Welcome! Thanks for joining Carolina Journal and John Locke Foundation staff as we comment on the second debate between Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory.
As always, any opinion is that of the author.
Rick Henderson - 8:00 PM
Dalton was forcing his talking points no matter what the questions happened to be. McCrory was more relaxed. Not a lot of substance from either side.
Barry Smith - 7:59 PM
Dalton went on the attack big time in this debate. Nearly every answer took a jab at McCrory. I’m not sure how many of those jabs connected.
McCrory took a more positive approach. He tried to stay above the fray. I think he succeeded.
A final note: The debates continue to exclude one person on the ballot, Libertarian Barbara Howe. I’d like to see her included and hear her answers. The state’s two major political parties continue to make things difficult for other parties make headway. That’s not a service to the state.
Rick Henderson - 7:57 PM
Dalton: We have different visions. McCrory likes the fat cats and special interests. I’ll fight for you. I’ll respect teachers. Vote for me.
McCrory: We need positive leadership that’s ethical. We’re in the best state in the country. Positive campaign will lead to constructive governance. We need to encourage next generation to be involved in public service.
That’s it for tonight.
Terry Stoops - 7:56 PM
Dalton continues to mention the “public money for private schools” charge but never develops it.
Rick Henderson - 7:55 PM
Q: What to cut from state budget?
McCrory: PBS may be on the list but it’s not a big item. That’s where we need to look. Universities need to control costs better. We owe .8 billion for unemployment insurance.
Dalton: Need to see whole picture before saying what to cut. UNC-TV is awesome and I’ll keep it. Give money to public TV. (OK …)
Barry Smith - 7:53 PM
Dalton says he doesn’t not like third-party ads. He says he has the facts on his negative ads.
Back on the attack, here.
McCrory says on the money he controls, he has not shown one negative ad. “Every one of my ads are positive.”
Dalton says he is not a part of any culture of corruption.
Rick Henderson - 7:53 PM
Q from Stogner: tone of campaign and negative ads. Have third party ads gotten out of control?
Dalton: Don’t like third party ads. We use the facts. If they’re perceived as negative, that’s because the record is negative. (Dislikes tone of campaign but goes on attack. OK …)
McCrory hits him back on it. Some of the ads are so bad I almost wouldn’t vote for myself. I won’t mention my opponent, I talk about what I want to do.
Dalton: Culture of corruption in his talks. Implies I’m part of it.
Bottom line: Negative ads work. ….
Terry Stoops - 7:52 PM
McCrory on Dalton’s response to the question about negative ads: “…a negative attack about negative ads.”
Barry Smith - 7:50 PM
What’s the states responsibility to hell build up beaches?
McCrory says use energy exploration revenues (a portion) for beach renourishment.
Dalton sAys it has to be part of a comprehensive plan. “It’s a greater issue than just beach renourishment.”
On follow up, McCrory says there are major issues with dredging.
Dalton says, yes, we need to do it. It has to be part of a balancing orocess.
Rick Henderson - 7:50 PM
Q from Jon Evans: Rebuilding beaches — fed $$ going away. how do you replace it?
McCrory: We can implement more strategic plan on travel & tourism. Use some of money from natural gas exploration for beach renourishment. Need to use state to promote tourism.
Dalton: Tourism is a great industry. Agribusiness, tourism, military are our top three industries. We have to push all three.
(Every governor promotes tourism. It’s a zero-sum game.)
Follow-up on renourishment. Should state pick up funding?
McCrory: Dredging causes some of erosion. We need to make sure feds aren’t causing problem.
Dalton: Yes, state needs to do more but there’s plenty of other needs, too.
Terry Stoops - 7:49 PM
One of the candidates should have mentioned Billy Graham re the faith question.
Barry Smith - 7:46 PM
How does faith play out in your everyday life?
Dalton shares personal experiences about losing his father at an early age.
McCrory says he agrees with Dalton. “It brings serenity to my life.”
Rick Henderson - 7:46 PM
Q from Cameron: How does faith play a role in your everyday life?
Dalton: I’m a Methodist lay speaker. Faith helps through loss and hardship.
McCrory: I agree that faith is important. Brings serenity and helps me get priorities in place. The world doesn’t revolve around us as individuals.
Rick Henderson - 7:45 PM
Q from Stogner: How can 95 be repaired without a toll?
McCrory: Putting tolls on an existing road is a bad idea. DOT is too politicized and needs to be cleaned up.
Dalton: Tolls should be a last resort and you must have parallel nontolled corridor. New toll roads better than adding them to old ones. You have to prioritize DOT funding. Talks a lot about ports (inland, too).
McCrory: We also need an energy plan to reduce costs to consumers and a state water plan.
