that her agenda and my agenda are very much the same.
Saying that agenda is responsible for the states jobless rate is a stretch. Economic experts suggest larger national and even global trends affect North Carolinas economy more than specific state policies. So its unfair to blame it all on the current administration.
Ruling: McCrory overstates Daltons connection to Perdue, though even by Daltons admission they are not too far apart. Likewise, he cant blame them entirely for the states economic condition.
Claim: I think if you implement my plan, I think we can reduce it as much as 2-1/2 to 3 percent. My plan puts people back to work now.
Speaker: Walter Dalton
Context: The current jobless rate is 9.6 percent, so Dalton expects it to fall at least to 7.1 percent, if not 6.6 percent. In addition, Dalton says his plan to give businesses a tax break if they hire long-term unemployed workers and allow companies to train unemployed workers with state assistance before hiring them full time would put people back to work immediately.
But two experts cast doubt on whether his jobs plan would do what Dalton says it would.
Brent Lane, the director for the Center for Competitive Economies housed at the UNC-Chapel Hill business school, said Daltons promised jobs will not be immediate.
Tax credits are very unlikely and have proven ineffective in terms of job creation, he said, though he credited Dalton with putting forward specific ideas.
John Quinterno, the leading economic analyst at South By North Strategies in Chapel Hill, said all (Daltons) ideas do have the potential to put people to work, but they do take a while to work.
He said how long it would take is difficult to assess. For one, he noted, it requires the legislature to approve his plan, a process that is no guarantee and at minimum would take weeks if not months.
Daltons campaign could not produce any data to support the candidates claim about how the economic plan would affect the jobless rate.
Ruling: Dalton doesnt provide specifics to support his claim, and some economic analysts cast doubt on whether the candidates jobs plan would reduce the rate so dramatically in a years time. Given this, his claim appears overstated.
Claim: Forbes magazine says North Carolina has the third best business rating. CEO has us No. 2. Site Selection has us in the top five. Were above South Carolina in every one of those.
Speaker: Walter Dalton
Context: Throughout the campaign, Dalton and McCrory have argued over how the business climate in North Carolina compares to that of South Carolina and the Southeast. McCrory argues the states competitiveness has tanked, while Dalton points to magazine rankings.
Daltons citation of the rankings is mostly correct except that North Carolina came in third in CEOs 2011 rankings, not second but he misses needed context with these lists. The rankings vary wildly by the metrics used and even those mentioned by Dalton reveal huge inconsistencies.
To drive home the point: Another ranking from Area Development, a corporate site selection magazine put South Carolina second and North Carolina in fifth.
Ruling: Dalton gets the magazine rankings mostly true, but other studies contradict his point. Staff writer Rob Christensen contributed.