Barry Smith - 7:44 PM
McCrory says the toll road idea for I-95 is a bad idea. “We’ve politicized DOT for too long.”
Dalton says tolls should be a last resort. “You have to prioritize.” He reemphasizes that we need help from Washington.
Wow! Dalton didn’t say anything bad about McCrory!
Barry Smith - 7:41 PM
McCrory says the Racial Justice Act is a delay tactic.
Dalton says McCrory is insensitive.
Rick Henderson - 7:41 PM
RJA: Do you support?
Dalton: Yes. Race should not be an issue in death penalty cases.
McCrory: Fix SBI lab; in CLT we had to set up our own crime lab. DA’s think RJA is a lousy law.
Dalton: That proves McCrory is insensitive to blacks!
Barry Smith - 7:37 PM
Can we all get along?
McCrory says he did so as mayor. He worked in a bipartisan way.
Dalton says he’s shown he can work in a bipartisan way. He says we don’t need a rubber stamp, suggesting that McCrory would be.
Rick Henderson - 7:37 PM
Q from Paul Cameron on veto power. (Man loves to hear his own voice.)
McCrory: I’ve worked with Democrats, 12 of 14 years they were in majority on council. Worked well with Jim Hunt on transportation.
Dalton: You want someone who can bring people together. Jobs Council passed 9 bills under Democratic and Republican leadership. We don’t need a rubber stamp for GOP General Assembly. We need an independent non-ideologue.
McCrory: Dalton and Perdue cut education when Dems were in charge of General Assembly. (correct)
Terry Stoops - 7:34 PM
Dalton trying to explain a complicated court case about condemnation. McCrory gets plenty of time to respond.
Rick Henderson - 7:34 PM
Halftime is over!
Q from Stogner about McCrory’s role with law firm. Do voters care?
Dalton: They should. McCrory represented special interests when he worked for Duke Energy. I’ll work for the little people.
McCrory: Dalton’s attacking the private sector. I worked for a law firm that Dalton tried to shake down for money. I had 30 years with Duke Energy and I’m proud of my time there. We need private sector experience in the executive branch along with leadership from the public sector.
Dalton: Revisits eminent domain case with Duke in an indirect way.
McCrory: Dalton again treats private sector as an adversary.
Barry Smith - 7:34 PM
Do voters really care about private business lives?
Dalton says they should. He says Dalton was looking after special interest.
Attack, attack, attack.
McCrory says Dalton is attacking the private sector. “Never was there a question of ethical indiscretion,” he replies.
Dalton attacks again.
Barry Smith - 7:29 PM
Now it’s break time, and a time for the broadcasters to pat themselves on the back.
Terry Stoops - 7:29 PM
Dalton: Early college high schools. As I said during the last debate, the early college concept is not widely known. On the other hand, people understand vocational education and generally agree that we need more of it.
Barry Smith - 7:28 PM
What are the education initiatives?
McCrory wants two pathways to success. One concentrates on vocational, the other on college prep.
Dalton criticizes McCrory, then talks about early college programs.
Rick Henderson - 7:28 PM
Q on education performance:
McCrory: Need two pathways to high school degrees — vocational and college prep. We’ve been preparing everyone for college for too long.
Dalton: Early college is the way to go to let HS students take college courses. Career tech (not clear if he’s for or against, but he says Perdue likes it).
Terry Stoops - 7:26 PM
Dalton insists that he has never “had the wheel.” That is a curious claim. It begs the question – what have you been doing?
Rick Henderson - 7:25 PM
Q: 1st time in a long time we’ve had two candidates from western part of state. How will you level playing field?
Dalton: Every region thinks it’s shortchanged. We need to consolidate DOT offices, which were situated 100 years ago and were close to prisons.
McCrory: Why didn’t he do something about this from the legislature? We need to revamp the equity formula for highway funding.
Dalton: I’ve never had the wheel! (sounds whiny)
Rick Henderson - 7:22 PM
Q from Stogner about transparency (Yay, Larry!)
McCrory: Transparency comes from your record. I was mayor for 14 years of a city renowned as clean government. My emails were always available for review.
Dalton: I have run bills for the NC Press Association. I’ll run open government. Why hasn’t McCrory released his tax returns? How is he a rainmaker if he’s not a lawyer? Has he catered strictly to the special interests? I will represent all North Carolinians.
McCrory got no chance to respond. Vickery’s really destroying the format.
Barry Smith - 7:22 PM
McCrory says he was transparent as mayor. Dalton says he’s supported open government, then goes on the attack again. He’s looking straight into the camera.
Rick Henderson - 7:20 PM
Q: Do we have too many boards and commissions?
Dalton: Way too many. Cabinet needs to review them all and identify efficiencies. Let’s draw up a list and put some on the chopping block in an orderly manner.
McCrory: Why didn’t he do anything about it when he was head of Senate Budget Commitee or Lt. Gov.? An outsider needed to break up the system.
Dalton: Real leadership would explain his tax reductions. (I think the needle’s stuck in the groove.) I’ve never had any authority anyway.
Barry Smith - 7:19 PM
On Dalton’s “where’s the beef” rhetorical question, that didn’t work well for Walter Mondale in 1984. I’m not sure how well it’ll work now.
Barry Smith - 7:18 PM
McCrory says our high taxes are hurting us. He wants to reduce the personal income tax and the corporate taxes. He wants energy exploration.
Dalton continues on the offense, questioning McCrory’s plan to cut taxes.
He’s been we’ll prepared to attack.
Rick Henderson - 7:17 PM
Q about taxes that are lower in SC than NC. What to do?
McCrory: Taxes in NC are too high across the board. Cut income taxes and produce energy here at home.
Dalton: There he went again about corporate and personal taxes. Where is he finding the billion he’ll need? It’s not at all clear energy production will create jobs. I have a real plan to create jobs.
Barry Smith - 7:14 PM
Dalton uses the Budget and Tax Center’s analysis of McCrory’s tax plan. Then McCrory says Dalton’s ads are untrue. Then Dalton says McCrory’s ads are false.
Can the cameras swing down to see if their pants are on fire?
Rick Henderson - 7:13 PM
McCrory: Dalton’s repeating what’s in his inaccurate ads. Only person seeking sales tax increase is Dalton/Perdue. Sales tax increase has big effect on middle class.
Dalton: Even 15% is less than a penny. (OK …) Budget & Tax Center (left-wing outfit) did the math?
Terry Stoops - 7:12 PM
Hey, Dalton gives a shout-out to the Budget and Tax Center, a project of the left-wing NC Justice Center.
Rick Henderson - 7:12 PM
Dalton: Budget & Tax Center says McCrory’s plan doesn’t add up.
(Did Shannon Vickery cut Dalton off early?)
Barry Smith - 7:11 PM
The next question is on budgets and government efficiency.
McCrory says he’s not taking the race for granted. He’ll look at eliminating committees, keep them vacant.
Not sure how much that will save though.
Dalton says McCrory is already measuring the carpet.
Huh. Not sure.
Then Dalton suggests savings can be found in the state motor pool.
Good idea, but I doubt those suggestions would save hundreds of millions of dollars.
Rick Henderson - 7:11 PM
Q:Dalton said you’d push for four weeks of paid leave for teachers and state employees. How can we afford that?
Dalton: Tax break for rich. Runs out of time.
Rick Henderson - 7:10 PM
Q from Jon Evans: What part of state government needs tightening up? What needs expanding?
McCrory: There are 30 committees in state government. Rather than make appointments, let’s keep some vacant or consolidate them.
Dalton. He’s already measuring the curtains. He could have gone to that debate instead. (Roll eyes.) We can deal with motor pool. Privatize some technology. We can make tax collection more efficient.
McCrory: Not my goal to live in the Executive Mansion.
Terry Stoops - 7:10 PM
Dalton: Savings in the motor pool; technology/privative the “cloud”; collect bad debt
Rick Henderson - 7:07 PM
McCrory: I spent day with ag commissioner Steve Troxler and with patients in a nursing home.
The empty chair did well in the debate.
I oppose Racial Justice Act because it’s a bad piece of legislation.
I’m for protecting the ballot box, not for suppressing votes.
Barry Smith - 7:07 PM
The first question is about the NAACP convention and gets into race. Is it inflaming racial passion to get votes.
Dalton says no. He says he wants to represent 100 percent of the people.
I don’t think this tactic is working for Dalton.
McCrory doesn’t dwell on it, and tells what he did instead. Then he turns the empty chair use by Dalton against him.
Rick Henderson - 7:06 PM
1st Q: Rasmussen has McCrory up 14 points but avoided NAACP meeting. Rambling question. Anchor seems to enjoy his own voice. Finally: Do you think McCrory doesn’t care about black people?
Dalton: Of course I don’t. I went to convention and to state fair. McCrory just went to fair. McCrory will raise taxes and he hangs around with divisive people like Scott Walker. (Of course, if elected, Dalton will have to work with Walker.)
Barry Smith - 7:03 PM
Pat McCrory gives a nod to Bill Friday. So does Walter Dalton, but then he goes on to make a campaign statement.
Interesting difference in their opening statements.
Rick Henderson - 7:03 PM
McCrory gets first opening statement and starts by paying tribute to the late Bill Friday. Says he can’t be replaced but we can learn from him.
Dalton thanks everyone for watching and immediately hits McCrory and Republican General Assembly.